Metro Accident Victim Identified as GMU Student — The person struck and killed on the Metrorail Orange Line tracks between East Falls Church and Ballston early Sunday morning has been identified as 21-year-old George Mason University student Patrick Sibley. Sibley’s brother says he did not have a good sense of direction and may have become lost after leaving a bar in Clarendon and trying to make it home to Vienna. Metro is not commenting on the incident while it is under investigation. [Washington Post]
McDonnell Touts Budget Surplus — Gov. Bob McDonnell says the state ended its fiscal year on June 30 with $585 million more than projected. That’s the largest state surplus since 2005. The cumulative surplus during McDonnell’s nearly four years in office comes in at around $2 billion. [Washington Times]
County Labor Day Closures — Arlington County has posted a list of programs and services that will remain operational while the county offices are closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 2. Libraries, parks, pools, courts and schools will all be closed. [Arlington County]
The altered schedule will begin Friday at 10:00 p.m. and continue until midnight on Sunday. According to Metro, the delays will be in place “to allow for NTSB-recommended track circuit replacement between Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian stations.”
Trains typically run every 12 to 20 minutes on weekend. Major track work on the Metro is expected to continue well into 2017.
This is the second time in the last six days that an Orange Line train has been accidentally routed to the Blue Line. Last Wednesday, it occurred at the end of the morning rush hour.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said only “one or two trains saw minor delays as a result,” and characterized the mishap as “a minor inconvenience for passengers” in an email. Stessel said a signal issue was the cause of the problem and there were no safety issues for passengers.
DCA Runway to Move — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has hired a contractor to fill in part of the Potomac River and move a runway at Reagan National Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration requires the improvements because the runway does not meet FAA safety standards. The project is scheduled to begin next week and continue through 2015. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Man Finishes Run for Boston Victims — Arlington resident Frank Fumich completed his run from the Pentagon to the Boston Marathon finish line on Saturday. Fumich and a running partner from Florida raised more than $78,000 for the Boston bombing victims during the four day, 450 mile journey. During the final 19 miles, they were joined by a woman who was unable to finish the race when the bombs exploded. She gave her Boston Marathon medal to Fumich. [Washington Post]
Orange Line has Most Metrorail Weekend Work — In a tally of the areas most affected by Metrorail weekend track work from May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, the Orange Line section from East Falls Church to West Falls Church ranks as number one. That portion registered 23 weekends of work. It has been closed 10 times and single tracked 13 times in the one year period due to work linking the Silver Line to the rest of the system. [Greater Greater Washington]
(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) Track work will close Metro stations along the Orange Line this weekend, for the third time in the past month. This time the Ballston and Virginia Square stations will be out of service.
The closures begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and run through closing on Sunday, May 19. Trains are expected to operate at normal weekend intervals even though service will be split into two segments — between Vienna and East Falls Church and between Clarendon and New Carrollton.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and Clarendon. Customers using shuttle bus service should add up to 25 minutes to their travel time.
The last trains of the night from Vienna to East Falls Church will depart 28 minutes earlier than normal — at 1:57 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 10:57 p.m. on Sunday.
The Orange Line closures are to allow for track circuit module replacement. There will also be work on the Red and Green lines this weekend. Information regarding those closures can be found on WMATA’s website.
The Ballston Business Improvement District expressed concern about the timing of the Ballston Metro station closure, considering the Taste of Arlington festival is expected to bring around 20,000 people to that area on Sunday.
Members of the BID have worked out a deal with WMATA. The station closures will remain in effect and passengers will still need to take shuttles between East Falls Church and Clarendon. However, starting around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, additional shuttles will be put into service to accommodate the heavier flow of passengers expected to travel to Taste of Arlington, which begins at noon.
“They will add a whole crew of buses to the schedule for Sunday so they can ensure that nobody is waiting too long and can get to their destination in a timely fashion,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone. “We’re not the first group this has happened to. They’ve assured us they will monitor the buses in making sure they’re arriving and leaving at a rapid rate. We’re just thrilled they were so responsive and so accommodating.”
