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Metro may not cut price of SmarTrip cards

A SmarTrip card.
A SmarTrip card.

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Metro has not yet released the report, which focuses on four stations - Woodley Park, Dupont Circle, Bethesda and Foggy Bottom - saying that it is still in draft form. Officials said it would be released in about a month.

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According to a staff presentation, the assessment found that Metro was not following its own maintenance standards and identified immediate problems, including failure to clean escalator switches, debris and water in and around the conveyances and a shortage of supervisors.

"We have to have a more hands-on approach where supervisors are not managing from an office and are actually out in the field," Kubicek said. He said that several supervisors have retired or stepped down but that replacements are being interviewed. Also, he said, Metro recently added 11 new mechanics.

Other actions to address the findings include hiring a contractor to clean escalator pits; devising a plan to remove water; adding training on maintenance standards; and carrying out escalator replacements at Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle, where an escalator breakdown this summer left crowds of riders struggling to climb out of the station.

"What happened in Dupont Circle this summer was absolutely scandalous," Graham said. "We kept loading trains into stations where there was almost no way to get out unless you were an athlete."

The board's finance committee also moved forward with a $272 million plan to overhaul the Orange and Blue lines over six years. The full board is set to vote on the proposal Oct. 28.

If approved, the project would start late next year and would involve 23 stations and 27 miles of track, including:

l Rehabilitation of the lines between Reagan National Airport and New Carrollton.

l Rehab of 100 escalators and replacement of three.

l Rehab of 22 elevators.

lReconstruction of platforms at Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue.

l Renovation of restrooms in 18 stations.

l Repair of 83,700 feet of concrete tunnels.

l Replacement and upgrades of electronic equipment, track circuits, emergency telephone systems, ventilation systems and other equipment.

A $177 million rehabilitation project on the Red Line is underway.


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