Metro Silver Line winners and losers

With the opening of Metro’s new Silver Line coming later this year, there are going to be winners and losers.

The biggest losers: about 82,556 average daily passengers on Metro’s rail and buses would not benefit from the new rail line while 389,100 would benefit, according to documents in a packet for Metro board members.

The analysis of the impact on ridership looked at wait times and crowding that riders will face with the new line, the first section of which will open later this year. The analysis was part of Federal Transit Administration guidelines that require the agency to look at the impact of a new rail line on minority versus non-minority populations.

Metro said in its analysis that “there is not a disparate impact for minority and low-income riders.” The analysis went on to say “minority and low-income riders will not be negatively impacted at a greater rate than their systemwide ridership.”

The first part of the Silver Line now under construction will run from the East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue Station on the edge of Reston. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is overseeing the construction of the new line and expected to turn it over to Metro later this year. Once Metro inspects and tests the new rail line, it will open to customers.


Construction on the Silver Line in November. The new 11-mile rail line is expected to open in December. (Tracy Woodward/Washington Post)

The agency’s analysis lays out a range of wait times from various stops on the Silver, Orange and Blue lines.

The biggest change will be for Blue Line riders where trains will run every 12 minutes — two fewer trains than currently — to make way for trains coming on the Silver Line.

But there is some good news for Blue Line riders; Metro is working to provide more eight- car trains along the line to alleviate crowding.

The documents also show how a survey of roughly 7,700 Metro rail riders showed that between 80 percent and 87 percent of people who now drive said they would take the Silver Line.

The board’s customer service, finance and planning committees are expected to meet Thursday and discuss the report.

I'm a Washington Post reporter, working an early morning shift that deals with crime, lottery winners, traffic, you name it.
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