Metro is changing the paths of 49 bus routes and the timetables for 150 bus routes Sunday, but new schedules not available for riders anywhere in the system yesterday.
Not one new schedule was found during a spot check with seven bus routes and three Metro subway station information kiosks in different parts of the metropolitan area. This despite the fact the routes are changing Sunday in conjunction with expanded weeknight and Saturday subway service, which begins Monday.
Nichols Roll, Metro's assistant general manager for transit services, said late yesterday that the lack of information "has been corrected." That means, he said, that by Friday afternoon, all bus drivers will have the new schedules and they will be available at appropriate subway station kiosks.
Roll said that, in his opinion, such information should be available within 30 days of the changes. An inability to impart important information on a timely basis has been a recurring complaint against Metro by its users.
The delay this time, according to various mid-level Metro employes, was somewhere in the printing operation. Metro does its own printing.
The last of the new schedules left the schedule department Sept. 12 and made its way to Metro's marketing division. Marketing sends the schedules to the printer, recovers them and sends themt o the various bus and subway divisions for further distribution.
"We just didn't get them back in time," one marketing official said.
Roll, whose other problems yesterday included a 30-minute breakdown on the subway during the morning rush hour and 42 inoperative Farecard vending machines when the subway opened, said: "This is the last time we will not get these schedules out earlier."