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WMATA to add Shady Grove stairway, eliminate rush-hour service pattern

It typically takes several minutes for riders to clear the platform at Shady Grove Station.
Photo – WMATA


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on Tuesday announced plans to add a stairway at Shady Grove Station in its fiscal-year 2020 capital program and eliminate the ”Grosvenor Turnback" service pattern Dec. 17 to double rush-hour service at four Montgomery County stations.

The new stairway is needed to ease platform congestion when trains arrive at Shady Grove Station, primarily during the evening rush hour, WMATA officials said in a press release. The stairs will improve platform egress by creating an additional way for customers to exit the station. Currently, all riders arriving at the station by train take several minutes to make their way to a single descending escalator or use an adjacent existing staircase to clear the platform.

The stairway will be the first capital project to increase capacity at Shady Grove Station since it opened in Rockville, Maryland, in 1985, WMATA officials said. Work is expected to begin next year.

“The addition of a new stairway at Shady Grove will undoubtedly be welcome news for the more than 11,000 customers who use the station each weekday, shaving a few minutes off of their daily commute by reducing the time it takes to exit the system," said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld.

The Grosvenor Turnback rush-hour service pattern — whereby every other Red Line train begins and ends at Grosvenor, rather than Shady Grove — will be eliminated so all Red Line trains run to and from Shady Grove Station. The move will double rush-hour service (with trains operating every four minutes) for riders at the White Flint, Twinbrook, Rockville and Shady Grove stations, WMATA officials said.

Shady Grove is Montgomery County's second-busiest station, averaging 11,517 weekday boardings. The station’s ridership has increased nearly 30 percent over the past 20 years because of residential and commercial developments that have been added in the surrounding area.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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