The federal shutdown: Little impact expected for airports, Metro

September 30, 2013
Circulator buses could appear in new neighborhoods by 2015. (The Washington Post)
The popular Circulator bus service will continue in the event of a federal shutdown. (The Washington Post)

The federal shutdown is not expected to have an immediate impact on service for commuters or airports. If anything roads, trains and buses may be roomier since so much of the federal workforce will not be on the job. However, a lengthy shutdown may result in cutbacks in service as officials adjust to reduced ridership.

Metro

Metro trains and buses will continue to operate on a regular weekday schedule. The system will open and close at regular times. But given that federal workers make up a significant portion of Metro’s weekday ridership, there may be much more room on those trains and buses.

However, Metro officials said that if the shutdown results in significantly lower ridership, they may make service adjustments. That could mean fewer eight-car trains. Riders will be given advanced notice should such changes be made.

MARC

Maryland officials said MARC service will operate on a normal schedule even if there is a government shutdown. However, like Metro, service may be altered if the shutdown remains in place and ridership drops significantly.

Update, 4:45 p.m.

Here’s a breakdown of MARC service for Oct. 1 in the event of a government shutdown:

Penn Line – No Changes

Brunswick Line – Train 875 will be canceled.  A special midday train will operate out of Union Station at 2 p.m. making all stops to Martinsburg.

Camden Line – Train 850 will be canceled.  A special midday train will operate out of Union Station at 2:15 p.m. making all stops to Camden.

VRE

Normal service.

Circulator

Officials with the D.C. Department of Transportation said that Circulator service will operate as normal.

Parking enforcement in the District

Now that D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has declared all D.C. government employees essential, parking enforcement will continue as normal. Parking rules will be enforced in the District since all employees are expected to be on the job. On Friday, city lawyers approved used of a special reserve fund to keep the city operational during a federal shutdown. In a separate move, Mayor Vincent Gray has sought to shield the city’s 32,000 employees by declaring them all “essential.”  If that decision is accepted by President Obama’s budget office, it could mean the reserve fund will not have to be used.

Airports

The shutdown is not expected to have an impact on flight operations. Air traffic controllers will remain on the job, as will Transportation Security Administration officers who screen passengers at airports. Customs and border protection officers will also continue their work.

Amtrak

Amtrak officials said Monday that they will be open for business and issued the following statement: “Amtrak will continue normal operation of its national intercity and high-speed passenger rail network in the event of a short-term federal government shutdown. Passengers planning to travel on Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor and across the country in the coming days and weeks can be assured that Amtrak will remain open for business.”

 This post has been updated. Staff writers Ashley Halsey III, Mark Berman and Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local
Next Story
Robert Thomson · September 30, 2013