The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is planning to introduce on Sunday, August 16 more buses, more trains, and more hours of service that were canceled due to low ridership during the coronavirus pandemic.
Metrorail will add 15 hours more service per week, with opening times returning to normal and the system closing two hours later each night in anticipation of potential increases in ridership after Labor Day, according to a press release issued by WMATA.
Metrobus will offer more buses, running more frequent service beginning Sunday, August 23 restoring approximately 75 percent of pre-pandemic service. Weekday service will improve on 174 routes with most routes operating close to normal. Buses will operate until midnight, an additional hour.
“In an effort to provide additional transportation options for late-night workers, Metro is increasing the subsidy from $3 to $6 for on-demand transportation service after hours,” added the statement. “The program, known as the After-Hours Commuter Service, gives qualified workers a subsidy toward a shared ride on Lyft for trips between their home and workplace between midnight and 4 am. Eligible workers may apply online at wmata.com/afterhours.”
Six Fairfax County stations on the Orange and Silver lines that had been closed since late May will be reopened August 16.
“The increased service will allow Metro to provide greater transit options for the region, while still maintaining stepped up Covid-19 cleaning protocols. Trains, buses and stations are cleaned daily, high-touch surfaces wiped down and disinfected, and routine deep-cleaning at stations,” the agency said.
Riders are still required to wear masks or face coverings when traveling on Metro, including at stations, on trains and buses.
Changes to Metrorail services will be as follows starting August 16:
- Metrorail will open at 5 am weekdays, 7 am on Saturdays and 8 am on Sundays and close daily at 11 pm.
- Weekdays Red Line trains will operate every five minutes during peak periods and 12 minutes off-peak; all others lines every eight minutes during peak periods and 15 minutes off-peak.
- On weekends Red Line trains will operate every 12 minutes; all other lines every 15 minutes.
- Six stations west of Ballston re-open – McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East and West Falls Church.
- Arlington Cemetery Station remains closed as Arlington National Cemetery is currently closed to the general public.
Changes to Metrobus services will be as follows starting August 23:
- Metrobus service will operate beginning at 5 am on weekdays; 7 am on Saturdays and 8 am on Sundays and end at midnight daily.
- Weekday bus service will be available on 174 routes with most operating close to normal.
- Weekend bus service will be available on 109 routes on Saturday and 99 routes on Sunday.
- Rear-door boarding remains in effect and fares temporarily waived.