Severe Crowding at Pentagon City Metro Station

by Katie Pyzyk February 13, 2013 at 9:30 am 2,225 44 Comments

Pentagon City Metro crowding (photo via @dingramdc) Pentagon City Metro crowding (photo via @ferresej)

Update at 10:55 a.m. — Metro reports the Yellow Line is no longer single tracking, but there may be residual delays in both directions. The crowding issue at the Pentagon City and Pentagon stations has ended.

(Updated at 9:45 a.m.) Metro riders reported severe crowding at the Pentagon City and Pentagon stations this morning. It’s a trickle down effect of a person being struck and killed on a Yellow/Green Line track at Gallery Place in the District.

Twitter has been abuzz with customers reporting potentially dangerous crowding conditions and sending photos like those above. Passengers report train drivers saying that due to back-ups and delays from the situation, trains are skipping certain stations or turning around. Other passengers reported not being allowed to enter the crowded Pentagon City station.

WMATA released the following information on its website:

Green and Yellow line trains are single tracking between Mt Vernon Sq and Archives with delays in both directions due to a person struck by train at Gallery Place.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:00 a.m. when an adult male placed himself in the path of an arriving northbound train. The incident appears to be intentional.

Customers should expect delays in both directions on Green & Yellow Line. Yellow Line customers in Virginia should consider using Blue Line as alternate.

Photos via @dingramdc and @ferresej

  • Chad

    People put themselves in these positions. I never understood why people continue to fill up overcrowded platforms and then complain that more people keep coming.

    • CrystalMikey

      I agree. If I came down and saw how crowded the platform was you’d bet I go back topside and start figuring out other options. Be it bus, taxi, or whatever…but I guess some people don’t mind being crammed into a place like sardines.

      • Brian

        Don’t forget if you enter the system and go nowhere, WMATA will still charge you a fare. They are scam artists.

        • Charles

          I agree – WMATA will cheat you every chance they get.

    • drax

      Well, until it starts jamming up on top, sometimes you don’t know it’s overcrowded until you’re on your way down the escalator….

      • Jane-Dallas

        True enough for some stations, but at Pentagon City you can pretty much see the platform before you even go through the turnstile.

  • MissKittenCat

    Don’t let people get on the platform if you know its filled. we don’t need another person struck today

  • Arlington, SSR

    The stationmaster and/or cops should prevent people from entering the station or platform after a certain point.

  • Sarles

    Becasue we have jobs. Go back to sleep

  • novasteve

    Didn’t someone on here try to claim suicide by metro was rare?

    • NoVA RN

      Yes. Somebody tried to tell me that it only happened twice in the last twenty years here in a comment.

    • Hee-Haw

      considering the amount of riders, jumping in front of a metro train is rare.

      • novasteve

        mass shootings are also rare.

        • Hee-Haw

          who said anything about that ? But I’ll play your game. 5 metro suicide deaths last year. 16 mass shootings last year. Which happens at a higher rate ?

          • Bitter Brew

            16 mass shootings in a country of 50 states and 300 million people
            5 Metro jumpers in a metro DC area of 2 states + 1 other jurisdiction and 5.5 million people.

            Winner: novasteve

          • drax

            You have to count each victim of the mass shootings, not lump them into one event. So it’s more than 16.

          • drax

            And I looked it up – 88 dead in mass shootings last year.

            And, of course, it’s not like other dead people don’t matter just because they were killed alone instead of in a mass shooting.

          • novasteve

            Drax you are comparing mass shootings nationally with just DC metro’s suicides. I’m fairly certain there are suicides on other subway systems in the USA.

      • NoVA RN

        Maybe it would be better to consider the amount of people a jumper affects. As in, the amount of people squished on a platform, the amount of people called to respond to the scene, the amount of people stranded on trains, the amount of people who grieve a lost loved one, the amount of people late to work, etc.

    • ARL-VA

      No, we pointed out that there are only a handful of people getting pushed by others onto train tracks each year. Quit misquoting other people. This came up when you started up another of your biased and sensationalist points about how there could be an extreme danger from the County shelter at Court House. At the same time, you completely ignore the fact that 32,000 Americans get killed every year by car drivers.

