Don’t like service on Metrorail lately? This will not come as good news, then. The Examiner reports that with great maintenance comes longer waits:

Trains also will be forced to share a single track on many weekends and weeknights. Together that means riders will have extralong waits on platforms and shuttle bus trips around shuttered stations.

Riders may especially wince when Metro rolls out its budget proposal later this month: General Manager Richard Sarles plans to seek a fare increase to pay rising costs.

The agency says the track work is necessary to restore the system’s aging tracks and systems — intentional delays in the short term to prevent unintentional delays in the long term when the tracks break down.

For longer commutes, Metrorail is probably still the best option, but for folks traveling shorter distances, buses are a pretty quick and relatively painless way of traveling the city (during peak hours, at least). The biggest downside for new residents may be the learning curve. When I first moved back to D.C., I only took Metrorail because it was easier to figure out than learning bus lines. But according to WMATA’s helpful (and privacy stealing) Smartrip card tracker, in the last three months I’ve only used the rail system twice to supplement dozens of bus trips. I wonder if people who just need to get around town more quickly than Metrorail allows have helped account for the small increase in Metrobus ridership.

Photo by isuperwang via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic License 2.0

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