The Metro subway will not run to and from Washington Redskins football games this season, the Metro board informally decided yesterday.
The board accepted without formal comment the recommendation of Metro general manager Theodore Lutz, who said that service for the Redskins' seven regular-season games at RFK Stadium would incur for Metro a $151.000 loss and that only $63,000 is in the system's contingency fund.
Furthermore, Ltuz said, because the present Metro line ends at the Stadium-Armory station, there is not enough track to back up trains needed for such service. A post-game crowd, Lutz said, would "overwhelm our current capacity."
D.C. City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker supported Lutz's position but said he hoped there would be "flexibility" in the future. "We're trying to get a baseball team," Tucker said, "and one of our selling points is that the subway has 4 million people within 30 minutes of the stadium."
Tucker was referring to the 100-mile subway system that is planned, not the 17 miles now in operation or the 60 miles that has found financing.
"Rather than providing service to limited events and groups," Lutz said in his memo, "it is preferable to focus on extending hours of rail service for the general public." He said extended subway hours would be considered in the budget for the year beginning next July 1. The subway now runs on weekdays only between 6 a.m. and 3ILLEGIBLE p.m.
In other Metro matters yesterday, the board learned that its most recent fare increases has made money but lost riders, that Montgomery County Executive James Gleason's battle with the federal government is slowing subway construction for everybody else and that Metro still is investigating the cause of the monumental subway breakdown that runed Wednesday morning's rush hour.
Another subway breakdown occurred yesterday during the noon hour when a train with locked brakes on the Blue Line refused to pull into the Federal Center SW station for 28 minutes. Disruptions of at least 45 minutes rippled up and down the line before Metro recovered. There were no major incidents during the morning and evening rush hours.
Lutz told the board that a bus ridership survey completed in June - just before the subways Blue Line opened - showed that Metro had lost about 20,000 daily marily to fare increases in the suburbs and the lengthen-riders from a year earlier. He attributed the loss [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of the period of time that higher rush-hour fares are charged.
Because of the higher fares, Lutz said, Metrobus revenues increased during 1977 by 4 per cent.
Lutz also reported that the total bus and subway system now appears to be carrying about 550,000 riders each day. Subway ridership had been climbing above 130,000 a day since July 1 before the big breakdown Wednesday.
Board members were told yesterday that the breakdown was caused by "human error" when train control switches were left in the wrong position at the Rosslyn Station Wednesday morning by crews running tests. A full investigation still is under way, Lutz said.
Board chairman Francis White, a Prince George's County Council member, said that "testing is important out far more important is the timely operation of the system . . . We can lose an awful lot of public good will over incidents such as this."
Lutz and subordinates stressed that there was no safety problem in the Rosslyn situation."Safety is paramount," Lutz said.
Lutz also told the board that although sticking doors continue to plague Metro trains, the major item now halting hervice is a device called a "transducer" in the subway breaking system. Faulty transducers are causing breakes to lock for no reason and are being replaced as quickly as parts become avilable, Lutz said.
The board yesterday tentatively awarded a $60.5 million contract to construct the Tenley Circle and Friendship Heights Metro Stations. However, the contractor cannot begin because funds for the stations are part of the $328 million beng held up by Maryland at Gleason's request. He wants a federal guarantee that the subway line to Wheaton will be built before the funds are released.
Maryland Transportation Secretary Hermann K. Intemann told Gleason he would hold off signing for at least 60 days in hopes the controversy can be resolved. In the meantime, the delay is costing Metro $2 million a month because contracts cannot be awarded, officials estimate.