Leone added that the bus trip is only about 10 minutes, so hopefully festival attendees won’t experience too many delays. Those who prefer to drive to the event should note that the cost is only one dollar for three hours to park at the Ballston garage.
Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The stations will close beginning today at 10:00 p.m. and running through closing on Sunday. The closures allow for track circuit replacement, which is a safety measure recommended by the NTSB.
Trains will operate every 15 minutes in two segments: between Vienna and Virginia Square, and between Rosslyn and New Carrollton. There will be free shuttle buses to take passengers between stops from Virginia Square to Rosslyn. Customers using the shuttles should add 15 minutes to their travel time.
To allow for shuttle bus connections, the last train from Vienna to Virginia Square will depart 31 minutes earlier than normal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The train will leave Vienna at 2:05 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 11:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Riders on the Blue and Yellow lines should also expect delays. Trains will be single tracking between Braddock Road and Pentagon City due to maintenance such as rail tie, fastener and insulator renewal. Blue and Yellow trains will operate every 30 minutes.
Starting at 10:00 p.m. on Friday the East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna stations will be closed. Crews will be working on signal system integration with the new Silver Line extension. Trains will still operate on a normal weekend schedule between Ballston and New Carrollton.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Ballston and Vienna. Express buses will run only between the Vienna and Ballston stops; local buses will serve all stops in between Ballston and Vienna. Customers taking the express buses should expect to add an additional 25 minutes of travel time and those using the local buses should add up to 50 minutes of travel time.
The service alterations continue until closing on Sunday. More information about weekend track work throughout the system is available on WMATA’s website.
The Yellow Line will be closed between the Fort Totten and Pentagon stations this weekend. The closure is the result of work on the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River and switch replacement outside L’Enfant Plaza.
“Customers traveling to/from Downtown DC should use Blue Line trains to complete their trip,” Metro said in a press release. “Transfer between Blue and Yellow line trains at any station between Pentagon and King Street-Old Town.”
Trains on the Orange Line will be single-tracking between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations this weekend, for work on the Silver Line extension project.
“Throughout the weekend, trains will operate every 24 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton,” Metro said. “Customers using Orange Line trains should allow 15 minutes of additional travel time.”
The work is scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. tonight (Friday) and continue through system closing on Sunday.
Workers will be installing cable to provide better cell phone coverage along the Blue and Yellow lines, in addition to doing work on ties and insulators. Starting at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13, and continuing through closing on Sunday, July 15, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Pentagon City and Braddock Road on the Blue and Yellow lines. The Reagan National Airport and Crystal City stops will both be closed.
Blue Line trains will operate in two segments: between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock Road and between Pentagon City and Largo Town Center, at regular weekend intervals. Yellow Line trains will also operate in two segments: between Huntington and Braddock Road and between Pentagon City and Mount Vernon Square, at regular weekend intervals. Customers traveling through the work zone should allow about 30 minutes of additional travel time.
Orange Line customers may also experience some delays, due to work on ties and insulators. Trains will single track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. Customers should expect minor delays.
Details about all of the weekend track work and delays can be found on WMATA’s website.
Last Monday, Metro officially launched its Rush+ service.
Designed to reduce the rush hour “Orange crush” by adding three additional Orange Line trains per hour, Rush Plus accomplished the enhanced Orange Line service by directing three formerly Blue Line trains per hour over the Yellow Line bridge into the District.
Metro billed Rush+ as “rush hour reinvented,” promising to “reduce crowding and provide new transfer-free travel opportunities.” Has it lived up to expectations?”
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Rush+ will be in effect Monday through Friday, from 6:30-9:00 a.m. and 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Orange Line customers who use stations west of Rosslyn should notice three more trains per hour in each direction. Metro estimates the change will allow for an 18 percent increase in capacity on the Orange Line, which would benefit more than 46,000 customers.
