Metro Escalator Update – Foggy Bottom and Capitol South

Quick update on the Foggy Bottom Metro escalators: Friday’s mess was the result of a passenger’s footwear getting stuck on the middle escalator that afternoon, closing it down in addition to the already-under-repair first escalator, so that only one escalator was left open to serve as stairs. As of today, two escalators are open but shut down, both serving as stairs. Here’s the word we got from WMATA’s Lisa Farbstein:

This is the situation with the escalators at Foggy Bottom. There are three escalators going to the street level.

The first escalator is turned off because it is in the process of a major repair of the motor.

Then on Friday evening at about 5 p.m., somebody’s shoe got caught in the second escalator. It was immediately turned off pending a city inspection. On Saturday, the District of Columbia’s inspectors came to inspect the unit. They issued a work order to repair some parts. Unfortunately we have to wait until the first escalator is finished before we can start repairs on the second. We expect the first to be completed this week.

Then on Sunday we experienced trouble with the third escalator, which is having trouble operating in the up direction. We had a repair crew there last night, but the problem occurred again this morning under rush hour crowds. We’ll work on it some more tonight so that it will run in both directions. We can’t really work on it during the day because that would leave one unit serving as a staircase for both entry and exit, which is insufficient for the station.

We’re looking forward to a better Tuesday!

Foggy Bottom isn’t the only station suffering; WeLoveDC reader Davin tells us that Capitol South is having its share of broken escalators and foot traffic bottlenecks:

This morning at Capitol South, only 1 of the 3 escalators was working. The escalator which normally goes down, is going in the up position this morning. While this station has many people exiting at the same time, it’s not nearly as bad as Foggy Bottom. The escalators break down frequently at this station. Note, that this station doesn’t have a canopy, so the escalators are exposed to the elements. It also has one set of cement steps. On occasion, in the afternoon I’ve had to walk down the cement steps. I heard a woman complain she can’t walk down the steps or escalator. When the escalators are broken, they are out of service for a long time.

It doesn’t help that the sustained tromping of passengers’ feet walking up and down the stopped escalators only further damages the hardware, necessitating further repairs later on. Where does it end?

Update: Tuesday morning rush hour, escalator #3 was working and running upwards, and the middle escalator was switched off with one descending lane and one for upward counterflow. Foot traffic ran smoothly without too much bottlenecking. Good job this morning, WMATA.

FOX 5 covered this story, once again using my now infamous “run up the stairs” escalator breakdown video. Tie your shoes, DC!

Escalator Repair

Roving Asian mendicant, can occasionally be seen wandering the streets of downtown Washington, muttering unintelligible gibberish to passers-by while pushing a “bag lady” shopping cart full of old blankets, American flags, soda cans, and healthy secondhand snacks from organic food shop dumpsters. Used to live in a cardboard box at 16th and K but the rent was too expensive.

5 thoughts on “Metro Escalator Update – Foggy Bottom and Capitol South

  1. “An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”– Mitch Hedberg

    Except on the DC Metro system