91°Scattered Clouds

by ARLnow.com — July 29, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Derailed Metro train at the East Falls Church station (photo courtesy John Sonderman)

Update at 2:45 p.m. — Orange and Silver line service will remain suspended between Ballston and West Falls Church through at least Saturday, Metro said this afternoon.

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Two people were evaluated for injuries after a “minor” train derailment at the East Falls Church Metro station.

Orange and Silver Line service remains shut down between West Falls Church and Ballston as a result of the derailment, and will remain shut down through Friday evening, according to Metro. Shuttle buses are running between the stations.

About 75 passengers were on the train when the derailment happened, around 6:30 a.m. Train cars remained upright and the passengers were able to offload “without further incident,” according to Metro.

The derailment happened as Metro’s “SafeTrack” maintenance work was being performed on one of the tracks between Ballston and East Falls Church.

Photo (top) courtesy John Sonderman

by Tim Regan — July 19, 2016 at 4:15 pm 0

Metro’s fifth SafeTrack maintenance surge will cause a “severe service reduction” on portions of the Orange and Silver lines for 11 days starting tomorrow.

From Wednesday, July 20 until Sunday, July 31, Orange and Silver line trains will continuously single track between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations. This is the same area that was affected during first Metro SafeTrack surge.

On weekdays, Orange Line trains between Vienna and Ballston are expected to operate every 18 minutes. Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes during the surge, according to Metro.

Additional Orange Line trains will operate between Ballston and New Carrollton during the maintenance period. Trains from Vienna to Ballston and Wiehle-Reston East to Ballston are likely to be extremely crowded, especially during rush-hour, Metro said.

“Customers at Ballston should consider using the additional train service that originates at Ballston and will board on the opposite platform from through-train service,” the agency advised in its latest announcement. “This may lengthen your departure time, but will give you the best opportunity to find space.”

Metro Commuters who have the ability to do so should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible, Metro added.

An Arlington County website has the following information those affected by the latest Metro surge:

Street operations changes

Supplemental local bus service

  • Using 40-foot buses for ART 55 (East Falls Church-Lee Highway-Rosslyn) to add capacity along the affected section of the Orange/Silver line.
    • Each 40-foot bus has five more seats and room for more standees compared to the 35-foot bus normally used on this route.
  • New midday, evening and weekend service for ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Courthouse), which started during Surge 2, continues to be available.
  • For changes to bus service operated by Metro and other jurisdictions, visit Metro’s website.

Alternate work and travel options

The County is encouraging telework/flex time, ridesharing, biking and walking – options other than driving alone:

  • Arlington Transportation Partners is reaching out to employers and building managers to urge them to encourage telework or flex schedules and provide travel option information.
  • Arlington’s Commuter Page has travel option resources for residents and businesses – for example, assistance for vanpooling and other car-free options.
  • Arlington County Commuter Services Hispanic Marketing offers comprehensive information about each surge in Spanish.
  • For teleworkers who can’t work at home, Arlington Public Libraries offer wifi, office equipment, design stations with Adobe software, and small meeting rooms.

For those who bike, these changes are continued from prior surges:

Video via Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

by ARLnow.com — July 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

16G Metrobus (photo courtesy WMATA)The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a new 10-year transit plan that provides a vision for “more frequent bus service, more late night and weekend service, better north-south connections, and a new Premium Transit Network along Columbia Pike.”

There’s an asterisk to the Transit Development Plan’s unanimous approval and the subsequent cheery press release, however. Responding to criticism from residents and the county’s own Transportation Commission, the Board directed County Manager Mark Schwartz to report back next year on possible improvements to the post-streetcar transit plan for Columbia Pike.

The Board’s guidance to Schwartz and county staff:

This generally ambitious and robust Transit Development Plan nevertheless falls short of the urgency and innovation needed to create a transformative transit network serving Columbia Pike and to realize its potential as a thriving and dynamic residential and commercial corridor.

Therefore, in adopting the FY 2017 -FY 2026 Transit Development Plan, the County Board also gives the following guidance to the County Manager and staff:

Look and Customization of Vehicles. The current TDP phases in the most modern version of current vehicles, WMATA buses and ART buses, with no unique features beyond re-skinning the buses on WMATA routes. Recognizing the significant logistical, cost and inter-jurisdictional challenges, please provide to the Board for consideration and analysis, during Q2 2017, the details of a possible path to customized and unique vehicles.

