Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld said he will not resume the placement of 7000-series trains into passenger service for about 90 days to allow Metro engineering and mechanical experts time to focus on root cause analysis and acquire technology to measure 7000-series wheelsets.
During the 90-day period, Metro will accelerate efforts to restore 6000-series railcars to increase the availability of newer cars in the fleet and improve reliability for customers.
Metro will continue to operate its currently scheduled rail service, with customer wait times averaging less than 10 minutes on all lines.
Metro will continue to work closely with its outside experts Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), as well as transparently engage oversight agencies the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on root cause analysis.
Current service is averaging below 200,000 rail trips daily – less than a third of pre-pandemic demand due to the holidays, increased telework and the Omicron-fueled surge in Covid cases. The average number of passengers per car today is about 45, far less than Metro’s established maximum standard of 120 passengers per car. Metrobus service is expected to resume weekday schedules in the coming days or weeks, as the current pandemic surge ebbs and more employees are available.
-via Press Release