Nearly two weeks of continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston, on the Orange and Silver Metro lines, begins tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
Major travel disruptions are expected during Metro’s maintenance “surge,” dubbed “SafeTrack.” WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, along with Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Christian Dorsey, held a press conference this afternoon at the East Falls Church Metro Station to discuss preparations.
“We are going to make this work, it is a team effort,” said Garvey, touting Arlington’s plans to assist commuters and ease congestion. “We’re all working together.”
Metro riders can seek commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting. Free shuttle buses between Ballston and East Falls Church and Ballston and West Falls Church will be offered during the project. Additional Capital Bikeshare stations are being installed at the East Falls Church station in preparation for the work.
The single tracking will last for 13 days, ending on Thursday, June 16.
According to Wiedefeld, the worst impacts on the Orange and Silver lines will be west of Ballston. Orange Line trains will run only every 18 minutes between Vienna and Ballston, while Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes. Additional trains will be placed in service east of Ballston.
The biggest effects will be felt during rush hour — riders are being told to expect “extreme crowding and delays” in each direction.
“Remember, the reason we are doing this is to make the system more reliable and safer,” said Wiedefeld.
The track work is just the first of numerous SafeTrack projects planned over the next year, many of which will impact Arlington riders.
Arlington County streamed a video of the press conference on Facebook, and yesterday released a video discussing SafeTrack (below).