The Latest on the decision to shut down the entire DC subway for a full day to allow inspections (all times local):
Metro’s closure Wednesday will have a sliver of a silver lining.
The DC Department of Public Works said Tuesday it will ease off on street sweeping violations during the Metro shutdown with the expectation that more parking spaces will be needed for commuters driving to work. That also means residential street sweeping will be suspended on Wednesday.
The DPW stresses, however, that violations such as an expired parking meter and parking in a crosswalk will be enforced.
Normal parking enforcement and street sweeping will resume on Thursday.
An advocacy group says it’s hopeful Metro’s closure on Wednesday will encourage elected officials to support more public funding for mass transit system maintenance.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth said in a news release Tuesday that the decision to darken Metro for a full day is the result of maintenance underfunding through the years. It credited Metro leadership for taking the “tough and bold steps” to shut the system down for an inspection.
The coalition says its mission is to promote pedestrian- and transit-friendly communities. It urged Washingtonians and commuters to turn to buses, carpools, walking and biking while Metro is out of commission.
With the district’s commuter rail system out of service until Thursday, federal workers are being told they can take an unscheduled leave or telework on Wednesday.
The announcement was made Tuesday by the Office of Personnel Management.
Spokesman Samuel Schumach says those two options are intended to help ease commuting problems related to Metro’s closure.
Washington’s public schools will remain open Wednesday, despite Metro’s shuttering for an inspection.
In a statement, District of Columbia Public Schools said it is working with Metro to add additional bus service.
Because of the mass-transit shutdown, school division spokeswoman Michelle Lerner said students who are late or absent will be excused because of the difficulty some parents will face getting their children to class.
Lerner said the D.C. schools have 48,589 students. Public charter school students push the district’s total attend to more than 87,000.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has not yet made an announcement about whether it will close federal government offices.
Commuters are dreading a day without their Metro.
Justice Department intern Atlee Ahern says the system is used by virtually everyone to get to their jobs. When Metro is shut down, she said the whole city shuts down.
Ahern rides Metro from her home in Bethesda, Maryland. She said she did not see how it would be possible for her to get to the office. She was hoping the federal government would grant unscheduled leave or telework, as two congressmen have suggested.
Metro’s closure is likely to be a boon for taxi and ridesharing companies.
Roy Spooner is general manager of Yellow Cab of D.C. He said he’s calling in extra staff to help take phone calls and sent word to his drivers to get ready for Wednesday.
The head of the rail system that serves the nation’s capital and its Virginia and Maryland suburbs says the system will shut down for a full day after a fire near one of the system’s tunnels.
Metro head Paul J. Wiedefeld said the system would be shut down all of Wednesday. He made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the agency’s headquarters.
The shutdown comes after a fire broke out Monday about 4:30 a.m. in the tunnel outside the McPherson Square station in downtown Washington. The fire led to delays on the orange, blue and silver lines, which go through the station.
An official briefed on the decision says the entire Washington, D.C., subway system will shut down for at least 29 hours to inspect electrical components on the tracks.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the information ahead of a planned news conference at 4:30 p.m.
The official says the Metro subway system will shut down at midnight Tuesday and remain closed until at least 5 a.m. Thursday, which is the regularly scheduled opening time.
A fire on the tracks led to major delays throughout the system on Monday. The fire was caused by the same kind of electrical component that malfunctioned last year, causing a train to fill with smoke inside a downtown Washington tunnel.
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