One of the most prominent and talked-about changes to Metro's rail schedule in its history brought relief to some and extra crowding for others as Rush+ made its debut on Monday.
Rush+, which has been promoted for months in the run-up to this week's rollout, was intended to reinvent Metro's crushing rush hour on the rails, but for some, it felt like reinventing the wheel.
"I think they're considering some things that could be really helpful for commuters and the system," said Metro rider Jerry Walter.
The Rush+ program was designed to enhance rush hour service for commuters at 21 stations on the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green Lines. More Orange and Yellow Line trains to downtown D.C. were added, to the delight of commuters to the District. Blue Line riders in Virginia, though, saw a marked decrease in service.
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Starting Monday, six additional trains run in each direction during the morning and evening between Vienna and Largo Town Center, a station that usually only operates Blue Line trains. However, customers traveling via Arlington Cemetery to Rosslyn and points in western D.C. will now see three fewer trains per hour.
"Rosslyn doesn't see a net increase in trains, but there will be more Orange and slightly fewer Blue," Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said. "Stations will see three more Orange and three less Blue an hour, and the reason we have these trains to Largo Town Center is to preserve the same number of trains at this far end of the line."
Yellow line riders traveling from Greenbelt to Franconia-Springfield will be able to do so without transferring; currently, riders would have to change trains to make that trip.
One of the other main reasons Metro put Rush+ into service now is the continued development of the Silver Line.
Before the new rail line begins operating in 2013, WMATA officials say the agency had to do something to relieve what's known as the "Orange Crush," which included packed trains on the line west of Rosslyn and into Arlington County and points beyond.