Red Line Improvements to Take 3 More Years

Metro committed to fixing busiest line

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    There's good news and bad news for the tens of thousands of people who ride Metro's Red Line: Transit officials have committed to fixing all the problems on the system's busiest line, but the work will take several years to complete. (Published Friday, Feb. 3, 2012)

    Good news and bad news for Metro’s Red Line Riders: The transit system has committed to fixing all the problems on the system's busiest line, but it's going to take 3 years.

    “It’s pretty evident, right, for anyone who rides the system that it’s not as reliable as it needs to be,” said Dan Stessel, of Metro.

    The repairs for normal wear and tear follow years of neglected or delayed maintenance, Metro said.

    “Part of it was funding, I think,” Stessel said. “Part of it was the fact that it is unpopular to do this kind of work, so it simply wasn’t done.”

    The Red Line was the first line and it's still the busiest in the train system, but customers are weary of delays and repair work

    Throughout the system, track work is taking place -- usually on nights and weekends -- to catch up on necessary and routine maintenance.

    “Building the system was actually easier than rebuilding the system,” Stessel said. “We are the second busiest subway in America. The Red Line is our busiest line. We have tens and tens of thousands of people who count on us every rush hour and at all hours of the day, so we certainly avoid doing work during the rush hours. We try to squeeze in as much work as we can during every available off-peak window that we have.”

    In addition to deferred maintenance, Metro also is making safety improvements mandated by federal officials, and it's preparing for extensions of tracks to suburban neighborhoods.

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