Articulated Buses. In consultation with WMATA, provide a plan by Q2 2017 to add articulated buses to the highest-demand routes on Columbia Pike (on either a pilot or permanent basis). Continue to assess effectiveness of articulated bus service and determine sustained levels of service for these routes through FY2026.

Headways. The current TDP identifies 6-minute peak headways and 12-15 minute off-peak headways for the Metrobus Connector “trunk line.” Please provide to the Board, by Q2 2017, a cost/benefit analysis (to consider efficiency, capacity, ridership impacts) of reducing the off-peak headways and ultimately achieving a 6-minute headway for 18 hours/day.

Coordination with Other Agencies. To effectuate this guidance, the County Manager and staff will coordinate as appropriate and necessary with WMATA and other federal, state, regional and local government agencies and transportation bodies.

Most of the public comments at Saturday’s Board meeting were complimentary of the overall plan, save the plan for the so-called Premium Transit Network. That plan seemed in many ways diminished from the “TSM-2” enhanced bus plan the county and supporters originally said was inferior to its since-cancelled streetcar plan for Columbia Pike.

Among the public speakers at the Board meeting was John Snyder, member of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization and a former streetcar booster. Snyder said the plan for Pike transit presented by county staff was inadequate to support growth along the corridor.

We had a debate for several years [about] TSM-2… and the streetcar. TSM-2 won the debate. Now, when I look at the plan, what is written in the plan has disappeared. The whole idea of premium new vehicles that have higher capacity: it’s gone. This wasn’t announced and it wasn’t part of a public process. We found out about it by looking at the Capital Improvement Plan. There’s no money to buy new buses. There’s still money in the plan for the transit stations if they’re maintained at the current level but the buses have disappeared. There’s great things in the Transit Development Plan, what’s in there is great and the consensus is that the county board supports all of it. But the concern is what’s not in there. We don’t see anything that’s going to help businesses with more frequent service on the off-hours. People go out to dinner not during the commuting hour, they go out to dinner after that time and they come back after that time. The idea of six-minute intervals all the time makes it reliable, frequent, easy and simple to use. We have the simplicity, the new 16M line is great in the way that it simplifies many of these different routes but it needs to have that frequency to help our businesses and connect our residents to that so we get out of the car mentality. Seventy percent of the people on the Pike do not use transit even to get to work. The percentage on other sorts of trips is even higher. We need to change that. That’s the whole idea behind the Pike plan and it has been supported by the Board for the last 15 years.

There is no plan to increase capacity. We understand that you’re going to be coordinating with WMATA on how we can get articulated buses. I heard the same thing in 2003 at the first meeting I attended regarding transit on the Pike. WMATA has a lot on its plate. What we need in that regard is a statement that says Arlington will. Arlington will go do this, we will go get the additional buses, we will get the additional facilities needed to maintain them and we’re going to do that by a particular date.

Some were more charitable about the plan as currently conceived.

“These critics failed to appreciate that no amount of service upgrades will defeat car culture,” said perennial County Board candidate Audrey Clement, who’s running as an independent this year. “If state of the art transit technology were the solution, the Silver Line would not be running half-empty in the I-66 median with cars parked on the interstate on either side every day.”

Dennis Leach, Arlington’s Deputy Director of Transportation, said the enhanced transit stations and other amenities included in the Premium Transit Network plan will, in fact, move the needle in terms of making transit a more attractive option along the Pike.

“The premium amenities are proving those high-quality stations with near-level boarding, longer platforms and real-time information,” he said. “These stations are the front door of transit in the corridor. It is shifting this entire corridor to off-vehicle fare collection. We’ve already started work on transit signal priority and we are committed to actually implementing it in the full corridor.”

“We are actively coordinating with Metro to replace the current buses with modern low floor vehicles,” Leach added. “The intent is to implement a unified brand for this premium transit network.”

“I would say this was the most intensive and comprehensive transit update that the county has ever done,” Leach said of the overall transit plan. “I was here for 2011, this effort well exceeded that. We looked at every route and every part of this community to bring these recommendations before you.”

The full press release from Arlington County, after the jump.

(more…)

by Andrew Ramonas — July 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Metro SafeTrack Surge 4 service changes (Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority)Arlington is set to lose one of its Metro stops on the Blue and Yellow lines for seven days as part of another “SafeTrack surge,” which is set to start tomorrow.

“Surge 4” track repair work is slated to begin Tuesday and will keep the station closed through the following Monday.

