News & Politics

Nearly 60 Percent of Metro Trains Are Out of Service Until the End of the Week, and People Are Not Happy About It.

According to the NTSB, Metro has known about dangerous equipment problems since 2017.

Photograph by kanzilyou via iStock.

Washingtonians will have to deal with sucky commutes for a bit longer. Metro announced on Monday that reduced train service will continue until at least October 24 as they continue their investigation into last week’s Blue Line derailment near Arlington Cemetery. That means potentially jam-packed trains in the middle of a pandemic.

Trains will operate every 15 minutes on the Red Line and every 30 minutes on the other lines. Silver Line trains will only operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Federal Center SW.

Metro suspended service for nearly 60 percent of its 1,200-car fleet on Monday after inspectors found that an axle on the derailed train was “out of compliance” with wheel and axle assembly standards.

This isn’t just a random mishap. Similar problems have been found on other trains. Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board said at a news conference Monday morning that the organization was made aware that Metro officials knew about the train’s equipment problems since 2017. While only one person was taken to the hospital after the incident, more people could’ve been hurt or killed. “The potential for fatalities and serious injuries was significant. This could have resulted in a catastrophic event,” Homendy said.

Washingtonians on Twitter had a lot to say about the situation.

Jeez. Really? Why is DC so unlucky when it comes to manufacturing of trains that other U.S. cities don’t seem to experience.

— Sassycatz (@Sassycatz) October 18, 2021


They knew about this since fucking 2017 and STILL have done nothing about it. Now more people will be driving, causing MORE traffic. This country’s infrastructure is getting worse and worse daily.

— T.M. (@TEKK2131) October 18, 2021


Metro will be running trains every 30 minutes for WEEKS it looks like. How are people supposed to get around? We shouldn’t have to live like this in a city as big as D.C.

— Ankit Jain (@ankitjain992) October 18, 2021


I am so lucky that I am able to afford a car in the DMV area because this is absolutely insane. Literally more than half of a major city’s — the capital of this country — metro system is down due to hazardous conditions of the trains. Necessary but beyond poorly planned.

— Slim (@maysoleum) October 18, 2021


I don’t mean this as a joke but I would literally rather a metro car derail with me on it than have trains come ever 30 minutes for at least* a week.

*Probably closer to a month

— Deep Space Fine (@thisismewhatevs) October 18, 2021

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.