Metro cuts service to ‘essential trips only’ starting Wed.
Bus and rail both affected.
Metro service will be cut to “essential trips only” in Northern Virginia and the rest of the Washington D.C. region starting Wednesday, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Essential trips include those taken by hospital staff, government officials and emergency responders.
Daily rail hours will end at 11 p.m. starting Wednesday, including on weekends. Trains will run every 15 minutes on each line at all times, including the Red Line, and all trains will operate with eight cars, the maximum possible length, to maintain social distancing.
Ridership on Monday was down 70%, the news release said, and both bus and rail service will be reduced further to allow cleaning and to reduce sharing of enclosed spaces.
Buses will operate on a Sunday schedule, with supplemental service on selected routes to prevent crowding and ensure neighborhoods are not cut off — schedule information is available at wmata.com. The number of Metrobus employees and buses will be cut by 60%.
Metro also is reducing and canceling track work except for emergency maintenance and inspections.
“As members of our community stay home from work, school and social gatherings — following the critical emergency guidance of Governors Hogan and Northam and Mayor Bowser — Metro will reduce service and implement measures to reduce risk for employees and the public,” said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld in a statement. “To be clear, Metro intends to be there to provide service for essential trips in our community — as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so. If everyone does their part and stays home whenever possible, Metro will be there for hospital staff and other heroes who need us at this unprecedented moment in our lives.”