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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 04/24/2012

Explaining Metro’s Rush Plus plan

The new Metro map was among the topics we discussed during my online chat today. A traveler asked:

“Will the new Silver Line continue on into D.C. (to Stadium Armory, perhaps?) or will it run only to East Falls Church, where passengers will have to transfer to the Orange Line? The preliminary map is no help — the Silver Line color trail doesn’t parallel the Orange line past East Falls Church, but that station also doesn’t have the transfer station iconography.”

Now, the answer to that one is pretty easy: The plan for the Silver Line is that it should continue on to Stadium-Armory. A rider will be able to stay in the same seat from the end of the line at Wiehle Avenue through downtown Washington.

The hard part — and the main reason we have the preliminary Metro map that the traveler was studying — is trying to avoid getting on the wrong train once Metro starts its Rush Plus service June 18.

The map, the Silver Line and Rush Plus are related, but it’s a bit of a bank shot.

Metro is launching Rush Plus in anticipation of the Silver Line’s completion. The problem was how to clear the way for adding Silver trains to the Orange and Blue mix that now crams the Rosslyn tunnel to capacity at rush hour.

The solution was to subtract some Blue from the tunnel and have those trains use the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River to get to and from the District.

The plan Metro came up with looks pretty good, because it adds rush hour service on the Orange and Yellow lines, though it does reduce service for some of the Blue Line riders. Calling it Rush Plus puts the changes in the best possible light.

The preliminary map is about figuring out how to benefit from the changing service and how not to get hurt by it.

Metro has created an interactive map, linked to videos that explain each segment of the new service. This is good. Whenever Metro officials think they’ve done enough to explain this new service, they should do more.

I think the most potential for confusion is along the north-south corridor formed by the Yellow and Green lines. Depending on the time of day and the origin point, a northbound Yellow Line train could terminate at Mount Vernon Square, Fort Totten or Greenbelt.

“Knowing your destination is the key to a successful ride,” says the Metro video for this segment.

I might have rephrased that: “Metro telling you where the train is going is the key to a successful ride.” The video goes right into showing a destination sign on a train and the electronic display on a platform. The videos and the map are fine, but most riders are going to rely on the accuracy of the train and platform signs.

They have to be correct, and the train announcements have to be clear.

By  |  01:00 PM ET, 04/24/2012

Categories:  Metro, Silver Line | Tags:  DC tramsportation, Metro, WMATA

 
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