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Metro launches largest service change in its history

Monday - 6/18/2012, 10:43am  ET

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Metro hopes the schedule change will accommodate more riders. (WTOP)

Are you experiencing any confusion with Metro's new Rush+? Post a comment in this story, comment on WTOP's Facebook Page or use #WTOPTalkback or #WTOP on Twitter.

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Metro started Rush+, its biggest ever service adjustment, Monday, one that affecting about 110,000 customers on the Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange lines.

Rush+ runs between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

During Monday's morning rush, Blue Line trains appeared more crowded than normal, while Yellow Line trains came often but many appeared less crowded than normal.

"Definitely a lot less crowded -- usually it's toe to toe," said Yellow Line rider Israel who lives in Alexandria.

"And usually you have to wait five to 10 minutes, whereas this one you just pop-up and it's there."

On Twitter, @KEC9 tweeted WTOP's Adam Tuss: "Nice that it was less crowded for the yellow line, but the blue line was more crowded than I've seen for awhile."

Orange Line riders also tweeted that there was less crowding during Monday's morning rush because of extra trains.

As part of the realignment of the trains, some Yellow Line trains will now start at Franconia-Springfield and end at Greenbelt during rush hours. Some Orange Line trains will now go directly to Largo Town Center.

Despite what Metro general manager calls an "extensive campaign" to educate readers about the change, some riders didn't "focus on the message."

"That's why during the opening days we will have people out there so that when people say 'What's going on here?' we will try to help them through it," says Richard Sarles.

In all, 21 stations are expected to see an increase in the number of trains that pass through during the morning and afternoon rush periods. Only the Arlington Cemetery Station is expected to see a decrease in trains.

"If there's one thing that we want customers to know, it is that checking the train's destination is the key to getting where you need to go," says Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

Here are some other statistics about Rush+ from Metro:

  • During peak periods, more than 46,000 Orange Line customers will benefit from six additional trains per hour (three in each direction) between Vienna and Largo Town Center. This will result in 18 percent more capacity on the line, or approximately 2,600 seats per hour.

  • For 33,500 Blue and Yellow line customers in Virginia, Rush+ will increase the share of Yellow Line trains, meaning more direct and faster access to downtown via the Yellow Line bridge. A smaller number (about 16,000) weekday peak-period customers who travel on Blue Line trains via Arlington Cemetery will experience a maximum of 6 minutes additional waiting time for a train.

  • Stations north of downtown on the Green and Yellow lines will benefit from 18 additional trains during rush hour periods. Stations from Shaw-Howard to Greenbelt will get six additional Yellow Line trains each peak hour (three in each direction) between Greenbelt and Franconia-Springfield. And for the first time, riders will be able to travel from Greenbelt to Franconia-Springfield without transferring. More than 28,000 customers will benefit from the change, Metro says.

Metro produced this video to better explain the changes:

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)