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ACT Slams Red Line Service on Veterans Day
Not Enough Trains for Rush-Hour Crowds

Press release issued November 12, 2012

Metro failed Red Line customers on Veterans Day by running too few trains, the Action Committee for Transit charged today. With only one train every 20 minutes north of Friendship Heights, hundreds of rush hour passengers were left standing on the platform and forced to seek other means of transportation to work.

ACT vice-president Ben Ross pointed out that WMATA can accurately predict travel demand from past ridership. "Metro must stop using maintenance as an excuse for failure to provide needed transit," he said. Riders have complained for months that during weekend maintenance, train service has been cut back far more than necessary.

On this three-day weekend, trains were single-tracked between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor so that maintenance work could be done in the tunnels. But there was no need to leave riders standing on the platform, the Montgomery County transit riders group said. Instead of alternating one train at a time in each direction through the single-track section, which forced trains to run 20 minutes apart, Metro could easily have provided adequate capacity by running caravans of several trains close together. Metro often uses this method of scheduling trains when rush-hour breakdowns lead to single-tracking.

"When I got to the station this morning in Bethesda," Ross reported. "I found a crowded platform with almost as many people giving up and leaving the station as arriving. When an inbound train finally arrived, it was full of standees, and after it pulled out so many people left the station that there was a backup at the up escalator."