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The Prince George’s County Council, during session on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, voted to authorize the Chair’s signature on a Joint Letter with County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, in support of maintaining the current Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) service hours of operation, which reflect reduced late-night train service and additional bus service to allow for long-term preventative maintenance of the Metrorail system.
Addressed to WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, the Joint Letter notes the impending decision related to service hours and ongoing preventative work. The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday, February 28th at 10 a.m., and a vote on the Metrorail Span of Service and Supplemental Bus Service Hours, restoring late-night Metro service, is on the agenda.
Council Chair Todd M. Turner says the safety and reliability of Metro is the Council’s primary focus.
“The Council shares the County Executive’s concern that a restoration of late-night Metro service could result in less hours for inspection and preventative maintenance, placing riders at risk. The safety and reliability of Metro, a primary mode of transportation for an increasingly large number of Prince George’s County residents, is our primary focus and we are hopeful for a decision that places the well-being of riders at the forefront.”
“Returning to an expanded schedule that would reduce needed time to perform preventative system maintenance would undermine the safety enhancements we have seen over the last few years, putting Metro riders in Prince George’s County and across our region at risk,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “The safety of all those who use and operate this valuable transportation resource across our region is of utmost importance to us and we hope WMATA will make a decision that ensures we build on the safety improvements we have achieved since moving to the current schedule.”
The letter states, in part, “We share the concerns expressed by our colleagues at the Washington Suburban Transit Commission (“WSTC”) and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s (“NVTC”) WMATA Committee that any reduction of inspection and maintenance time could impact the momentum achieved through the Safetrack and Back2Good programs implemented in response to system safety concerns.”