White House Receives Petition to Block Transit Cuts

Posted: Jul 06, 2014 9:17 AM

On July 26, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is due to open the long-delayed Silver Line, which extends metro train service from DC to Reston, Va. As a result of this new (and controversial) line, service on the Blue Line will be reduced from seven trains an hour to only five--one train every 12 minutes. Dissatisfied Blue Line riders, having dealt with numerous fare increases and service cuts, have launched a petition urging the White House to do something to prevent this service cut.

"Thousands of riders take the Blue Line to and from work every day, but Metro is cutting their service to have just one train every 12 minutes," the petition reads. "This will cause a major inconvenience for the many people who rely on the Metro for their daily commute, while only providing minimal additional benefits to other riders in the system.

"After this change the Blue Line will be the only line in the DC Metro system without enhanced rush hour service," the petition continued. "We request that Metro respect the needs of the many Blue Line riders and stop the planned service cuts."

The Silver Line was built with $900 million from the federal government, in addition to money from other sources. It was scheduled to open in late 2013, but has experienced numerous delays.

A twitter account called @SaveTheBlueLine was launched recently to highlight the disparity between WMATA's treatment of the other five metro lines compared to the blue line. Blue Line riders will also have to pay "peak fare" prices during rush hour, despite no actual increase in service.

As someone who commutes using the Blue Line, I'm not thrilled about the planned service cuts. While I'll admit it's unlikely the White House will step in, it would be nice for something to be done to make my daily commute less of a hassle.