WASHINGTON, D.C. – Metro services in the Washington metropolitan area will come to a twenty-one day standstill next month as maintenance crews begin working around the clock to administer much-needed repairs and updates to the ailing transit system, Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld announced Tuesday.
“We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback in recent months from our riders,” Wiedefeld said in a statement posted to Metro’s website Wednesday. “With that said, we’re thrilled to announce that because of you, were making some exciting changes to Metro!” Included in Wiedefeld’s statement is a complete list of the updates and repairs maintenance crews will focus on. “Beginning May 9, we’re ripping out those ghastly carpets which have become an unfortunate staple of the D.C. transit system and replacing them with a more modern and elegant design.”
Wiedefeld said Metro crews will spend the vast majority of the three-week shutdown repainting the system’s 1,130 rail cars to match their designated lines. “For example,” Wiedefeld explained, “all Blue Line rail cars will feature a deep blue paint which commuters may find reminiscent of the sky on a clear afternoon in September.”
Further, Metro will install an estimated nine hundred state-of-the-art trash receptacles throughout its ninety-one stations in the Washington metropolitan area. Each waste bin carries a $2,400 price tag and comes equipped with a built-in trash compactor and incinerator that, according to Wiedefeld, will greatly reduce the amount of time service personnel spend on waste removal. “This allows us to better allocate our time to more pressing tasks,” Wiedefeld explained.
Such tasks include the installation of some five thousand new First Alert smoke detectors throughout Metro’s numerous stations and tunnels. “We at Metro have a saying – safety first. That’s why we’ve elected to blanket our stations and platforms with smoke detectors. In the unlikely event a fire should break out, we can deal with it in a timely manner,” said Wiedefeld.
Metro is scheduled to close its doors to the public on Monday, May 9th and reopen again twenty-one days later on Monday, May 30th. Minor delays are expected.