Until the Crystal City station’s scheduled reopening on Tuesday, July 19, Metro will have free shuttle bus service to connect the stop with the Reagan National and Pentagon City stations.

Arlington and airport officials are encouraging travelers to avoid driving near the three stations and use buses and other modes of transportation to get around.

An Arlington County website has the following information those affected by the Metro maintenance work and station closure.

Street operations changes for Surge 3 and 4

Supplemental local bus service continued from prior surges

  • The new ART service and additional ART bus capacity on routes that parallel the Blue Line will continue through Surges 3 and 4:
    • Midday, evening and weekend service for ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Courthouse) – This route provides a direct connection from Crystal City to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. On weekdays, 40-foot buses will be used to add capacity.
    • 40-foot buses for ART 42 (Ballston-Pentagon) to add capacity – Each 40-foot bus has five more seats and room for more standees compared to 35-foot buses normally used on this route.
  • For changes to bus service operated by Metro and other jurisdictions, visit Metro’s website.

Alternate travel and work options

Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

by Adrian Cruz — July 5, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Starting today, the third stage of Metro’s SafeTrack maintenance plan begins, affecting Blue and Yellow line service in Arlington.

The third stage will begin at 8 p.m. on July 5, continuing until July 11 and it will involve the Blue and Yellow lines being completely shut down between National Airport and Braddock Road, in Alexandria.

Blue Line trains will run every 15 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Greenbelt.

Riders will be able to take Metroway BRT buses for free, between Pentagon City and Braddock Road, to bypass the closure. For airport customers coming from stations below Braddock Road, shuttle bus service will run between the station and the airport.

The fourth SafeTrack stage will run from July 12-18 and the same lines will be shut down between National Airport and Pentagon City. That includes a closure of the busy Crystal City station.

Blue Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and National Airport and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Greenbelt.

Shuttle bus service will run to National Airport from Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Metroway shuttle service will also be available for free during this stage.

For its part, Arlington County will continue to run the expanded bus service implemented for SafeTrack’s second stage. That includes expanded midday, evening and weekend service on the ART 43 between Rosslyn and Crystal City and additional 4o-foot buses to increase capacity on the ART 42, which runs from Ballston to Pentagon.

Arlington County is encouraging alternative commute options during the surge, such as teleworking, ridesharing, biking and walking if possible.

Video Courtesy WMATA

by ARLnow.com — June 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm 0

Updated at 7:10 p.m. — There were 10 passengers in the stalled elevator, we’re told. They were freed after about 40 minutes on the elevator.

Earlier: A large number of fire department vehicles have responded to the Courthouse Metro station for a possible elevator issue.

Initial, unconfirmed reports suggest a number of people are stuck on an elevator that’s filling with smoke due to an electrical or mechanical malfunction. There’s also a report of light smoke in an elevator service room.

Firefighters and Metro elevator technicians are working to safely get the elevator to ground level, where the passengers can be evaluated by paramedics, according to scanner traffic.

There is thus far no indication that Metrorail service has been affected.

by ARLnow.com — June 24, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Streetcar-like bus in Las Vegas (photo via Twitter)

Next month the Arlington County Board will consider the county’s final Transit Development Plan, which includes the post-streetcar plans for transit on Columbia Pike.

Just don’t hold your breath for the aesthetically-pleasing “streetcar-like” buses mentioned occasionally by streetcar opponents before the project was cancelled.

The Transit Development Plan includes provisions for “premium bus service” along the Pike, but “premium” refers more to the usability and frequency of the bus service than the vehicle itself.

“The premium network would offer bus service that is fast, frequent, reliable and easy to use, with features including simplified bus routes, increased weekday and weekend service, and a new one-seat ride from Skyline to Pentagon City-Crystal City,” said a county press release.

The plan does include a series of 23 enhanced bus stops along the Pike, with a price tag north of half a million dollars apiece, providing “near-level boarding, longer platforms, real-time bus arrival information and off-vehicle fare collection.”

Articulated Metrobus, downtown Washington, DC (photo by M. Ortiz via Wikipedia)It will also call for larger, articulated buses on some heavily-used routes, but those will be operated by Metro and won’t be put into service until Metro and the county can establish the infrastructure needed for such buses.

“Higher capacity (articulated) buses will be addressed in the 10-year Transit Development Plan,” said Marti Reinfeld, Arlington’s interim Transit Bureau Chief. “The routes that will need the additional capacity are Metro-operated; therefore, we are coordinating with Metro to include articulated buses in their fleet expansion plan and to address how an articulated fleet will be stored and maintained in Virginia.”

