Metro Shutting Down Entire D.C. System for Emergency Inspections

Metro will open all parking lots at stations so people who wish to carpool can park for free. Metrobus and MetroAccess will continue as normal, but are expected to be very crowded.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) called the announcement "a gut punch to the hundreds of thousands of commuters who depend on the system."

"This decision, while perhaps necessary, will cause significant inconvenience and will disrupt the functioning of the federal government in our nation’s capital," Connolly said. "...While I am extremely frustrated with this news, safety must be our number one priority. This dramatic action highlights the need for long-term safety and reliability improvements throughout the system."

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who also represents Beltway commuters, said the suspension of service "during a weekday with minimal notice is simply unacceptable and untenable for the hundreds of thousands of federal employees tourists, students and many others who rely on the system every day."

"After last year’s deadly smoke incident, I understand General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s decision to suspend service out of an abundance of caution. Regardless, Metrorail is America’s rail system," Cardin continued. "While there are still many unanswered questions, it is clear that years of underfunding and inconsistent safety oversight have led us to this point. Congress should finally listen to Metro riders and get serious about funding one of the most important transit systems in the world."