Riders who depend on the Metro’s Orange, Silver and Blue lines to get to and from work may need to consider other transportation options for the next two weeks.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority encouraged Metro riders Monday to avoid trains for 16 days as the service rebuilds track and tunnel infrastructure between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. The work will “significantly” affect train service, with the Orange and Silver lines only running every 20 minutes – even at rush hour – and the Blue Line only operating in Virginia, according to the WMATA press release.
Farragut West, McPherson Square and Metro Center’s lower levels will be closed this weekend during the initial stages of construction. Some shuttle buses will replace trains between the Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle stations, while trains on the Orange and Silver lines will run every 12 to 15 minutes outside the shutdown stations.
Orange and Silver line trains coming from Virginia will also end at the Foggy Bottom station, according to the release.
Metro board member Christian Dorsey told The Washington Post Wednesday that ridership is lowest at this time of year, but if at all possible, customers should try to find a ride somewhere else.
“I’m always reluctant to tell people to not use the system,” Dorsey told The Post. “But for this one — if you have any flexibility with these dog days of summer to work from home or drive into work, I would use it.”
WMATA also acknowledged that the track work may impact traffic for Sunday’s “Unite the Right” rally, which is expected to draw hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters to the District. Several protesters are planning to take the Metro from Vienna, Va. to Foggy Bottom Sunday before marching to Lafayette Square, where the demonstration will take place in the late afternoon.
“The transit agency is working closely with law enforcement to prepare security options that place the highest priority on protecting Metro passengers, employees and public safety – giving special consideration to the security challenges posed by railcar space constraints,” the release states.
Metro came under fire last week after reports surfaced that the service may provide separate trains for protesters, but transit authorities later said that they are no longer weighing the option.