Updated at 9:40 a.m.
Metro said its ridership was down 57 percent Friday morning at 9 a.m., compared with the same time a week ago.
With the federal government closed and most of the major school districts also shut down because of high winds in the region, the lower ridership levels were similar to what Metro would see in a snowstorm, agency spokesman Dan Stessel said.
On all Metrorail lines, trains are running at slower speeds above ground so trains can stop in time if there is something on the tracks, such as debris, a downed tree limb or power lines, Stessel said.
Trains are running less frequently than usual, coming about every 12 minutes instead of every eight minutes in the morning rush hour, officials said.
Once the winds die down and the risk of downed trees and debris is lessened, trains will be able to return to normal speed at aboveground stations, Stessel said.
Some Metro bus and regional bus services have been delayed in the region because of downed trees or wires on side streets.
MetroAccess, which gives rides to customers with special needs, has asked its passengers to cancel any trips that are not essential, given the weather.
Stessel said he expects rail, bus and MetroAccess services to be back to normal Saturday, as long as conditions are not as windy.
Original post at 6 a.m.
Metro riders faced delays Friday morning on all rail lines, and trains operated at slower speeds above ground because of the weather.
High winds led to troubles on rail services in the region.
On Metro, a downed tree outside the Hyattsville station caused delays on the Green Line. No one was hurt. Trains had to share a track for a bit between the Prince George’s Plaza and Fort Totten stations.
On Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines, there was a power problem at the King Street station that caused some delays.
Metro officials said ridership was lighter than normal in the morning rush hour.
Because of the high winds, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and MARC canceled train services for the day. On Amtrak, there were some delays reported along the Northeast Corridor.
VRE said it canceled its trains out of “an abundance of caution due to the severe winds.” And MARC said in a Twitter message that “trees [were] already falling on tracks and signal problems [were] occurring.”
It continued, “Safety is our first priority.”
There were several crashes on roadways but no large traffic problems on major highways.
Many schools, including those in Fairfax and Montgomery counties, are closed Friday because of the weather. Public schools in the District were already closed for parent-teacher conferences. But later in the morning, officials told teachers not to report to school and canceled the meetings.
The storm is expected to bring snow, coastal flooding and high winds along the Northeast coast, according to The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.
More than 100,000 customers are without power in the D.C. region.