Metro’s Pandemic Task Force today announced major service reductions during the ongoing pandemic response.
In a statement, WMATA said that “the changes further draw-down service to protect frontline employees, while maintaining regional mobility for essential trips taken by hospital staff, government officials, and emergency responders. The reduction takes into account the urgent public guidance from regional leaders, along with emergency orders to cancel events, close schools and offices, and limit social gatherings across the nation.”
New rail system hours are weekdays, 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. effective March 18 until further notice. Metro stresses these new hours are to support essential travel only. Trains will run every 15 minutes on each line at all times, including the Red Line. All trains will operate with eight cars, the maximum possible length, to help maintain social distancing between customers.
Metro bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule with supplemental service on select routes. Again, customers are strongly encourages to travel only when absolutely necessary.
Metro ridership was down nearly 70 percent across the board yesterday. As a result, starting tomorrow, service will be further reduced – on both bus and rail – to allow even more cleaning and to reduce sharing of workspaces and vehicles for employee safety.
The Metro Task Force will reduce rail system hours with an earlier closing time across the week.