Legions of congressional aides get to and from Capitol Hill via Metro every workday, including during the Pandemic, so the prospect of multiple stations being closed and thousands of employees being let go could signal a major headache ahead.
With a $500 million operating deficit, Metro officials are considering closing 19 stations, but it is not known if the Capitol South station would be among those shuttered. That station is used daily by many Hill aides working on the House side, as well as by people visiting the Hill
As many as half of all the pre-Pandemic trips would be eliminated, weekend service would end, and wait times would be extended. Other measures may also be required in the absence of congressional action to prop up the system, according to Metro officials.
Metro’s problems are partially a result of the Pandemic dramatically slashing ridership since March, but other long-standing problems are also involved, including the regional government funding system on which it depends. Other public transportation systems across the country face similar obstacles.
“When I talk to my peers, we’re all facing these almost terrible decisions together,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told The Washington Post. “It’s like, how do we do this? It gets down, unfortunately, to very hard math that you just can’t get there from here without having significant impacts.”