DC area cyclists organize rides to help commuters trapped by transit emergency stoppage

DC Metro Bike Pool

After Washington DC’s Metro transit service announced an emergency 24-hour shutdown of the rail service for safety reasons, the half-million people who depend on Metro for their transportation needs everyday scrambled for alternatives. Among those alternatives: impromptu group rides into and out of DC organized under the hashtag #wmatabikepool.


Metro stopped all rail service for emergency inspections after a tunnel fire started by faulty wiring earlier this week. Crews identified 26 areas with defects and completed repairs to 18 of them. The transit agency announced rail service would resume at 5 A.M. on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

The shutdown coincided with beautiful spring weather in the U.S. Capital region.

DDOT offered free one-day memberships to Capital Bikeshare, which reports rides by walk-up users doubled over the previous week, with most riders use the bike share bikes to travel from outlying areas to downtown.

A “bike pool” is like a car pool: multiple people riding together on the same route. For #wmatabikepool, experienced bike commuters offered to help novices navigate into the city.


Riding as a small crew is a great confidence booster. The group tends to be more visible to people in cars, and helps to overcome concerns about personal safety. Small group rides can also be a great way to socialize.