Frustrated commuters find other ways to travel during Metrorail daylong shutdown

- Commuters all around the DMV had to find alternate ways to get to and from work during Wednesday’s Metrorail daylong shutdown.

To help alleviate traffic in the District, officers are directing traffic at major intersections during the evening rush. Officials say red-light camera enforcement has also been suspended at intersections where the officers are located.

In Maryland, HOV lane restrictions were lifted Wednesday afternoon along eastbound US 50 between I-95 and US 301 in Bowie and on northbound I-270 between I-495 and MD 121. Normal HOV restrictions will resume at 5 a.m. Thursday. While in Virginia, HOV restrictions on I-66 to I-395 were also lifted for the evening rush hour commute.

Trips to work, which normally involve a quick ride on a Metro train, were replaced with bus rides -- some of which took hours for riders. Congestion was heavy at bus stops and on roads as commuters looked for ways around the closure.

FOX 5’s Bob Barnard spoke with a woman who was riding a bus near Suitland, Md.

"It usually takes me about 20 minutes (to get to work) and now it has taken me two hours," said Phyllis, a rider who usually rides the rails. "I believe they should have waited until Saturday -- not the middle of the week -- I just think that’s ridiculous, it’s not fair."

Despite Tuesday's announcement of the closure, not all riders had gotten the message that the system would close. At Metro's Rosslyn station in Virginia, just over the Potomac River from Washington, Derya Demirci, 27, looked disbelievingly at a sign announcing the shutdown. She had hoped to take her normal train to her childcare job.

"I don't know what to do," she said.

She settled on taking a picture of the sign ("Your safety is our highest priority," it read in part) and asked her husband to drive her to work.

The nation's second-busiest transit system was shut down at midnight Tuesday for a system-wide safety inspection of its third-rail power cables, prompted by a series of electrical fires. It will reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday unless inspectors find an immediate threat to passenger safety, which the system's general manager said was unlikely.

Here are some alternate ways you can use to plan your trip during Wednesday’s commute: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/108105753-story

FOX 5’s Bob Barnard caught up with D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans about the Metro situation on Wednesday morning. Evans told us that he hasn't gotten any reports yet about how the Metrorail situation is going, but he hopes they don't have too many issues.

He does believe that the commute went better than expected on Wednesday morning. He hopes things get back to normal starting Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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