Ugh (boldface mine):
Red, Orange, Silver, and Blue Line riders might have much longer commutes beginning this week. There’s a new, 35 mile per hour speed restriction in place between Medical Center and Union Station, and between Rosslyn and the Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road stations as of Sunday the 13th. Speeds may not return to normal again for a year.
According to preliminary data from MetroHero, the stations most impacted by the restriction appear to be between Medical Center and Dupont Circle. The stations closer in on the Red and Orange/Silver/Blue already mainly see train speeds below 35 mph due to their close spacing.
A speed reduction up to nearly 20% compared to the prior restriction on almost half the Red Line and a large portion of the Orange/Silver/Blue lines is very likely to slow down thousands of commutes, and throw Metro’s new schedules out the door. After trains started running less frequently on June 25th, operators have been instructed to run based on their schedule, and not on how far or close they are from the train ahead of them. This restriction may either cause operators to rush and keep their doors open less while actually in stations, or force Metro to “slow down” its schedules to allow train operators to keep up with where they’re supposed to be and when…
A Metro spokesperson told me that the “minor adjustment to the speed restriction was implemented as part of the temporary order to reduce power draw. The change is expected to have minimal impact on service reliability, as most trains do not reach maximum speed through the downtown core.”
It is an absolute mystery why ridership is down. If we’re going to have fascists anyway, couldn’t the trains run on time at least?