With very few people riding Metrorail during the coronavirus pandemic, Metro announced today that it will expand its previously-planned closures and shut down the Silver Line over the summer.
Metro has already been planning to close Arlington’s East Falls Church station, along with the Vienna and Dunn Loring stations, for platform reconstruction work. It’s now also closing the West Falls Church station, which had previously been slated to remain open during construction.
Additionally, Metro says it will be combining the platform work with a separate project to link up the current Silver Line with the new “phase II” stations.
As a result, all stations west of Ballston will be closed from Memorial Day weekend through the fall, and several new shuttle bus lines will replace the rail service.
A number of station closures are already in place as a result of the pandemic and low ridership, including the Clarendon, Virginia Square and East Falls Church stations. Though the normally-busy Ballston station is now the only open station in Arlington west of Courthouse, Metro says ridership is way down.
“As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, ridership at stations west of Ballston totals about 1,200 customers per weekday — less than 5% of normal ridership,” the transit agency said.
More from a Metro press release, below.
Making the most of historically low ridership and traffic-free highways, Metro today announced plans to combine the schedules of its two biggest capital priorities in Virginia: rebuilding platforms and connecting the Silver Line to Metro’s existing network.
Under the expanded plan, Metro will combine this summer’s work demolishing and reconstructing platforms at four Orange Line stations with a separate project on the Silver Line to connect Metrorail to the new “phase II” stations, which are being constructed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
The resulting summer shutdown will close a total of nine stations from Memorial Day weekend through the fall.
“This is about two things: working smarter and working safer,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Closing the stations to get the work done while ridership is historically low allows us to limit the exposure of our frontline staff and contractors, mitigate delays to our capital program, and minimize inconvenience to the public.”
Under the new plan:
- All stations west of Ballston on the Orange and Silver lines will be closed beginning Saturday, May 23:
Orange Line: East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring, Vienna
Silver Line: McLean, Tysons, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East
- All trains will begin/end service at Ballston. Orange Line service will run from Ballston to New Carrollton.
- There will be no Silver Line service.
- Free express and local shuttle bus service will be available to provide alternative travel options for essential workers.
As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, ridership at stations west of Ballston totals about 1,200 customers per weekday – less than 5% of normal ridership.
Metro’s platform contractor, Kiewit, has implemented new protocols and procedures to ensure that construction crews are as safe as possible in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Because the effect of these safety measures on the project schedule is not yet known, Metro will announce an expected reopening date for the affected stations after construction gets underway.
Metro will provide three free shuttle bus options:
- Orange Line Local: Service between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and Ballston
- Orange Line Express: Direct service between Vienna and Ballston (no intermediate stops)
- Silver Line Local: Service between Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner and Ballston
- Shuttles will run seven days a week, and operate during the same hours as the rail system, currently 5 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekends.
Shuttles will run approximately every 10 minutes on weekdays and approximately every 15 minutes on weekends.
Shuttles will not stop at stations closed due to Metro’s response to COVID-19.
Metro’s Board approved plans to provide free parking at Vienna and Dunn Loring through the end of the summer shutdown.
No customer parking is available at East Falls Church Station due to construction activity.
Stay at home orders in effect
Use of Metro should be limited to essential travel only, as stipulated under stay-at-home Executive Orders in effect throughout the Metro service area. Essential travel includes first responders, hospital staff, critical government employees, grocery and pharmacy workers, and others who must work during the public health emergency. Unless traveling for an essential purpose, you are urged to stay at home.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village