(Here’s more information on the articulated buses currently in use by Metro.)

“As maintenance and storage details for articulated buses are worked out, we will revise the TDP in an annual update, as needed,” said Reinfeld.

“To be clear, no plans for any especially fancy ART buses or anything like that, besides the eventual possibility of articulated buses?” asked ARLnow.com.

“Correct,” said a county spokesman.

Photo (top) of a bus in Las Vegas via Twitter. Photo (bottom) by M. Ortiz via Wikipedia.

by Adrian Cruz — June 18, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

The second round of closures related to Metro’s yearlong SafeTrack maintenance plan is slated to take effect today, with big impacts to Blue Line service in Arlington.

Maintenance crews will work on portions of the Orange, Silver and Blue lines until July 3, according to a service advisory.

On the Orange Line, trains will not run between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Road. Orange and Silver line trains will run every 10 minutes between Vienna/Wiehle-Reston and Eastern Market.

Metro shutdown graphicOn the Blue Line, trains will not run between between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn. Trains will, however, run between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery each weekday until 10 p.m. Yellow Line trains will run on a Rush+ schedule all day on weekdays to compensate for the loss of Blue Line service.

Metro will provide shuttle service for riders traveling to and from affected stations. Arlington County has also expanded ART 43 service, which runs between Rosslyn and Crystal City, on middays, evenings and weekends until Aug. 20.

Trains may be extremely crowded, especially during rush hour, Metro officials said. Regular riders are encouraged to use commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting.

Video Courtesy WMATA

by Adrian Cruz — June 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

SafeTrack Metro work between Ballston and East Falls Church

The first SafeTrack maintenance surge, between Ballston and East Falls Church, is ahead of schedule, Metro GM Paul Wiedefeld announced today.

At the end of the day Monday, 96 percent of the planned work had been completed, with three days remaining in the schedule, Wiedefeld said. Continuous single-tracking on the Orange and Silver lines is still slated to wrap up tomorrow (Thursday), as originally planned.

“Given the importance of quickly getting into this intensive track rehab program, I am pleased with the work getting done in Surge #1, and want to thank the entire region for their support over the last twelve days,” said Wiedefeld. “While the immediate benefit for any surge is safety, as we conclude the surges, customers should see an improvement in track reliability and overall ride quality along this area of the Orange and Silver lines.”

The work done included rail tie replacement, insulator renewal, fastener renewal and leak repairs, as detailed in a report released by Metro.

Although early indications suggested that SafeTrack was causing delays for most commuters, the din of complaints on social media largely faded as the work continued. Riders who spoke to ARLnow.com outside the Ballston Metro station last Thursday (see video, below) said their commutes weren’t overly affected by the changes — fears of major overcrowding and delays did not materialize, at least in their experience.

Stage two of SafeTrack will begin on Saturday with shuttle buses replacing trains between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Road on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Blue Line trains will only run between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery in both directions. The work is scheduled to wrap up by July 3.

Photo by Jackie Friedman. Video by Omar DeBrew.

by ARLnow.com — June 7, 2016 at 11:35 am 0

Metro worker suffering dehydration on the Orange/Silver line tracks along I-66 (courtesy photo)

Working on the railroad is hard work.

That was in evidence this morning when a Metro contractor who was on the team performing “SafeTrack” maintenance work on the tracks near the East Falls Church station reportedly passed out from dehydration.

Firefighters and paramedics responded to the section of track along I-66 and transported the worker to a local hospital for evaluation.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the agency is taking steps to make sure its workers are well hydrated.

“Obviously, this is hard, physical labor on a hot and cloudless day,” Stessel told ARLnow.com. “We are providing water and sports drinks to all workers on site, and requiring frequent breaks — but the lack of shade is really the issue.”

Courtesy photo

by Jackie Friedman — June 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Christian Dorsey, Libby Garvey and Paul Wiedefeld at a Metro press conference in East Falls Church

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).

by ARLnow.com — June 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm 0

Suspects from a sexual assault that occurred on a Yellow Line train (photo courtesy WMATA)

(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) Metro Transit Police are investigating a sexual assault that occurred last night on a Yellow Line train.

Metro says three men assaulted a woman, grabbing her inappropriately, after she refused to perform a sexual act.

