The early part of this week, with daytime highs above 90 degrees, will stress Metro riders. During my online chat today, a rider complained about conditions at Rosslyn Station.
Rosslyn station air circulation: “I’ve noticed improvements in the air cooling/circulation at Metro Center and elsewhere, but Rosslyn is still stifling, especially in the afternoon. No air circulating at all, not even hot air, except what blows out of the tunnels when the trains arrive. It is undergoing major renovation, but it would be nice if something could be done before the summer is over!”
Dan Stessel has been Metro spokesman for little more than a month, but already he’s used to inquiries about the heat aboard trains and in stations. It just so happened he already had an inquiry about conditions at Rosslyn, so he told me what he’d heard from Metro’s plant maintenance staff:
The air conditioning units at Rosslyn are original equipment and past their useful life. Metro cannot get adequate cooling out of the units. They are scheduled to be replaced this fall, but the staff will try to move up sooner. In the meantime, Metro will use the adjacent tunnel fans to help increase air circulation.
Aging equipment is the story across the transit system. Also, when the temperature is in the mid-90s, the stations and the train cars aren’t going to feel like home or office. But sometimes the equipment breaks down. That was the case a couple of weeks ago when a rider asked about Woodley Park Station. And it’s often the case when riders complain about rail cars.
Riders have been using Twitter to report hot cars, but the most direct and immediate way to make something happen is to tell the train operator via the intercom in the car.