Metro officials are saying it's time to rethink how commuters get around during weekend repair work.
Over the next 18 months, Metro will be rolling out $5 billion in capital improvement projects. Officials told the system's board of directors Thursday that closing stations instead of single-tracking for weekend work will get the projects done faster and will be safer for workers. They are estimating that some projects could be completed up to a year ahead of its scheduled completion date if more stations are closed.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Metro closed a number of stations on the Orange and Blue lines for weekend repair work and found it more productive than leaving the stations open.
There will still be some single-tracking, and when stations are closed, shuttles will be offered to help get commuters to the next open station.
Single-tracking often means stop-and-go for Metro riders with waits that can last 10 minutes or more.
This weekend, the Forest Glen Station on the Red Line will be single-tracking for scheduled repair work.
Commuter Monica Smith uses that station and said she prefers single-tracking to closing the station.
"Shuttles I don’t think really ever work," Smith said. "You have too many people trying to shove their way on because they are frustrated and often you don't know where to find (the shuttles), and I find it confusing. So I’d rather sit on the train and read and wait."