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Metro reducing most of its bus routes through Sunday. Will only offer 20 routes

The transit agency says it must protect its front-line employees, warns trains and buses are for essential trips only.

WASHINGTON — Facing the constantly changing impact of the coronavirus crisis on our region, Metro has reduced service to “the 20 highest-ridership corridors in the region" this weekend, canceling supplemental bus routes. There will be 30-minute gaps between Metrorail trains, the transit agency announced Friday. 

During normal or extended route trips, Metrobus has a fleet of more than 1,500 buses operating on 325 routes.

The transit agency says riders should make essential trips only as the public health emergency continues to evolve. Two stations, Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery, closed Thursday evening until further notice to thwart tourists bound for the cherry blossoms at Tidal Basin.

In a video call with WUSA9, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said officials enacted a host of austerity measures to protect Metro’s 12,000 employees while continuing to provide critical service to the Pentagon, Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.

Routes Operating Every 30 minutes:

54 14th Street

S4 - 16th Street

70 - Georgia Avenue-7th Street

90 - U Street-Garfield

C4 - Greenbelt-Twinbrook

X2 - Benning Road-H Street

16C - Columbia Pike

28A - Leesburg Pike

29K, 29N - Alexandria-Fairfax

30N, 30S - Friendship Heights - Southeast

83 - College Park

A6, A8 - Anacostia-Congress Heights

B2 - Bladensburg Road-Anacostia

D12 - Oxon Hill-Suitland 

F4 - New Carrollton-Silver Spring

H4 - DC Crosstown

J2 - Bethesda-Silver Spring 

K6 - New Hampshire Avenue-Maryland

P12 - Eastover-Addison Road

REX - Richmond Highway Express

V4 - Capitol Heights 

W4 - Alabama Avenue

Y2 - Georgia Avenue-Maryland 

Z8 - Fairland

Learn more about Metro's weekend bus route changes here.

RELATED: Two Metro stations closed until further notice

“Space on Metro is a resource that needs to be reserved for essential travel, including the first responders, doctors and nurses working to keep us all safe,” said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld in a statement.

Stessel did say that rail service would probably return to 15-minute train schedules on Monday. But he warned that further service slowdowns and station closures are likely.

“Our goal is not to go to zero service,” said Stessel.

Metro ridership has cratered ever since the agency began to scale back service last week. The transit agency said rail ridership has dropped to less than 100,000 daily trips across the entire system, roughly 85 percent of the ridership from the same time last year. This week, Metro said it will lose $50 million each month the public health crisis lasts, and it requested emergency federal funding from Congress.

RELATED: Here's how you can help Metro employees still working in the face of coronavirus

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