This news has been received from:

All trademarks, copyrights, videos, photos and logos are owned by respective news sources. News stories, videos and live streams are from trusted sources.

mail: [NewsMag]

Omicron continues to hit the Metro system — and area riders — hard.

“It’s been a very tough period for us, to be frank,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told agency board members Thursday. “We have the most COVID cases that we’ve had since the pandemic [began].”

The shortage of drivers has forced Metro to make cuts to bus service, but Wiedefeld hopes those cuts will be reversed soon.

“We’re all hopeful that this spike is going to come down very quickly … if that occurs we will bring back the service as quickly as we can, as soon as those absentee-isms start to soften some,” Wiedefeld said.

His comments came after multiple D.C. council members sent a letter to Metro on Wednesday asking it to restore weekday bus service to normal levels.

  • Tracking D.C. Metro 24/7

Wiedefeld also insisted that “definitely over 85%” of the Metro workforce is vaccinated against COVID-19. When it comes to vaccination, “there are a few people that have not done that, and we’re pressing toward discipline in that case, but that is minute numbers compared to the 13,000 employees that we have,” he said.

Additionally, Wiedefeld revealed that he himself recently battled COVID despite being vaccinated and boosted.

Wiedefeld blamed the omicron variant, in part, for ridership declines on both bus and rail. He told board members that recent numbers show ridership has dropped to 15% to 20% of pre-pandemic levels on rail, and that the number was “in the 30s,” percentage-wise, on bus — a drop in bus ridership that Wiedefeld called dramatic.

By comparison, Wiedefeld said that around Thanksgiving, rail ridership was close to 30% of pre-pandemic levels and bus ridership was near 60%. In addition to blaming omicron, he also attributed the decline to seasonal factors.

But he made no mention of Metro’s ongoing issues with the 7000-series railcars that have sidelined the majority of the agency’s fleet.

Also on Thursday, a Metro board committee voted to approve the name change of the Largo Town Center station to Downtown Largo.

News Source:

Tags: coronavirus john aaron metro wmata pre pandemic levels bus ridership ridership board members bus service

Consumer Confidence Dragged Down As Bidenflation and Omicron Crush Hope

Next News:

VTA will require all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has announced it will order all of its 2,100 employees to be vaccinated, a move that comes months after other Bay Area transit agencies like BART, Caltrain, AC Transit, SamTrans and San Francisco’s Muni issued similar mandates.

The requirement will apply to both VTA’s frontline workers like its bus drivers and light rail workers as well as its administrative staff. While details are still being worked out, the agency said in a tweet Monday that inoculation against COVID-19 would be a condition of employment. The agency added it won’t accept testing in lieu of shots but will consider allowing medical and religious exemptions.

When the vaccines first came out last winter, transit workers at VTA were given early priority to take them.

“Now, we’re just trying to bring it the rest of the way home,” VTA spokeswoman Stacey Ross said. The start date is still being determined, she said, and so is the definition of “fully vaccinated” as either just the first round of shots or a booster too.

Ross said 54% of VTA’s frontline workers and 60% of all its workers including administrative have self-reported that they are vaccinated. In comparison, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department has a 92% vaccination rate.

Related Articles

  • Hey, neighbors, stop speeding on our streets: Roadshow
  • Can I call 911 about drivers without lights? Roadshow
  • Me & My Car: Danville couple’s ’53 Coupe de Ville beautiful again after fire
  • Do toll lanes really help the rest of the drivers? Roadshow
  • Where can I find EV charging that’s cheaper than gas? Roadshow
The looming mandate is opposed by John Courtney, president of the VTA’s largest union. He said the South Bay bus and light rail operator should not be imposing a mandate against frontline workers still enduring a mass shooting and cyber attack in 2021.

“A decent company would discuss a policy change with input from the workers,” said Courtney, who represents about 1,500 employees, including bus drivers and light rail operators. He said many workers strongly oppose the requirement and the union is pushing for a COVID testing option for non-vaccinated employees.

“What VTA is trying to do is scare people into getting a vaccination,” he said.

Previous vaccine mandates have led to some disruption of public transit service, including on Muni bus lines after some drivers did not comply. Bay Area transit agencies have not been hit by large-scale resignations, however.

The VTA’s order comes as the county’s health department has required workers in high-risk settings such as hospitals, jails and nursing homes to receive a booster shot unless they’re granted exemptions.The county’s booster mandate does not include agencies like VTA.

Other News

  • Cesar Azpilicueta’s hopes of staying at Chelsea hit rocks over long-term contract demand as Barcelona target transfer
  • Nolte: RFK Jr. Thrown Under Twitter-Bus By Actress-Wife Cheryl Hines
  • No timeline, no plan for getting Metro cars back on the tracks
  • Aaron Rodgers suggests vax status reason why people rooted against Packers, hopes to have been inspirational
  • Tough trip to China ahead, Anderson sees gift of world stage
  • Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster ‘Hopes to Join’ Team He Rejected Last Year: Report
  • Police Renew Effort To Find Suspect In St. Paul Double Murder
  • Charges: Man Steals Metro Mobility Bus, Leads Law Enforcement On Metro-Wide Chase
  • Memorial fund created for Sandra Shells, beloved nurse fatally attacked at downtown LA bus stop
  • Lionel Messi has the SECOND WORST shot conversion rate in Europe as Barcelona legend finds life tough after PSG transfer
  • After Mild Winter Start, Ski Resorts Bring Snow Back To The Slopes
  • Newsom, California Lawmakers Reach Deal To Bring Back COVID Sick Pay
  • Gareth Southgate reveals his music taste and hopes England can be top of the pops at Qatar World Cup this year
  • Dad-of-22 Noel Radford faces tough decision as bitter rivalry over bedrooms explodes at their 10-bed millionaire mansion
  • Gov. Newsom, Lawmakers Reach Agreement To Bring Back COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Through September
  • Baltimore County Detectives Investigate Pikesville Mans Shooting Death
  • Patriots In A Tough Spot With J.C. Jackson Entering Free Agency
  • Port Authority Public Comment Period On Service Changes Coming To End
  • From SNL to Tough Crowd, Colin Quinn brings comedy gold to DCs Miracle Theatre