      You also ignored that fact when the elderly cyclist accidentally killed the elderly woman last year on a trail. Somehow you used that incident to proclaim that all cyclists are 20-something Lycra-clad Lance wannabes who are the most dangerous threat to the American citizen. Cyclist-caused deaths are extremely rare and so are cases of people being pushed onto train tracks. And yet, you somehow believe cyclists and mentally ill people are a threat to the existence of the American republic, while 32,000 deaths (and about 60,000 other serious injuries) caused by car drivers is somehow OK because car driving is defined by you as conservative and patriotic, or whatever you use to justify all those deaths.

      • ARL-VA

        *handful of people getting pushed by others nationwide each year

  • pwa

    Life in the big city cupcake

    • Deadite

      Mmm that sounds so much more fun than life in a small town cupcake.

  • Aaron

    Did the tool at WMATA’s public relations shop respond that those photos are 1) a lie or 2) the result of passengers doing something stupid? The treatment of riders by Metro management would be unacceptable in just about any other context.

    • Garden City

      You have to remember that Metro’s job is to move trains. Passengers are just an impediment to that.

    • Metro

      They were obviously “Photoshopped”…..there are never conditions like that in metro…..

  • JackR

    I seriously do not unerstand why the need to have people rush to already crowded trains when they know there are trains directly behind it. I guess I’m one of the few that actually wait a few or more minutes for the next train. Really?

    • CA

      So long, suckers !!

  • YTK

    I encountered this at Gallery Place — VERY crowded and very dangerous because there is only ONE exit/entrance to the platform and we had to walk against the tide of humans who were entering the platform.

    • Michael H.

      Yes, Gallery Place is very dangerous when it’s crowded, which means most mornings at rush hour. Metro has suggested that they could expand some of the platforms in the station by extending the walkways all the way to the concrete walls, removing those unneeded spaces near the walls. But I don’t know if there are specific plans to follow through on the proposal.

  • Ren

    I saw the below crowds at Pentagon City at 8:40, slapped my forehead for not biking to work today, left the station, caught a bus to Clarendon, and came into DC another way. I saw numerous buses full of people heading down Columbia Pike to the two stations and wondered if they knew what was ahead of them. Would it be crazy if the buses could instead have changed their route and taken people to a functional line?

    • AL

      Wait a minute. You’re telling me that even when there are bad conditions ahead that warrant changing the buses’ routes, the buses continue to STAY THE COURSE for no purpose? Isn’t this precisely the criticism people have of the streetcar!?

    • CrystalMikey

      What if you’re not going to to the Metro and your end destination is actually Pentagon City?

    • Walsh44

      You could have grabbed a BikeShare bike down the street from the PC station & taken the MVT to the 14th St bridge. You probably would have saved time.

      • Michael H.


  • PotholeDodger

    This is why I slowly kill the planet with my car.

    • cyclist

      This is why I get exercise, relieve stress, spend nothing on gas or fare, don’t pollute and don’t run into crowds or congestion.

  • Meg

    If you were not there then you would not understand. I was there because my train from crystal city was offloaded at pentagon city like many other trains, there was no where for us to go and it actually was pretty scary. one movement could have caused someone to fall off the platform on the tracks. I doubt anyone wanted to be in that situation but it was unavoidable.

    • CrystalMikey

      True, maybe you had no choice…but I think the overall argument here is those people entering the system from Pentagon City.

  • Richard Sarles

    I earn my $350,000 a year.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      Was that in metro benefits?

  • Josh S

    At what point does Metro consider methods to prevent this? I understand some systems around the world have physical barriers that prevent access to the track except when a train is there and the doors are open. This might be worthwhile.

  • bobbytiger

    Metro doesn’t kill, people do.

  • Underground

    The U in london is crowded. 395/95/66 is crowded. This one stop on the Yellow/Blue line is not crowded 90% of the day.


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