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Are you like me, stuck in your office despite the fact that today is a federal holiday and has really nice weather besides? If so, you may have experienced Veterans Day Metro service, in which Metro takes advantage of a sort-of day off to run trains at a reduced weekend rate.

Running on a weekend schedule is one thing, but the transit agency is also doing track work today on the Red, Orange, and Green lines. Metro also shut down the Ballston and Virginia Square stations entirely, forcing commuters from west of East Falls Church to take 45 minute shuttle rides. Given that many people are still going to work, did Metro really have to further delay their trips?

Yes, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. The agency needed to replace a switch outside Ballston, in what would be a three-day long process. “In all, these projects take between 72-75 hours, which is why we can only do them over three-day weekends,” Stessel writes in an email.

If Metro didn’t do the work today, the maintenance would have had to wait until Presidents’ Day in February, Stessel says.

Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid/Creative Commons Attribution License