WASHINGTON - Metro announced that the entire Washington Metrorail system will close every single day of the week at midnight starting on June 3 in order to start their "SafeTrack" maintenance repair program to address the safety problems that have been occurring on the tracks in the transit system.
"By closing the system at midnight every night and expanding weekday maintenance opportunities, the SafeTrack plan addresses FTA and NTSB safety recommendations, accelerates work to eliminate maintenance backlogs and restores Metro infrastructure to good health," Metro stated in a press release.
"It's a tough one and I recognize that, but we need track time," said Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans. "There are no ifs, ands or buts. Metro is a flawed system with two tracks. We were getting 19 hours a week of repair and that just doesn't work."
While Metro already closes at midnight from Sunday through Thursday, the new closing time will affect passengers on Friday and Saturday nights, as Metro stations close at 3 a.m. The last night Metro will close at 3 a.m. will be on Saturday, May 28.
Earlier this week, officials at the Federal Transit Administration urged Metro to "take immediate action" on several problem areas along the Orange, Blue, Silver and Red lines before beginning the "SafeTrack" program. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx threatened to shut down the subway system if Metro officials did not follow their safety directives.