Blue and Yellow line customers who use the stations from Pentagon through Reagan National Airport will see the same amount of trains. However, during rush hour there will be three more Yellow trains per hour, and three fewer Blue. Metro estimates Blue Line riders in Virginia could have to wait up to six minutes longer for a train. More than 33,000 customers are expected to benefit from that change.
To accommodate for fewer Blue Line trains, the 9E and 10E Metrobus routes will be tweaked. During rush periods, the buses will offer express service between Rosslyn and Crystal City.
Riders will have to pay attention to the listed end point on each train, because the Orange and Yellow lines will now split during rush hour. Some Orange Line trains will now terminate at Largo Town Center instead of New Carrollton, and some Yellow Line trains will terminate at Greenbelt instead of Fort Totten. In the other direction, some Yellow Line trains will now terminate at Franconia-Springfield instead of Huntington. Dashed lines on the map indicate the altered routes that will be in place during rush hours.
The rail changes are also supposed to benefit the Silver Line, once it goes into service. That line is already listed on the new Metro map.
Metro has set up videos and an interactive map on its website to explain Rush+. The map lets customers click on the sections they travel to see how their commutes will be affected.
Update at 3:10 p.m. – WMATA reports the Foggy Bottom station has reopened.
Earlier: Metro riders should expect to experience delays on the Orange and Blue lines due to a person struck by a train at Foggy Bottom.
The Foggy Bottom station is currently closed. Orange lines are single tracking between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom. Blue lines are single tracking between Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom.
Delays are expected to continue during the police investigation into the incident.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is a phone call away. Call CrisisLink at 703-527-4077.
The Orange Line will be split into two segments from 10:00 p.m. on Friday to system closing on Monday. Trains will run between Vienna and Virginia Square, and from Rosslyn to New Carrollton. Trains will run at normal weekend service levels. Shuttle buses will run between Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon and Virginia Square.
Metro advises riders to expect an additional 20-30 minutes of travel time when traveling through the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. The agency says the extended closure will allow it to perform an NTSB-recommended switch replacement near Clarendon.
No work is scheduled on the Blue or Yellow lines this weekend.
As we reported earlier this week, riding Metro will be a challenge for users of the Orange and Blue lines this weekend. Major track work will force the closure of the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations.
The closures will be in place starting at 10:00 tonight and continuing until the system closes on Sunday. WMATA says workers will renew rail fasteners, replace insulators and remove sludge from the tunnel beneath the Potomac River.
Orange Line trains will be split into two segments. One set of trains will run between Vienna and Court House every 20 minutes, and another between Foggy Bottom and New Carrollton at normal weekend service levels.
Blue Line trains will also operate in two segments. One set of trains will run between Franconia-Springfield and Mt. Vernon Square via the Yellow Line bridge at normal weekend service levels, and the other between Foggy Bottom and Largo Town Center at normal weekend service levels.
Shuttle buses will be provided at affected stations along both lines. Metro says riders should expect to add 20-30 minutes to regular travel time — or reconsider their use of Metrorail altogether.
“While bus shuttle service is available, customers traveling between the District and Blue/Yellow stations in Virginia may wish to consider alternate travel options,” WMATA said on its web site.
More details about the buses and the service impacts, after the jump.
Just before 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, a man was struck by an outbound train at the Clarendon Metro station, throwing the evening commute into chaos.
As rescuers worked to free the man from underneath the train, power was shut off to the third rail and trains were stopped around the station. With almost nowhere else to go, Orange Line trains started offloading passengers at Rosslyn. Soon, the Rosslyn station started filling up with people — so many people that the escalators were shut down so they wouldn’t become overloaded.
Shortly after that, police were called in to help with crowd control. Via police radio, officers expressed concern that the crowds were so heavy on the platforms that people might start falling onto the tracks. Later, a mass casualty medical response was dispatched to the station as people started getting ill while trying to walk up the long escalators.
Many riders that night expressed complaints about a lack of communication and direction from Metro personnel at the Rosslyn station. After a two-week review, however, Metro has concluded that while some mistakes were made, the shutdown was, in fact, handled well.
How would you grade Metro’s overall response on Oct. 11?