News & Politics

Due to Shutdown, WMATA Is Limiting Trains to 6 Cars

Trains will continue to run as scheduled.

WMATA is only running six-car trains, which could affect commute times. Photograph by Flickr user Elvert Barnes.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced on Wednesday that due to the federal government shutdown and nearly a quarter drop in ridership, it will reduce the size of all trains to no more than six cars.

WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel says running six cars is typical during “less busy times, such as weekends and late night,” as well as in late December, “when ridership drops off considerably.”

Stessel said there is no revenue impact projection, yet but pressure will hit the operating budget if the shutdown “drags on.” While the drop-off is well distributed across the entire system, he says, “Stations that are near federal worksites or National Mall destinations are feeling the drop-off more acutely. These include Pentagon, L’Enfant Plaza, Capitol South, Federal Triangle, and Smithsonian.”