Metrorail is now operating at the same frequency during peak and off-peak hours on weekdays after budget changes prompted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic took effect yesterday (Monday).
Under the revised Fiscal Year 2021 budget, trains are running every 12 minutes on the Orange, Silver, Blue, Green, and Yellow lines, while Red line trains operate every six minutes. Service after 7 p.m. and on weekends has not been altered.
The reduction of rail service during weekday rush hours was recommended as part of a revised FY 2021 budget that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors approved when it met on Nov. 19.
“The changes bring rail service in line with ridership demand while managing costs amid pandemic-related budget constraints,” WMATA said in a news release. “Rail ridership remains down nearly 90 percent from pre-pandemic levels.”
In contrast, WMATA says Metrobus ridership is only down 55% on weekdays and less on weekends compared to pre-pandemic levels, so service will expand to accommodate additional capacity starting on Mar. 14.
“Customers will see more buses, more often on the 125 lines of service currently operating, and more routes will be added to expand bus service on weekends,” WMATA said.
More details about the March Metrobus service changes will be provided at a later date, the transit agency says.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott