The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced a system-wide reduction in service to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Effective Monday, March 16, Metro trains will be running every 12 minutes, on the regular weekday schedule. Weekend trains will also adhere to their regular daily schedules, but run every 12 minutes. 

The move is part of the system's pandemic response Phase 3 and is thought to help slow down the spread of infection. Riders who are feeling ill are being advised not to take mass transit, and an increased cleaning schedule has also been implemented on all buses, trains, and in Metro stations. Phase 3 operations will remain in effect for the forseeable future, until Phase 4, or the recovery phase, has been announced.


For riders in the western suburbs of Virginia, this change in service comes at the same time that construction crews are starting to stage equipment for this summer's platform improvement projects. Commuters should know that parking at the Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls Church stations will be closed or significantly decreased in the coming weeks as heavy machinery is moved in. Once the project begins, these stations will be closed for months as the planned construction work is done.

For more information, head to the official WMATA Twitter account or website and stay on top of the latest developments.

*The photos in this article are courtesy of WMATA.

Will the new Metro changes affect the way you commute? What changes have you seen in ridership along your route? Sound off in the comments!