Oct 20, 2021 - News

It's a long road Back2Good for Metro

A Metrorail station escalator

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein for Corbis via Getty Images

With over half of Metro’s trains still out of service, yesterday mornings rush hour gridlock is expected to last for several days until the 7000 series trains are cleared to return for service.

Driving the news: No big names are calling for a shakeup at the top of Metro, at least not yet. But Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is considering summoning Metro leaders to Congress for a hearing on the fiasco.

  • “Norton is especially concerned that Metro knew about problems with the wheels on the 7000-series since 2017,” her office said in a statement.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the extent of a wheel assembly issue on the 7000 series trains that led to a derailment on the Blue Line last week.

D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson told Axios that Metro “should have said something” if the defects were previously known. The NTSB disclosed on Monday that there have been at least 31 wheel-related failures since 2017.

  • “We shouldn’t be in this mess,” Mendelson said, adding it was the right call to pull the 7000 series. “And I think it’s too soon to say definitively what’s caused this mess.”

Axios readers shared their Monday commutes from hell:

Matthew Carlini emailed to say that he spent nearly two hours commuting from Van Ness in D.C. to Old Town Alexandria.

  • “I lived in New York for 8 years and the only transit nightmare that compared was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” he said.
  • He says the experience has soured his outlook on D.C., after moving here and being a transit fan his whole life: “I'm reaching the point where I don't think it’s a feasible way to get around anymore.”

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