This is something we want to keep an eye on.
WMATA projects that its future operating costs will outpace revenues. (No news there.) To close the gap, WMATA is considering a variety of options, including closing White Flint station during off-peak hours, decreasing how often trains run, and cutting some bus routes.
According to WMATA’s FY2018 Operating Budget Prep Session, “rail service reductions would allow for a matching of service to current levels of demand or to realities of ongoing maintenance. Metro’s current service standards call for maximum headways of six minutes during the peak at all stations except Arlington Cemetery. By providing six-minute service at terminal stations such as Vienna and Glenmont, riders at most closer-in stations see a train every three minutes (e.g., on the Orange/Silver Lines east of West Falls Church, or on the Red Line between Silver Spring and Grosvenor). Given current lower levels of demand, Metro could increase maximum headways from six to eight minutes, so that riders at the closer-in stations would instead have service every four minutes. In the off-peak (particularly on weekends), Metro is not achieving scheduled service levels due to interruptions for maintenance requirements. Weekend schedules could be officially modified to account for this work and better align scheduled service and associated staffing levels to the service actually provided. Metro could also consider offpeak (midday, evening, weekend) closures of stations with low ridership.
Read more on Greater Greater Washington blog from yesterday.