The Latest: Not all commuters realized DC Metro is shutdown

The Latest on a daylong shutdown of the Washington area's Metro subway system (all times local):

7:20 a.m.

Not all commuters got the message that the Washington area's Metro subway system would be in an unprecedented daylong shutdown.

On Wednesday morning at Metro's Rosslyn station, just over the Potomac River from Arlington, Virginia, the escalators were running but metal gates with bars closed the entrance. A sign says: "Urgent Message: The entire Metrorail system will be closed all day on Wednesday, March 16 to allow for emergency inspections of power cables. Your safety is our highest priority."

But 27-year-old Derya Demirci arrived hoping to take her normal train to her childcare job in Falls Church, Virginia. She looked disbelievingly at the sign and said: "I don't know what to do."

She settled taking a picture of the sign and asking her husband to drive her to work.


4:25 a.m.

An unprecedented daylong shutdown of the Washington area's Metro subway system will force commuters to spend a day without their most reliable form of transportation — and the source of their constant complaints.

Ridership on Metro has dipped as the system's reliability has deteriorated, and gripes on social media occur daily.

Still, more than 700,000 people hop on the trains every day because it's still the best way to get downtown from Maryland, Virginia and the city's outer neighborhoods. On Wednesday, they won't have that option.

The nation's second-busiest transit system was shut down at midnight Tuesday for a system-wide safety inspection of its third-rail power cables, prompted by a series of electrical fires. It will reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday unless inspectors find an immediate threat to passenger safety.