Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Share Stories  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |  Get Gridlock:    Twitter |    Facebook  |     RSS   |  phone Alerts

Riders comment on Metro service plans

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
With regard to reduction or elimination of eight-car trains, what I don't understand is how this is a cost savings measure. It would seem to be that eight-car trains would be far more efficient in terms of personnel and frequency required to move more people than six-car trains. What am I missing?
Dave Sullivan

Metro officials say the savings would come in using less power and decreasing the wear, and therefore the maintenance, on the rail cars.

The transit authority's board of directors will hold a hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW in the District, on various proposals for eliminating $16 million from its current budget shortfall. All the proposals would affect riders -- some now, some later. I'll post some letters from riders over the next two days.

In my Sunday column, I focused on the issue of whether eliminating eight-car trains should even be on the table. In a Commuter page feature Sunday, I outlined the options Metro is considering to accomplish the budget balance.

Elimination of eight-car trains is just one line in the long list of options. If I were betting on the outcome of the Metro board's decision on Thursday, I'd say most, or maybe all of the proposed service cuts will not happen.

But I find the one-line reference to eliminating eight-car trains particularly bothersome, because the capital investment plan, for which Metro won regional and federal cooperation, calls for eight-car trains to relieve rush-hour congestion.

Metro is going back to the taxpayers now and asking them to invest in a new capital improvement plan. When people invest, they expect a return. If Metro says it's going to do something, it should do it.

[Join me at noon today for our weekly online chat. We can talk about this and any other topic in local transportation that's on your mind. Here's the link to the chat. Use this link if you'd like to submit a question or comment in advance. Write to me any time at]

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget, Metrorail  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dulles to open new airport subway on Tuesday
Next: Stray dogs on Moscow subways; a commuting cat in Great Britian; and a fox on the Tube in London


If savings on power and wear and tear are such big considerations, why not switch to all 4-car trains?

The indisputable fact that 6-car trains are already overcrowded has no bearing here.

Posted by: member5 | January 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Got it. 5:30 PM on Wednesday. So people that work in Montgomery or Alexandria are going to be able to

Posted by: Greg S. | January 25, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Overcrowding 6-car trains can't be good for wear and tear, either. How much does Metro waste on door repairs due to overcrowding?

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | January 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company