A Metro shuttle bus is seen here at the New Carrollton Metro station on May 28. The free service will be provided for riders while platform work is conducted there and at four other Orange Line stations. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
A Metro shuttle bus is seen here at the New Carrollton Metro station on May 28. The free service will be provided for riders while platform work is conducted there and at four other Orange Line stations. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Tijan Glover’s shift at 4:30 a.m. as a barista at Starbucks often provides him a less crowded ride on Metro’s Orange Line train in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

However, the 22-year-old college student of Lanham will join other commuters forced to use alternate routes because three Metrorail stations in Prince George’s and two in D.C. will be closed through Sept. 5 as workers conduct renovations along and near station platforms.

Metrorail service stopped Saturday, May 28 at New Carrollton, Landover and Cheverly in Prince George’s and Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue in the District.

“I don’t have many problems when going on the train. It has a homey feel to it,” said Glover, who will divert his “train riding” on the Green Line starting at the Greenbelt station. “[Metro] should’ve done this during quarantine when no one was riding. During the summer, a lot more people are going to be moving around.”

Fortunately, commuters can park for free at those stations and receive free shuttle bus service between New Carrollton and Stadium-Armory in southeast D.C.

No Metrorail Service will be offered on Saturday and Sunday on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines between Benning Road and Stadium-Armory.

All commuters can ride on shuttle buses and travel on those lines west of Stadium-Armory.

The transit agency, formerly called the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), marks this work as the final phase of its platform improvement plan.

Metro identified 20 stations in need of repair such as Addison Road-Seat Pleasant that reopened after three months of work in May 2021 with brighter LED lights, slip resistant tiles, large digital screens to provide real-time travel information and outlets to charge cell phones and other devices.

“It would be a worthy project [for people] to charge cell phones…while waiting to ride the train,” said Andres Urbina, 34, who has special needs and commutes from the New Carrollton station to his job as an usher/ticket taker at the Warner Theater in Northwest.

While recovering last week after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Urbina said he may have to spend money on the Lyft driving service “which could be pretty expensive for me.” He works two to three days a week.

“Closing the Metro stations will not only affect me, but everyone else who has to work, especially on weekends,” he said.

Meanwhile, Metro officials will have other station maintenance, elevator and escalator work to correct based on a safety audit released by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.

The audit highlights water problems throughout various stations in the D.C. region.

For instance, auditors observed water seeping in escalator and elevator areas at Pentagon City in Northern Virginia that services the Blue and Yellow lines. Although Metro issued work orders to temporarily remove water, it didn’t have a “long-term fix to address the cause of the water intrusion.”

At the Glenmont station in Montgomery County, which runs on the Red Line, a bucket caught water possibly dripping from a system in the elevator machine room. 

The transit agency provided the commission a list of 11 stations with known water problems: Tenleytown-AU, Woodley Park, Stadium-Armory, McPherson Square, Anacostia, Shaw-Howard U and Georgia Ave-Petworth in D.C.; Medical Center, Bethesda and Forest Glen in Montgomery County, Maryland; and Largo Town Center in Prince George’s County.

One of the nine corrective measures required by Metro to complete under its Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP): “develop and implement a comprehensive water intrusion and remediation program for stations, elevators and escalators that identifies and mitigates hazards and evaluates those mitigations.”

The commission did note WMATA has some “positive practices” such as the Metrorail Elevator and Escalator apprenticeship program providing a pipeline for future journeymen, implementation of a structural inspection manual and long-term funding plans to replace and refurbish escalators and elevators.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.