WMATA improving weekday service on Blue, Orange and Silver lines starting Aug. 1

July 29, 2022
The three lines will see weekday service move from 20-minutes intervals to 15 minutes intervals; weekend service is expected to improve to the same intervals in September.

In his first board meeting as general manager and CEO of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Randy Clarke delivered the welcome news that Blue, Orange and Silver lines will return to 15-minute service intervals during weekdays starting Monday, Aug. 1.

Clarke told the board during customer engagement in his first week with the authority frequency was a topic that was brought up the most and one he vowed to be “laser focused” on improving.

“Improving service for customers is how we will restore the confidence of the National Capital Region,” said Clarke. “Restoring [7000 series] service frequency and providing even more improvements is my focus.”

He explained the move to 15-minute service intervals is a big improvement from the 20-minute intervals being run currently, but noted improvements still need to be made. WMATA says most Metrorail stations are served by two or more lines, meaning customers can expect to wait no longer than five to eight minutes between trains.

Improved frequency is expected to extend on the weekends to the Blue, Orange and Silver lines starting in September.

When asked the reasons for the frequency improvement, Clarke reported it was a mix of more equipment availability and consistently returning the eight-car 7000-series trains to service each day. WMATA says most of its 6000-series fleet have had couplers repaired with more of these cars returning to service.

WMATA is also continuing its phased approach to return its 7000-series cars to service. The authority notes the next two phases of the return to service plan depend on when automatic wheel measurements can be incorporated into the inspection process, which must be approved by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. The first automated inspection system was installed in May and is undergoing testing and validation.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.