Passengers reported delays of up to 40 minutes on Metro's Orange and Blue lines during yesterday evening's rush hour after an unidentified woman was struck and killed by a train at the Foggy Bottom station.

Metro officials said it was not clear whether the woman fell or jumped into the path of the eastbound Orange Line train about 5:30 p.m. The woman was identified as Joyce M. Bennett, 41, of the 2200 block of Sudbury Road NW.

Thousands of commuters were held up. Though Metro officials originally said riders were waiting six to eight minutes between trains -- compared with the usual three-minute wait during rush hour -- passengers reported delays of at least 15 minutes, and in some cases up to 40 minutes.

The eastbound track was shut down until 7:16 p.m. Eastbound and westbound trains were routed through the station over the westbound track, officials said.

The station remained open, although the eastbound side of the platform was roped off by police.

Some passengers complained about what they said was Metro's failure to delay express buses departing for the Washington suburbs.

Metro policy says the buses will be held up for the arrival of delayed passengers when subway service is disrupted. "We're supposed to do that," said spokeswoman Beverly Silverberg. But riders who reached the Pentagon -- a major departure point for the express buses -- early yesterday evening said the buses were long gone.

Silverberg acknowledged that some commuters may have been delayed as long as 40 minutes.

"I realize hundreds, maybe thousands, were delayed," she said. "We really regret the fact that those people were delayed, but I think they have to understand a human life was at stake here."