The assault took place on a train near the Braddock Road Metro station. Transit Police investigated the incident at the Crystal City Metro station Thursday night, just before 10 p.m., prompting delays on the Blue and Yellow lines.

Late Friday afternoon, Metro released a press release (below) and surveillance images of the suspects (above).

Metro Transit Police are investigating a reported sexual battery aboard a Yellow Line train last night and are seeking the public’s assistance to identify three persons of interest pictured below.

The victim, an adult female, advised officers that she was approached by three males at around 9:30 p.m. aboard a northbound train from Huntington. As the train traveled between Eisenhower Ave and Braddock Road stations, the males approached the victim and asked her to perform a sexual act. When the victim refused, the suspects assaulted the female, including grabbing her body through her clothing.

The victim reported the incident to MTPD officers who broadcast a flash lookout and conducted a canvass of trains and stations along the line. The victim declined medical assistance and was subsequently transported to her residence by MTPD officers.

The suspects were described as follows:

1. Black male (medium complexion), age 18-30, height 5’8″-5’11”, weight 140 wearing red t-shirt with “aero” logo and blue jeans
2. Black male (medium complexion), age 18-30, height 5’8″-5’11”, weight 140 wearing black t-shirt with white shirt underneath and black jeans
3. Black male (medium complexion), age 18-30, height 5’8″-5’11”, weight 140 wearing black Nike shirt with yellow “P” Pittsburgh Pirates logo and blue jeans

Anyone who may have information about this incident is urged to contact Metro Transit Police detectives by calling (202) 962-2121 or by sending a text message to “MyMTPD” (696873).

by ARLnow.com — June 2, 2016 at 11:55 am 0

More frequent and convenient premium bus service may be in place for Columbia Pike by the summer of 2018.

That’s according to a county staff presentation on Tuesday. The presentation was made during a County Board work session on Arlington’s Transit Development Plan,

Arlington County plans to launch its “Premium Transit Network” in 2018, with new transit stations along the Pike and other amenities added in phases through 2021.

From a county press release:

A major feature of the plan is the creation of a Premium Transit Network connecting Columbia Pike, Pentagon City and Crystal City. The premium network would offer bus service that is fast, frequent, reliable and easy to use, with features including simplified bus routes, increased weekday and weekend service, and a new one-seat ride from Skyline to Pentagon City-Crystal City.

In addition to new service, this Premium Transit Network would include new transit stations along Columbia Pike that provide near-level boarding, longer platforms, real-time bus arrival information and off-vehicle fare collection.

Transit for Columbia Pike has been a hot topic for the past few years. There has been the controversy over the $1 million dollar bus stop on the Pike, the debate over the Pike streetcar project, and its cancellation in 2014. The extended planning process for a transit alternative to the streetcar, following its cancellation, has even become a campaign issue in the County Board primary.

(The County Board is scheduled to adopt its new county-wide Transit Development Plan, including the plan for upgraded Pike transit, in July.)

According to the Washington Post, the discussion on Tuesday also focused on the cost of the enhanced transit stations along the Pike.

“Originally budgeted at $12.2 million, the price for the stations has risen to $13.3 million,” the Post reported. “That increase didn’t sit well with board members who remember the public outcry three years ago when the county debuted a $1 million bus stop.”

With 23 stations, the per-station cost is now just north of $575,000.

Other features of the Transit Development Plan, to be in place by the summer of 2020, include:

  • “A new north-south connection between Rosslyn and Shirlington”
  • “More frequent service from Dunn Loring to Ballston, via Arlington Boulevard”
  • “More frequent service along Glebe Road”
  • “A new connection between Crystal City, National Airport and Shirlington”
  • “A new connection between Buckingham and the County’s Department of Human Services facility at Sequoia”

“Transit is critical to Arlington’s economic and environmental sustainability,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “As our population – and that of our entire region – continues to grow – it is essential that we continue to attract more people to transit by offering outstanding service and reliability. We believe this plan will significantly improve transit across the County.”

by Adrian Cruz — June 1, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

SafeTrack logo (image via Metro)With Metro’s SafeTrack plan beginning June 4, Arlington County has released its response to the planned service cuts.

The first stage of SafeTrack involves single tracking on the Orange and Silver lines between Ballston and East Falls Church. Trains will run every 18 minutes, with additional Orange Line trains running from Ballston to New Carrolton.

