Metro’s Red line experienced delays for the second consecutive morning rush hour, and this time, WMATA’s general manager is publicly apologizing for the commute woes. Thursday morning’s delays were caused by a signal problem and a broken track switch outside the Fort Totten station, Metro officials said on Twitter. Delays were reported between Brookland and Fort Totten, but the headaches spread throughout the troubled Red line.
Shortly after Thursday’s delays emerged and as platforms throughout the system teemed with delayed riders, Metro GM Richard Sarles said that he knows that service, specifically on the Red line, has not been good. “I want to apologize for the delays and inconvenience you have experienced recently,” Sarles said in a statement posted to WMATA.com. “Be assured, we are focused on these issues and are taking steps to improve service.” Wednesday’s issues at the Woodley Park station were caused by a low hanging communications cable that stopped trains from entering the station on one of the tracks.
That problem caused delays in excess of 30 minutes or longer on the western part of the Red line, the oldest in the Metrorail system. Those delays caused riders like Ken Szigety to be more than an hour late to work. “I sent (my boss) a note as soon as I got in this morning saying another incident on the Red Line,” Szigety said. “He knows.” In a series of six tweets, Mayor Vincent Gray expressed his frustration with Metro and urged riders to speak out about the continuing problems hampering the agency. “WMATA, despite facing budget pressures, needs to do better,” Gray tweeted. “WMATA is critical to our regional economy and getting to work and school on time is essential to your livelihood.”
Gray went on to tell riders to share their angst with both Sarles and D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, the city’s representative on the Metro Board.