Escalator outages at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station have caused headaches for commuters since this summer, and complications in the repair process have prolonged the ordeal.
For the past few months, intermittent malfunctions and repairs have caused some - and occasionally all - of the three escalators to be out of service or cordoned off. The middle escalator at the stop has been out of service for the past several months and is currently being replaced. Another escalator has also stopped working and is functioning as a staircase.
Now, during peak hours, lines stretch from the escalator to the side of the GW Hospital, as patrons attempt to use the stationary escalator.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority officials said repairs for the broken Foggy Bottom escalators are not easy because the machines are unique.
The necessary replacement parts are hard to come by since the company that originally manufactured the parts for those escalators is now out of business, WMATA information specialist Angela Gates said in an interview two weeks ago.
"We have nothing in the system like them," she said.
The lack of an overhang protecting the escalators at the Foggy Bottom station has also caused problems, Gates said, because the machinery has no protection from the weather.
WMATA Public Information Officer Steven Taubenkibel emphasized that escalator outages are not uncommon. Taubenkibel said repairs on the middle escalator are scheduled for completion later this month and the stationary escalator should also be in operation by that time as well.