The escalators at the Rossyln Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines are out of order, disrupting morning commuter's plans and forcing many to walk up stairs.
Lines of people could be seen backed up at the bottom of the escalators.
“Metro's service seems to be deteriorating rapidly and to have absolutely nothing and no announcements of it was really frustrating,” said Metro rider Elizabeth Mosher.
Metro says it wants to change the perception that it’s always breaking down. On Thursday, it opens bidding for outside contractors to take over daily maintenance and preventative work on 54 escalators and 20 elevators.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says that will allow their crews to focus on the $150 million, multi-year project to replace or overhaul all the troublesome escalators.
“No one hates broken escalators more than we do,” Stessel said. “We know it's a hardship on our customers. We want these reliability numbers up and moving in that direction as quickly as we can."
Metro says three-quarters of the escalators are more than 25 years old and were never properly maintained. Each overhaul will take six weeks to four months.
The extended down time is because they're essentially creating new escalators by replacing all components.
Watch a video of people trudging up and down one of the longest single-span escalators in the Western Hemisphere: