When will chilled air flow in Metro’s Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations? Not any time soon, it seems.
That’s because the transit agency has again pushed back repairs of the “chillers” that help cool those Red Line stations.
“Metro’s contractor has completed pressure tests of the pipes under Connecticut Ave NW (off Metro property) that provide chilled air service to Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations,” Metro said in a statement last Friday. “The test results are currently being evaluated to determine next steps. Unfortunately, chilled air service has not yet been restored.”
The chillers stopped working last summer due to leaks in the 40-year-old pipe that feeds water into the system, officials said. Metro originally estimated it would repair those leaks by July 1, then again by July 16.
Actually, it has been a year of rolling delays. I’ve brought a thermometer to the platform a few times, and when it’s ~80˚F outside (at ~8:30 am), it’s typically 95˚F on the platform. I can’t even imagine how hot it will be on Sunday and Monday when the heat wave is supposed to crest at 100˚F. The Dupont Circle and Farragut North (also affected) platforms are already experiencing a ‘heat emergency.’
To a considerable extent, they’ve pretty much admitted defeat:
As for when those chillers might actually come online, Metro did not set a firm date.
Then Metro wonders why ridership is down. A mystery, it is…
As I’ve mentioned before, the D.C. Metro is often the first mass transit system that many young politically-interested people have used–when it doesn’t work, it not only affects D.C., but, down the road, it affects other regions too.