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ACT Hits Closing of College Park Metro During Maryland Commencement

Press release issued May 14, 2013

The Action Committee for Transit today called on Metro to reverse its plan to close the College Park Metro station during the University of Maryland's commencement.

Metro plans to do track work on the northern end of the Green Line this weekend that will close the College Park station. Thousands of people will come to the university this weekend. Track work could easily have been scheduled during the summer when school is not in session.

While ACT understands the need for WMATA to close stations temporarily for maintenance, more foresight must be enacted to avoid major events. The university shares the blame for this problem; it should have been in contact with Metro about the scheduling.

ACT Board Member Ted Van Houten, who will earn a master’s degree in urban planning, is among the graduates. “Eleven family members are visiting this weekend and staying in a hotel in College Park,” said Van Houten, “and I don’t own a car. How are we supposed to get around?”

The College Park closing continues a pattern of Metro ignoring riders' needs when it schedules weekend maintenance. In May of last year, four Green Line stations were closed and the Red Line ran only once every 24 minutes despite hockey playoffs and a high-profile baseball series. Then on Veterans Day, when most non-government employees must go to work, the Red Line ran only once every 20 minutes during morning rush hour. Maintenance is used routinely as an excuse to reduce weekend train frequencies below normal levels outside areas where the work is done.

“Metro service on the weekends is just as important as rush hour,” said ACT president Tina Slater. “Our urban future requires convenient transit for everyday travel, not just for a ride from the suburbs to downtown offices.”