[This post has been updated]
Metro’s board is expected to vote Thursday during a customer service committee meeting on implementing service changes to the Blue and Yellow lines to address overcrowding on the Orange Line and to make way for new service on the Dulles rail line, which is under construction.
Metro chief spokesman Dan Stessel said the “busiest place anywhere on our system during peak periods” is on the Orange Line between the Courthouse and Rosslyn stations. In that segment, there are roughly 106 passengers per car, he said.
During rush hour, the Orange Line is often called the “Orange Crush” at those busy points, Stessel said.
It gets even worse when there is a train malfunction or an accident occurs during rush hour, such as when a man was truck by a train Tuesday afternoon.
Currently, 26 trains per hour travel through the Rosslyn tunnel at rush hour in each direction, Metro said.
To try to offset the crowding on the Orange Line and to make way for the trains on the Dulles line, some of the trains on the Blue Line will be re-routed over the Yellow Line bridge, according to Stessel. Metro will add six trains per hour — three in each direction — on the Orange Line between West Falls Church and Largo Town Center.
Stessel said the changes are expected to benefit more than 108,000 customers but will be a negative for 16,000 customers who connect in Rosslyn and head west. They will have to wait six minutes more for a Blue Line train.
The change will make more than 2,600 additional seats available each hour in the peak service times on the Orange Line, Stessel said. He said it will also give customers at the Pentagon station and those south “faster service to downtown.”
Metro’s iconic map is being redesigned and depict the new Blue/Yellow service changes. These new service changes will be shown with dashes on the new map.
For the first time in more than 30 years, the agency is redesigning its iconic map. More than 17,000 people participated in an online survey for feedback of the map that is being developed by Lance Wyman of New York.
To show the Blue/Yellow rush-hour service, the survey results showed customers preferred dash lines at the end of lines. Customers also favored calling the new Dulles line the Silver Line.
Metro expects to replace over 2,600 signs at stations, platforms and on pylons. About 5,000 new maps will be printed and installed in stations and trains. Over 1,200 fare charts at station kiosks will also be redone. The new maps are expected to be implemented in June.
Implementing the changes to the map and Blue/Yellow lines is expected to cost roughly $3.1 million, including starting up the new service Blue/Yellow changes, printing new signs, maps and fare charts, plus marketing efforts to customers.
As Metro is redoing its map, it has also considered changing some station names. It implemented a new policy to keep names short and simple with a recognizable name on the first line and a longer one on the second line.
The board is expected to vote on changing station names.
Among the changes to station names are Old Town will be added as the secondary name on the King Street stop.
The Navy Yard stop will have Ballpark added to its name and the universal symbol for hospitals, the letter H, will be added to the Forest Glen stop, near Holy Cross Hospital. The symbol will also be added for the Medical Center, Foggy Bottom and Shaw stations.
The jurisdictions have to pay for the changes to the station names.
Other changes to station names include the following. The first part will be known as the primary name, the part after the slash will be the second line, or secondary name.
• King Street/Old Town.
• Forest Glen-H (the universal symbol for hospitals.)
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