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Fri Jul 11, 2014, 11:09 AM

D.C.: Old Railcars Slow Down Metro Progress





Metro’s fleet of aging trains — scheduled for replacement over the next several years — continues to bedevil commuters, risking Metro’s message that things actually are getting better halfway through a six-year, $5 billion rebuilding effort.

As D.C.'s Metro continues its system-wide rebuilding program that will run through 2017, transit authority officials say real progress has been made fixing track and signaling infrastructure to improve the reliability of rail service. Yet on a day-to-day basis, railcar breakdowns and delays frustrate riders already annoyed by another fare increase.

If commuters judge the quality of service based on personal experience, quarterly progress reports on system reliability may mean little compared to the delays that make them late for work, squeezed onto packed platforms or inside old railcars without air conditioning. Because even as the number of delays caused by track or signal problems dwindle, Metro’s fleet of aging trains — scheduled for replacement over the next several years — continues to bedevil commuters, risking Metro’s message that things actually are getting better halfway through the six-year, $5 billion rebuilding effort.

June: a snapshot

As he rode the Red Line to work one morning, Jason Stonewall shared his feelings about Metro’s oldest line: “It’s horrible.” Stonewall pulled out his smartphone to scroll through old Metro text message alerts. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wnyc.org/story/old-railcars-slow-down-metro-progress/



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