The leaders who shut down Metro for a day and then suggested idling entire rail lines for six months are set to answer questions Wednesday before congressional subcommittees.
Officials of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, including General Manager Paul Wiedefeld and Board Chairman Jack Evans, are expected to address the decision to shut down the entire subway system on March 16.
Meanwhile, Roll Call asked morning commuters arriving at the Capitol South station: What would you tell the top brass at the Washington-area transit authority about the improvements you’d like to see?
“I’ve been on the metro system in Moscow, in London, in Rome, in Paris,” said Jennifer Baum Sevec, who commutes on the Orange Line from Maryland. “It just seems really ill-equipped and ill-prepared to handle daily commutes in both directions anywhere on the line and I guess I just wonder why.”
“I like that it gets me where I need to go, but I’d like more reliability,” said Donna Meltzer, who commutes from Silver Spring, Md. “They need to spend some more time looking at the rails and the trains and bringing everything up to date so that we can all feel safe and secure riding the train.”
“My only grievance is single-tracking, usually on the weekends,” John Johnson of Bowie, Md., said of the typical cause for delays. “Usually it’s late at night, because I’m a concierge.”
“It’s a great system. I’ve been riding it since it opened,” said Harold Leich, a D.C. resident. “I’d like to see more consistent and more dependable funding from all the jurisdictions involved, including the federal government.”
“It’s a big inconvenience but if the major repairs need to be done, if lines need to shut down, if that’s what has to be done, that’s what has to be done,” said David Backer, who commutes from Woodley Park. “Ultimately, safety is the determining factor.”