If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in Washington D.C. , you will likely have learned two things: one, there’s great Ethiopian food, and two, the city is irrevocably fucked. It’s about to get more than usual tomorrow, as the entire Metrorail system—all of it—will shut down the entire day.
I cannot imagine a worse outcome for our nation’s capital, save for some kind of meteor-related disaster. Understand that the District itself is very small, and that most of the people who work there are coming in from the various Maryland and Virginia suburbs—enough to boost the population by 80 percent during the workday, according to 2013 statistics—and a huge chunk of those people commute in and out on Metrorail.
That entire system will be shut down for a full 29 hours starting at midnight so transit officials can look into about 600 jumper cables with possible safety issues in an “emergency investigation.” Via NBC Washington:
An initial investigation into the cable fire at the McPherson Square station early Monday showed its cause may have been similar to the cause of the fire Jan. 12, 2015 that killed a 61-year-old woman and injured dozens of people, Wiedefeld said.
“While the investigation is ongoing, the preliminary findings show commonalties with the cable fire in L’Enfant Plaza a year ago,” he said. “While the risk to public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here. This is why we must take this issue immediately. When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it.”
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said Tuesday afternoon the agency is looking at how federal workers’ schedules Wednesday may be affected by the shutdown.
“OPM will have guidance for agencies on the status of the federal government shortly,” a statement from OPM said.
Metrorail has never shut down except for weather reasons in its entire 40-year history.
What option do the city’s government and private sector employees have if Metrorail shuts down? Commute in on the highways (which in and of itself is a special kind of hell), telecommute, or call in sick or something, I guess. Good luck with parking if you take a car, I suppose.
If the government is smart (ha!) it will close down some of the more non-essential offices to keep those people home. Residents: if that doesn’t happen, or if you are an essential employee, prepare for #wmatageddon.