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Shuttles move Metro passengers smoothly around closed stations

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Photo - Chinatown Metro station. Washington D.C., Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
Chinatown Metro station. Washington D.C., Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
Local,Kate Jacobson,Metro and Traffic

Despite major trackwork occurring on the Orange and Blue lines this weekend, operations Saturday went fairly smoothly for Metro riders and staff.

Orange and Blue line riders had to take shuttles between the Stadium-Armory and Chevelry stations and between the Stadium-Armory and Benning Road stations and Metro officials said riders should anticipate a 15 minute add-on to their normal travel time. Buses were moving systematically out of the stations Saturday with the times between stops ranging from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, especially in the mid-afternoon as traffic got heavier.

At the Stadium-Armory stop, shuttles coming DC-bound and outbound toward Virginia were waiting for riders, with as many as two buses at a time available for riders to hop on. The two stations that were closed, Minnesota Ave and Deanwood stations on the Orange line, also had buses waiting for passengers.

There were personnel and signage alerting passengers that shuttles were available and their destinations.

In December 2011, some speculated a 6.4 percent decline in weekend ridership between July and November of that year was partially due to increased track work.

One Metro employee who was driving a shuttle disagreed, saying that while it was adding some extra time for riders, he didn't notice fewer people coming in and out of the metro stops.

He also said things were going smoothly, and that employees were making sure riders were not confused about which shuttle to get onto or where they needed to disembark.

One rider, Emily Harris, of the District, said she was slightly annoyed by the continual track work being done. She said it was even more frustrating earlier this year when other stops along the Blue and Orange lines -- such as Capitol South and Eastern Market -- were shut down.

"It's not great," she said of the trackwork and the shuttles. "But the work needs to be done and they tell you ahead of time, so it's not like you're surprised by it."

Trackwork on the Orange Line between Stadium-Armory and Chevelry will continue, and the Minnesota Ave and Deanwood stations will remaine closed, through Sunday. Work on the Blue Line between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road, will also continue until closing on Sunday.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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