Metro Riders Frustrated With Veterans Day Schedule

Metro using Veterans Day weekend to conduct work on Orange, Red and Green lines

Some Metro riders vented frustrations over reduced service Monday, a day when the federal government was closed for the observation of Veterans Day but many other workplaces were open.

"Why would @wmata continue weekend track work on Monday for a holiday that pretty much only gives kids the day off?" @RachelB327 asked.

Metrorail is operating on a Saturday schedule, with buses running on a Saturday supplemental schedule.

However, online Metrobus timetables don't explain how a supplemental schedule differs from a regular Saturday schedule. WMATA's website suggests that riders call 202-637-7000 for more information.

"Commute was horrible," rider Laura Selvey wrote on NBC Washington's Facebook page. "Had two completely full trains stop at Cleveland Park in 40 minutes. After that I gave up and worked from home. Not every worker in DC has federal holidays off! I'm tired of these awful commutes on federal holidays."

On the Orange Line, trains are single-tracking between Vienna and East Falls Church. Moreover, two stations -- Ballston and Virginia Square -- are closed. Buses are replacing trains between East Falls Church and Clarendon.

"#orangeline avoid it! I've been in transit for over an hour and I'm only at ballston... On a bus..." @JoKo1983 tweeted.

Riders traveling through that work zone should add up to 45 minutes to their travel time, Metro said.

On the Red Line, trains are single-tracking between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights. On the Green Line, trains are single-tracking between Greenbelt and College Park.

Riders on those lines were advised to add 10 minutes to their travel time.

One rider cited data from Metro's planning blog, PlanItMetro, which shows that about 400,000 riders took Metro on Veteran's Day 2011. Compare that to an average weekday (750,000) and an average Saturday (350,000), and it might make sense to reduce Metro service to a Saturday schedule.

However, adding in track work makes things a lot more difficult, argued @BrianWong30 on Twitter: "Sat svc + track work = incompetence."

‏"May be missing a ton of riders, but [there are] so few trains they're packed so people can't get on after waiting >30 min.," @kcivey tweeted.

Metro said on Twitter that officials reviewed rider numbers before determining the plan for Monday service. The transit agency is using the three-day weekend to repair tunnel leaks, replace track switches, and prepare a new track to test 7000-series rail cars, among other tasks.

On the bright side: Parking in Metro lots is free all day Monday, and off-peak fares are in effect throughout the day.

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