Why Metro Escalator Fix Takes So Long?
I got a question during Monday's Live Online discussion about the status of the escalator rehab at Rockville Metro station. The length of time it takes to repair the escalators is one of the longstanding gripes we have about the system.
This is the comment, in part:
"At the beginning of May, the escalators at the Rockville Metro station were shut down for rehabilitation. Fine.
Here's the rub. May, June and July were taken up for the rehab of the first escalator. Now the second one is scheduled for completion at the end of October. We will have been without a functioning escalator for six months at that point."
"Does six months seem reasonable, and is this the norm? sheesh"
Candace Smith, a spokeswoman for Metro, got back me about that project. Here's what she said:
"The Rockville escalators should be back in service in October. Normally it takes about three months to overhaul an escalator. These two units are over 20 years old and in need of rehabilitation. We expect an overhaul will result in many years of reliable service. Unfortunately, while one unit is out of service the other recently overhauled unit is used as a walker in both directions. This does present problems with pedestrian access to and from the platforms, but we have no alternative in order to perform the work.
"Metro uses a combination of contractors and non-contract workers to repair escalators and elevators. Contractors are performing the work at Rockville. They work from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. While most of the work is at the unit, there is also a significant amount of work performed in the back rooms. The work is also highly skilled and
complex, so progress can appear to be slow. As a side note, Metro is considering adding stairs in some stations."
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