DC Subway System to Undergo Major Repairs

Service will be disrupted starting in June.


In the warm afterglow of yet another fire, metro officials have announced that a major disruptive overhaul of the deteriorating transit system will begin in June. The repairs are scheduled to take a year to complete.

If history is an indicator, the overhauled system will continue to be a disaster.

Back in 2012, Reason TV looked into the chronic issues and underlying causes surrounding Metro's disastrous escalator problems.

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  1. OT: Speaking of busy ditches, Palin is presenting to The Donald’s big hands….


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  3. Hopefully they’ll finally fix the red line. That line specifically made me horribly sick to my stomach. I’ve had to get off it mid trip and just wait for the next train before so I wouldn’t throw up.

  4. What, no Remy?

  5. The Infuriating History of How the Metro Got So Bad

    Strangely, the authors don’t actually grasp the underlying problem and the point out,

    “and this cycle will endlessly repeat itself as long as ‘public services’ are just make-work & pension-generating vehicles for urban cronies”

    1. What? Are you saying they don’t need 6 people on the platform holding clipboards and talking about the Redskins?

      1. Meanwhile, management focused on making sure employees wore their uniforms correctly and used Metro-issued microwaves to cook food instead of their own. “Things are falling apart and you’re worried about a microwave oven,” Johnson says. “I mean, it was just dumb.” Accountability for day-to-day repairs had all but vanished: “Consciously or subconsciously, everyone at Metro knows they’ve got a job for life,” he says, “unless they sit there and smoke crack in the middle of the platform.”

        While executives at Metro’s downtown headquarters trumpeted their rosy data, key agency divisions were unraveling.

        FTA investigators saw just how badly when they gathered near the Greenbelt stop early on March 24. They were there to observe a maintenance crew as part of their exhaustive examination of the system. And this was no surprise inspection. Metro had handpicked the worksite and a straightforward procedure. Shortly after the crew got to work, however, the workers realized they had the wrong part, and because they weren’t able to access the tracks until 2 am, there wasn’t time to get the correct equipment before Greenbelt opened.

        “Even with WMATA selecting a simple activity for FTA to observe,” the regulators wrote in their notes, “this task had to be aborted due to inappropriate work planning and technical issues.”

        Seriously though, more money will solve everything.

        1. To be fair, running your microwave off the 3rd rail via a jumper cable hanging out the conductor cabin window really isn’t advisable.

  6. “In my estimation, we have to do something different and dramatically different,” Wiedefeld said. “It will impact many riders.”

    So they’re going to try a new policy of doing maintenance and repairs and see how that goes rather than just sticking with their old policy of doing no maintenance and no repairs? You know, whoever sold them this system should probably have included like an owner’s manual or something that told them ahead of time that the system might occasionally need some maintenance and repairs and then maybe they would have known to plan and budget for such a thing.

  7. OT: extremely good news from India. Re new bankruptcy code coming soon


    India’s ‘reformist’ prime minister has mostly sucked (banning Facebook’s Internet Basic and used iPhones) but if he gets this passed, it makes up for all of that and then a lot. Bankruptcy doesn’t get talked about much here but it is VITAL to a market economy. Not just to clear up bad debts but to get that equipment sold and used for production again. Under the new code, this should take 90 days in India. Under the old ultra-bureaucratic code, it can take 5 YEARS. If this gets passed, India will take a big step to becoming an economic beast.

    This is why in the long run free markets and capitalism are going to win. The developed world can derp but that just means they are going to fall behind.

  8. The full proposed schedule is at the WMATA site. The chaos will be epic.

    1. Well, ridesharing should get a boost from Metro closing at midnight instead of 3:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. I wonder how the early closing will effect affect crime of various types?

      1. Can they fix the edit button situation while they’re at it?

  9. What does this have to with libertarianism exactly?

    Absolutely nothing of course, other than a whole bunch of professional fake libertarians are going to be adversely affected.

    1. WMATA, another failure of the Free Market.

    2. Geez, what could the massive failure of a government department to deliver decent service have to do with libertarianism? Are you kidding? What kind of imbecile are you?

  10. It’s pretty bad when an actual Communist country has a better subway in the capital than America.

    1. I lived in Moscow in 2000 and their Metro puts anything I’ve seen in the US to shame by a large margin.

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  12. Here’s how you easily and cheaply fix any escalator: shut off the power. It is now a functioning staircase that will remain usable for decades without further maintenance.

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