Montgomery County to discuss Metro escalator outages

The Montgomery County Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday night to discuss the frequent escalator outages on Metro.

As if on cue, all three escalators at the Bethesda station were out Tuesday morning, the second time in a week that they have been inoperable. On Oct. 19, the escalators went down for more than an hour.

The meeting will feature the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee.

“There is not a single person in this whole Metro system that would not like these escalators to work better,” said Metro rider Patricia Fagen.

The Bethesda Station boasts the second longest single-span escalators in the Western Hemisphere.

“I think that's part of their plan to get Bethesda more fit, because you have to get up half a mile of standing still steps,” said Erica Dodd, who lives in Alexandria.

“It's a pretty demanding chore to make it all the way to the top,” agreed Michael Barbour.

Montgomey County councilmembers will question Metro officials about plans to replace the escalators and build a new station entrance on Elm Street.

“I'll wait and see but it makes me happy they're going to fix them,” rider Fagen said.

Residents will have a chance to voice opinions during a question and answer session. Recent numbers show that at any given time, 40 percent of Metro's 600 escalators are not working.

The meeting will be held at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase regional services center starting at 7:30 p.m.