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Metro Slammed for Poor Veterans Day Red Line Service

The Action Committee for Transit says insufficient Metro service left passengers standing on platforms north of Friendship Heights.

Update, 3 p.m.: Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas said that while Metro hasn't yet reviewed the ACT statement, ridership numbers and wait times, she's aware that some riders are displeased wih Monday's level of service.

"Some people felt that wait times were longer than what they thought was appropriate for a Monday," Lukas said.

However, Lukas said Metro ran service today that's typical for a federal holiday, when ridership normally drops about 20 to 30 percent from regular workday levels.

Three-day weekends are important for Metro to complete necessary track work, Lukas said.

Original Post: Transit riders advocacy group Action Committee for Transit said Red Line service north of Friendship Heights was insufficient to meet rider demand this Veterans Day.

Metro announced last week it would be single-tracking trains between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights to allow for rail and fastener renewal and tunnel leak repairs.

Trains were running this weekend and during the Veterans Day holiday on Monday once every 20 minutes on the western leg of the Red Line north of Friendship Heights. Additional service was added between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday between Friendship Heights and Glenmont.

But according to ACT, too few trains running north of Friendship Heights left trains crowded and some riders standing on platforms.

"When I got to the station this morning in Bethesda, I found a crowded platform with almost as many people giving up and leaving the station as arriving," said Ben Ross, ACT vice president. "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."

ACT argued Metro could have provided more capacity by running "caravans" of trains close together rather than alternating one train at a time in each direction through the single-track section.

"Metro must stop using maintenance as an excuse for failure to provide needed transit," Ross said.

Metro did not return a call for comment.

Were you stranded on the Red Line this morning? Do you think Metro should have provided more trains this Veterans Day weekend? Let us know in the comments.

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