A Metro escalator
Credit: Darrow Montgomery/File

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Metro’s been trying to get “Back2Good” since 2016, but if this weekend’s challenges are any indication, the region’s transit system still has far to go. From electrical failures to studied drops in ridership, Metro’s getting close to running on empty.

Power Plays

The weekend hadn’t even begun when Metro reported a significant issue on the Green Line. Service was initially suspended at Southern Avenue around 3 p.m., when a power problem was reported in the area, and the suspension eventually extended from Navy Yard to Branch Avenue. Full service resumed around 5 p.m. The cause? An individual who tampered with the line’s electrical sources and was subsequently arrested. How the individual was able to access the electrical system remains under investigation, according to Metro.

Elsewhere in the system, Red Line trains bypassed Tenleytown-AU station for more than an hour on Saturday afternoon because all the escalators in the station were out of service. 

Where Have All the Riders Gone?

A survey the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments conducted shows just how starkly Metro ridership has dropped in the past three years. Twenty-four percent of commuter trips involved public transit in 2019; this year, that number is down to 8 percent. The rise in telework, due in large part to the pandemic, has caused a significant decrease in commutes overall and transit trips specifically. Even those residents living in the District, Alexandria, and Arlington, who are more likely to commute via public transportation, used transit less frequently and weren’t satisfied with the trips they did take. According to the MWCG report, “46% of Metrorail riders and 44% of bus commuters reported being satisfied with their commute, compared with about half of carpoolers/vanpoolers (52%) and drive alone commuters (51%).”

Stop Trying to Make North Bethesda Happen

Effective Sunday, Metro formally changed the names of five stations. Some changes are slight (West Falls Church-VT/UVA is now just West Falls Church-VT), while others are more significant (White Flint is now North Bethesda, breaking the hearts of millennials and Gen Xers who grew up in Montgomery County). Expect it to take a while for the new names to stick. As of Monday morning, Google Maps was still using the old names. See the full list of name changes below:

  • White Flint will become North Bethesda
  • Largo Town Center will become Downtown Largo
  • Tysons Corner will become Tysons
  • Prince George’s Plaza will become Hyattsville Crossing
  • West Falls Church secondary name VT/UVA will become VT only.

Caroline Jones (tips? cjones@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • The mother of Kaidyn Green, the 9-year-old who was struck by a car outside KIPP DC Honor Academy and subsequently died, is suing the school and the firm it contracted to do security. Her suit alleges that the school and security personnel did not follow parent pick-up procedures, prompting Kaidyn to cross the street alone. [DCist, Post
  • If you’re leaving the house this afternoon, pack an umbrella, or better yet, don’t go out at all. A flash flood watch is in effect for most of the metro area from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. [NBC Washington]
  • The Potomac River is getting a new tunnel—for sewage, not for cars. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • D.C. has made only “minimal progress” in reforming its 911 call center in the wake of a series of mishandled emergency calls, according to a new report from D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson. The interim head of the Office of Unified Communications, Karima Holmes, says she hasn’t had enough time to implement many of these proposed changes since rejoining the office in March. But many advocates are skeptical, considering these problems cropped up in her first stint running the agency from 2015 to 2021. [DCist, Post]
  • Both sides in the battle over the tipped minimum wage ballot measure are ramping up for a six-week sprint to the November election. Some in the restaurant industry have rushed to fight Initiative 82 with the same intensity as they did Initiative 77, but others haven’t taken up the cause amid the pandemic. [Post]
  • A decades-long class action lawsuit against the D.C. government over the condition of its foster care system is officially over. Mayor Muriel Bowser called it a “new era” for the city, but questions persist about the agencies monitoring foster children. [WTOP]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Nevin Martell

Good Taste: Sunny Tex-Mex Breakfast Taco Joint La Tejana Rises and Shines

La Tejana, the breakfast taco restaurant from husband-and-wife team Gus May and Ana-Maria Jaramillo, has […]

  • Tabard Inn, the quaint restaurant and hotel in Dupont Circle, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. [WTOP]
  • ICYMI: The International City Food Festival is coming to D.C. in October, with events geared around Oktoberfest and Día de los Muertos. [DCist]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Sarah Marloff is away from her desk. Arts links will return tomorrow.

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Let’s end the NFL season after one game and call it a success—the Commanders won their first game, defeating Jacksonville, 28-22. [NFL, Post]
  • The team also apparently sold mugs with the Commanders logo superimposed on a map of Washington state. That’s awkward. [Twitter]
  • Frances Tiafoe fell to Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Friday night. Alcaraz went on to win the tournament on Sunday. [ABC News, WTOP]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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