One of the first things riders will notice when they reach the Silver Line’s west end terminal in the Reston area are the destination signs indicating the trains are going to Largo Town Center. It’s a reminder that Metro’s Silver Line is more than five new stations in Fairfax County. Eastbound trains will share tracks with the Orange Line starting at East Falls Church and also will share tracks with the Blue Line starting at Rosslyn. After Stadium-Armory, the Silver Line will continue along with the Blue Line to Largo in Prince George’s County.
It’s unlikely that many riders will take the full 70-minute trip from one end of the line to the other. A more likely scenario is that riders will see the Silver Line as a set of lines, depending on their travel needs. A rider in Prince George’s might see it as increasing service on the Largo branch into downtown D.C. A rider in downtown D.C. might benefit from more frequent midday service between local stations in the city center. A rider in Rosslyn might use it to reach a shopping mall in Tysons. A commuter from West Virginia might think of the Wiehle-Reston station as shortening the morning drive to a transit center. A cyclist from Capitol Hill might use it to reach a start point for a ride on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail for a ride back to D.C.
The public and private entities that are investing billions of dollars in this project and the transit authority, which will operate the line, are counting on a variety of users, during rush hours, off-peak and on weekends.
It worries some of them that many potential users haven’t heard of this Silver Line, though the opening is probably just a few months away. Metro will be cranking up its marketing campaign. You can see part of it now on Metro’s new Web site for the line at silverlinemetro.com.
See also: Lori Aratani’s Sneak peak tour of the Silver Line.