In response, Arlington County will supplement WMATA’s efforts to assist travelers with its own. ART routes 55 (Rosslyn-East Falls Church) and 52 (Virginia Hospital-Ballston-East Falls Church) will use 40-foot buses instead of the usual 35-foot buses to add capacity during the surge. The county is also considering adding a bus lane on Lee Highway to speed up 55 buses during rush hour.

Capital Bikeshare will also be expanded, with capacity increases at the Ballston and Rosslyn stations along with a new Bikeshare station being installed at the East Falls Church station. For new or inexperienced riders, “bike trains” — bicyclists riding as a group — will be run between Rosslyn and East Falls Church, stopping at each Metro station along the route.

Along with the transportation additions, the county will make changes on the streets around the main Metro hubs, removing some street parking and converting streets to bus-only during rush hours.

Metro has released the following YouTube video to explain the SafeTrack surge.

by Adrian Cruz — May 19, 2016 at 4:15 pm 0

Metro SafeTrack plan for June 2016

There will be nearly two weeks of continuous single-tracking between Metro’s Ballston and East Falls Church stations next month, and that’s just the start of a sweeping plan to make Metrorail safer and more reliable.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld released the final version of its SafeTrack plan on Tuesday. Intended to catch up on years of deferred maintenance, the plan will condense three years of track work into less than a year of a “safety surge,” resulting in major transit disruptions.

SafeTrack logo (image via Metro)The expedited maintenance, which will focus on various high-priority parts of the Metrorail system, comes as a result of the constant track problems and safety concerns about infrastructure Metro has faced over the past year.

The plan extends maintenance times on weekends, weeknights and midday hours and it also contains 15 “safety surge” projects, which will each involve 1-6 weeks of single tracking or complete shutdown of certain parts of the system.

The project will heavily affect rush hour commutes as service on the affected lines will be greatly reduced, resulting in extended wait times and more crowding on trains.

“Safety comes first, and I want to remind the region that SafeTrack is not just about the 15 maintenance surges,” said Wiedefeld in a press release. “SafeTrack also includes weeknight work that will require single track operations in sections starting at 8 p.m.; it means closing the system at midnight on weekends as opposed to 3 a.m. and committing to a moratorium on extra hours of early morning or late night service when it conflicts with track work.”

Here’s the list of track outages will affect Arlington riders:

June 4-16: Ballston to East Falls Church
Impact: Continuous Single Tracking
Service Change: Orange Line runs every 18 minutes to/from stations Vienna to Ballston, additional trains from Ballston to New Carrollton. Silver Line trains run every 18 minutes at all times.

June 18-July 3: Minnesota Ave/Benning Road to Eastern Market
Impact: Entire Line Segment Shutdown
Service Change: Orange and Silver line trains run every 10 minutes at all times, Blue line trains run every 12 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery only. Yellow Rush+ runs all day.

July 5-11: Reagan National Airport to Braddock Road
Impact: Entire Line Segment Shutdown
Service Change: Blue and Yellow line trains run every 12 minutes at all times.

July 12-18: Reagan National Airport to Pentagon City
Impact: Entire Line Segment Shutdown
Service Change: Blue and Yellow line trains run every 12 minutes at all times.

July 20-31: Ballston to East Falls Church
Impact: Continuous Single Tracking
Service Change: Orange Line runs every 18 minutes to/from stations Vienna to Ballston, additional trains from Ballston to New Carrollton. Silver Line trains run every 18 minutes at all times.

Nov. 3-11: East Falls Church to West Falls Church
Impact: Continuous Single Tracking
Service Change: Orange Line trains run every 16 minutes from Vienna to New Carrolton, additional trains from EFC to New Carrollton. Silver Line trains run every 16 minutes.

Dec. 7-24 (Minus Dec. 17): Pentagon to Rosslyn
Impact: Entire Line Shutdown
Service Change: No Blue Line service. Yellow Line Rush+ runs all day, delays and crowding expected. Arlington Cemetery station closed.

Jan. 2-13 and Jan. 23-Feb. 3: Braddock Road to Huntington/Van Dorn St.
Impact: Continuous Single Tracking
Service Change: Blue Line trains run every 18 minutes. Yellow Line trains run every 6 minutes from National Airport to Mt. Vernon Square only. Shuttle trains running between Huntington and King Street only.

March 6-19: East Falls Church to West Falls Church
Impact: Continuous Single Tracking
Service Change: Orange Line trains run every 16 minutes from Vienna to New Carrolton, additional trains from EFC to New Carrollton. Silver Line trains run every 16 minutes.

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