The Metro board voted Thursday to close a budget gap by changing how often trains run.
Starting in mid-February, the length of time riders will have to wait for a train will get longer.
The Red Line will still run the most frequently – every six minutes on weekdays and every 12 minutes on weekends. All other lines see their wait times increase to every 12 minutes weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends. The Metro system will continue to close at 11 p.m. daily.
The service cuts were expected to be worse, but in order to make it work, Metro is looking to lay off about 1,400, and some employees will be offered buyouts to retire.
“No board in recent history has faced the challenges this board has faced, for sure,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said.
Metro also moved forward with plans to change the names at two well-known stations. Tysons Corner will change to just Tysons, and Prince George’s Plaza will change to Hyattsville Crossing. Those changes were requested by and will be paid for by Fairfax and Prince Georges counties.
Metro also reports it lost its second employee because of COVID-19 complications, a storeroom clerk who battled sickness for a month.
Chief Safety Officer Teresa Impastato said many Metro employees are being tested by the agency.
“Over 400 asymptomatic employees received COVID-19 tests,” she said. “We will hold additional testing events in the future for our employees to supplement the jurisdictional testing resources available.”