The head of Metro prefers repairs to replacements, when it comes to fixing the transit agency’s troubled escalators. Interim General Manager Richard Sarles said yesterday that upkeep makes more sense than actually replacing escalators.
"We cannot lose focus on the day-to-day maintenance in the hopes the capital plan will get you there," he told Metro’s board of directors. Maintenance appears cheaper than replacements, too. New escalator could cost $1 million each.
Metro is in the process of inspecting all 588 escalators in its system, prompted by last month’s incident at the L'Enfant Plaza station. Six people were hurt when an escalator accelerated without warning.
Metro has checked 568 escalators so far. It’s replaced 40 sets of brakes; 16 escalators had worn brake pads and were taken out of service.
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