The Newest Disaster Aimed At D.C. Commuters
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Politics and Activism

The Newest Disaster Aimed At D.C. Commuters

Why some businesses are implementing emergency management protocol in response to the D.C. metro rebuild.

The Newest Disaster Aimed At D.C. Commuters
Washington D.C. Metro Website

While all D.C. natives know of the inconsistency of the D.C. metro system (I myself sat on a train for 3 hours last month due to "technical issues"), this year's metro rebuild project may prove to be the biggest disaster that DC commuters have ever seen. It's so big that businesses are resorting to their "disaster management" protocol- implying that the District's detrimental commuting collapse requires the same business management as a Category 5 hurricane.

Starting this Saturday, June 4th, the Orange and Silver line will be single-tracking between Ballston and East Falls Church for 13 days. This 13-day project is just one out of fifteen projects planned for this year. The projects range from single-tracking to complete closures and some will last up to 42 days. If the plan stays on schedule, the re-build will continue through Christmas and finish on March 19th of 2017.

The project is just now (a week before the start of the first project) being explained to the public while officials were brought up to date only recently. Last week, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) was shocked when she received news of the major shut-down. Bowser sent a five-page letter to Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld asking about bus schedules, station closures and shuttle capacities. After inquiring why she had not been consulted on the project, Bowser sent in a proposal requesting monumental changes to the reconstruction schedule, asking for reconsiderations surrounding the midnight (instead of the typical 3 am) weekend closures. The proposal also addresses the concerns behind Reagan Airport (DCA)'s metro station closures.

Other officials are getting involved as well, asking for accommodations during the holidays. Arlington officials express concerns over the planned 18-day Blue Line closure between Rosslyn and Pentagon stations that connect commuters to the enormous million-square-foot mall in Pentagon City. The Fashion Centre itself also expressed anxiety over the December closure of Pentagon City station to the mall's thousands of holidays shoppers during its busiest time of the year.

So far, the metro has not given way to any weekend or holiday accommodations insisting that their 100-passenger buses will be able to accommodate the 1000 commuters that a standard six-car rail train can hold. The estimates of the delays of single-tracking stations "are currently in development", while the impact on commuters is defined as "very crowded trains" and "significantly longer wait times." The midnight closures will continue on schedule as Wiedefeld states that the plan is to cram three years worth of construction into one.

For more information on which lines will be closing and when, check out the Post's detailed graphic.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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