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Metro returns to normal schedule with masks and social distancing still required

Mask will be required for all Metro riders and social distancing will still be enforced.

MCLEAN, Va. — Metro riders will notice a big uptick in service starting Sunday as trains resume their normal schedules, following months of limited service during the pandemic.

“We won't be able to guarantee social distancing," said Dan Stressel, a spokesperson for Metro. “We're going to do everything we can to monitor, to provide riders with tools to so that they can find out when the busiest times are and all those sorts of things.”

Much like other areas of the DMV, the Metro slowed down drastically during the height of the pandemic.  Stressel added that ridership has also gone down, now at a tenth of what it normally would be on any given day.

That might soon change as hours for the Metro return back to their usual schedule, running multiple times an hour.

Masks will still be required for every Metro rider. Three stations still have some construction activity that will continue before the end of that summer: the Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls Church.  Those stations are expected to reopen on Tuesday right after Labor Day.

Leaders with the Metro say safety remains their number one priority and they haven’t had any deaths of team members. The Metro employs roughly 12,000 people and did not face as many mass layoffs or furloughs as other agencies, a move that Stress says they credit to The Cares Act.  

Despite keeping employees, difficult choices might still be ahead. 

“If that [money] runs out and there isn't federal support to go forward and to bridge not just through the election, but until the new Congress can take it up again -- depending on where the country is at that point, there are going to be some very, very difficult choices ahead," Stressel said. "Difficult in terms of service levels in terms of Metro hours, in terms of layoffs, and furloughs, and all of the things that are counterproductive frankly, to what recovery looks like."

For a full schedule of station hours and more on ride guidelines, click here.

RELATED: Metro increasing hours starting Aug. 16, adding bus, rail service cut during coronavirus

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