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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) next month will wrap up its SafeTrack maintenance projects and transition to a new preventive maintenance and capital program.The new effort will be aimed at avoiding another emergency program of the scale of SafeTrack, WMATA officials said in a press release.To facilitate the new plan, WMATA is adjusting its service hours to allow longer maintenance periods overnight. From Monday through Thursday, the rail system will close at 11:30 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, however, it will remain open until 1 a.m.WMATA's rail system currently closes at midnight daily. The agency will use the additional hours for enhanced preventive maintenance, including cable testing to prevent smoke and fire incidents, stray current testing, and trackbed cleaning.Crews also will tighten fasteners, joint nuts and bolts to eliminate excessive strain on infrastructure."SafeTrack was the most aggressive track renewal program in Metro's history, and it achieved its primary goals — but it all came with the cost of great inconvenience to our riders," said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld. "Now, like every other mature transit system, we must do everything in our power to prevent another SafeTrack through a healthy program of preventive maintenance combined with planned capital projects."Additional details about WMATA's preventive maintenance program will be unveiled at a June 8 board meeting.SafeTrack will end June 25.
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