Politics

How D.C.'s Metrorail is trying to fix itself

As part of a series on Metrorail performance in the Washington, D.C. area, I hoped to conclude with a response from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The only problem: WMATA declined my interview request.

"I can provide you with some information to answer your questions, but with respect to an interview we would decline," WMATA's Media Relations Manager Sherri Ly told me in an email.

The questions I would have asked were about improving Metrorail performance in the short and long term. What is Metro doing in the present to cut down on delays, unreliable service and interruptions in rush hour service? Over the next five to 10 years, what is Metro doing to reduce overcrowding and the number of trains that go out of service? Will improvements require fare hikes? I wanted to find out what Metro was doing to fix the problems that plague riders day to day, or at least doing to make sure problems don't get worse.

The public documents Ly provided show how Metro is making an effort to improve. Still, it's difficult to trust that Metro's long-term improvement plans will be successful. Nearly every weekend, Metro cuts service to do maintenance, but weekday performance continues to deteriorate.

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