Ahead of partial Metro shutdown, Congressional representatives push for teleworking opportunities

Virginia
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Beginning May 25, six Metro stations south of Reagan National Airport will be shut down for construction.

Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia’s 8th congressional district and other Northern Virginia representatives are bracing themselves for the partial Metro shut down.

“Stay at home if you possibly can. Pretend it’s a snowstorm,” Beyer said.

He estimates about 17,000 commuters will be facing an extra half hour each trip after the first week of the shutdown. “That’s the equivalent — over the course of the summer — to two full work weeks that you’re actually spending extra in traffic,” Beyer said.

This isn’t the first time a Metro stop or two has been closed for construction. In the past, the Office of Personnel Management has updated its guidelines for federal employers to provide teleworking options. This time around, Beyer said OPM was stalling.

“The deadline was fast approaching, but OPM had not issued any guidance,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton of Virginia’s 10th district. “So we decided to nudge it along a little bit.” 

Wexton, Beyer, and Congressman Gerry Connolly, of Virginia’s 11th district, penned a letter to OPM on May 20. “The station closures will begin in just five days,” the letter states, “but OPM has not yet issued guidance on expanded telework options for federal employees.” 

This week, OPM followed suit. 

For those who don’t get the option to telework, WMATA is offering shuttles and buses, and has listed transportation alternatives on its website. 

“We are focused on limiting the shutdown to the shortest time possible. That means customers will see construction activity at these stations, even as service resumes,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld in a press conference Wednesday. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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