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Commuters saw significant delays and packed trains this morning. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced with hours’ notice last night it would remove all of its 7000 series rail cars from service today. That’s 60 percent of its fleet. Only about 40 trains will operate in the entire Metro system. Metro said this “basic service pattern” will have a projected wait time of 30 minutes between trains. Oof.
The move is part of an investigation after a Blue Line train derailed last Tuesday near Arlington Cemetery. There were no injuries, but the train was evacuated, and 200 people walked through the tunnel after the derailment to get to an exit. The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission said one of the cars had an “out of compliance axle” defect that was discovered in other 7000-series cars, according to NBC4. The National Transportation Safety Board says Metro notified them of issues related to 7000 series trains dating back to 2017 with 39 incidents in 2021, Adam Tuss reported.
What does the train disruption look like for commuters? Multiple reports say Metro trains were stuffed this morning. One person on Twitter took a picture of what they say was a Red Line train. Commuters are definitely not social distancing as they are forced to squeeze in together like it’s pre-COVID.
Metro plans to updates on whether these investigations will keep the fleet out of circulation beyond today. Here are some other headlines from your weekend.
STAY DC GETS DEADLINE
If you’re considering applying for the city’s STAY DC program, your deadline is no longer open ended. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office announced the federally funded program would stop accepting applications for rental assistance on October 27th. The program has only $11 million left to assist District residents who are behind on or can’t pay future rent and/or utilities.
Groups like Empower DC say more money and housing voucher programs are needed to protect the District’s low income residents. In her announcement, Bowser called on the U.S. Treasury to reallocate unused money to D.C. to provide more residents with rental assistance.
STAY DC has given over 23,000 residents $155 million in rental and utility assistance since April 12. Another $105 million worth of applications are pending.
A video has gone viral of President Joe Biden maskless while walking inside Georgetown restaurant Fiola Mare—violating D.C.’s mask mandate. Many conservative pundits and publications have been quick to blast President Biden but here’s a friendly reminder that former President Trump rarely wore a mask when required—often undermining his own experts when they encouraged them throughout the pandemic.
—Bailey Vogt (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus dashboard.
- The city plans to spend nearly $40 million to hire more substitute teachers, contact tracers, and workers who can help with COVID logistics in schools. [Post]
- 200,000: the number of origami boxes put on display on the National Mall this weekend, representing the number of gun violence-related deaths across the U.S. in the last three years. [WTOP]
- Two runways at Reagan National Airport reopened after closing down Saturday due to a landing plane blowing its tires. [WUSA9]
- Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White officially launches mayoral campaign at Oxon Run Park. [Twitter]
- As the D.C. Council is shifting left, the upcoming election cycle featuring a mayoral contest is pivotal, Colby King writes. [Post]
- Fundraising for Virginia’s governor’s race outpaces the past five election cycles. [WTOP]
By Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
To get to The Cocktail Club inside Park View’s Hook Hall, there’s no need to […]
By Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Laurie Anderson’s best-known song may be her unlikely hit “O Superman.” Released in 1981, it […]
JusticeAid sees Mavis Staples and Amy Helm as natural coheadliners for the nonprofit’s latest initiative: […]
- Meet Buck Downs, who’s literally been distributing poems via stickers in public places in Capitol Hill. [TheClick]
- And here’s a list of spooky season movies that have local flair. (Yes, The Exorcist is on the list.) [Washingtonian]
By Emma Sarappo
Today is my last day at WCP. It’s been a fantastic couple of years covering the city’s arts scene. In the future, send tips to Sarah Marloff (email@example.com.)
- Amid a tumultuous season, the Washington Spirit has officially clinched a spot in the playoffs. [Twitter]
- The Washington Football Team falls to 2-4 after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-13. “There’s no panic,” quarterback Taylor Heinicke said after the game. “A lot of guys are pissed off, rightfully so.” [Hogs Haven]
- Minor League Baseball players have long lived below minimum wage. After outside pressure to improve players’ living situations in recent years, MLB announced Sunday that it will require teams to provide housing to minor league players beginning in 2022. [ESPN]
- The Wizards have claimed guard Joel Ayayi off waivers. He will join the team as a two-way player. [NBA.com]
By Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)