Virginia Railway Express officials will add seats on some of the system’s most crowded trains come Monday.
VRE officials said trains 300,313, 310, 311, 312, 301, 326 and 329 will get additional cars. Train 302 will lose a few cars so train 306 — not the more crowded of the two — can become an eight-car train. VRE officials said the changes will provide an additional 700 seats
To accommodate the longer trains at VRE’s storage yard in the District, VRE will have to send a train back to Manassas after its morning run. The train won’t carry riders and will stay at Broad Run until it’s needed at Union Station for the evening service.
VRE, which was created in 1992, has a capacity for 20,000 riders. In recent months, however, the system has shattered ridership records and carried more than 20,000 riders on multiple days. VRE officials have spent months brainstorming ways to alleviate congestion on the trains, but a lack of funding and storage space have made the task a challenge, they said.
Also on Monday, the new step-up fare will commence. Commuters will be able to board select Amtrak trains for $5 instead of $10. VRE officials said they hope the cost reduction will shift about 60,000 riders to Amtrak — roughly twice the number who rode it in fiscal 2010.