WASHINGTON – The Latest on Washington's beleaguered subway system (all times local):
Washington's beleaguered subway system will experience a year of rolling shutdowns and slowdowns as officials try to improve its safety and reliability.
Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld announced the maintenance plan on Friday. He says doing track work at night and on the weekends when the system is closed simply doesn't provide enough time to catch up on maintenance. Instead, stations will be closed or trains will be sharing a single track in each direction for days or weeks at a time.
Metro has been plagued by a series of electrical fires on the tracks, including one in January 2015 that killed a passenger and sickened dozens more. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed that fire on poor maintenance and issued a scathing report earlier this week, saying Metro has not made meaningful safety improvements.
Wiedefeld says Metro will not cut fares during the maintenance blitz.
Metro's general manager is set to announce how he'll address systemic maintenance shortcomings on Washington's beleaguered subway system.
Paul Wiedefeld will detail his plan Friday at a news conference, a day after an arcing insulator forced the closure of a station for repairs.
Wiedefeld last month made an unprecedented decision to close the system for a day for emergency inspections and repairs of third-rail power cables. Several recent fires on the tracks have been blamed, in part, on faulty or poorly maintained power cables. Earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Board blamed Metro's shoddy maintenance for a fire in January 2015 that killed a passenger and sickened dozens more.
Wiedefeld has said partial closures of the system will be necessary to return it to a state of good repair.