What bus riders in Northern Virginia should know before the Silver Line opens

How will the Orange, Blue and Silver lines squeeze through crowded Rosslyn Station? Careful choreography. (Alberto Cuadra/The Washington Post)

With the opening of the Silver Line, many bus routes in Fairfax and other parts of Northern Virginia will change. If you are a bus rider, here are a few things you need to know:

Shuttle buses on opening day

On Saturday, the first Silver Line train is scheduled to leave the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station at noon. The Fairfax Connector will run shuttle buses Saturday morning between the West Falls Church and the Wiehle-Reston East, McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro and Spring Hill stations. The shuttle buses will operate between the Orange Line and Silver Line until 12:30 p.m.

Cost

Your bus fare remains the same at $1.75. But numerous buses that serve the West Falls Church Metro station will now take passengers to Silver Line stations. Keep in mind that if you start your rail trip at the Wiehle-Reston East station, you will pay more: $5.90 to downtown, up from the $4.10 fare from West Falls Church.

Fairfax Connector bus routes

The Fairfax Connector is changing 28 routes that will affect Herndon, Tysons and other areas, adding stops at the new Silver Line stations. Visit the Fairfax Connector Web site to get the new schedules: www.fairfaxcounty.
gov/connector/routes/silverline/.

The county is adding 16 new lines, including three Tysons Circulator buses that will serve Silver Line stations in Tysons and will run frequently from the train stations to shopping, office and residential destinations.

A new express bus, the No. 599, will connect the Reston area to the Pentagon-Crystal City area.

Park and ride

Commuters who park at the Sunset Hill Interim park and ride in Reston will no longer be able to park there. The popular free parking facility is closing when the Silver Line opens. Users are being encouraged to park at other park-and-ride lots served by county buses, or skip the bus ride and drive to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, where parking is available for $4.85 a day.

Airport bus to Dulles International Airport

The Washington Flyer will no longer serve the West Falls Church Metro station. The new service, renamed Silver Line Express, will offer service between Dulles and Wiehle-Reston East. The fare will decrease from the current $10 one way or $18 round trip, to $5 each way.

Fairfax Connector Routes 981 and 983 will provide a connection from Wiehle-Reston East to Dulles Airport, but with stops along the way. The fare is $1.75

Loudoun buses

Loudoun will launch one new bus line to serve the Silver Line and will reroute two current lines from West Falls Church to the Silver Line. It also plans to boost the frequency of service. Some LC Transit Potomac Falls buses will continue to serve the West Falls Church Metro station. For information, visit www.loudoun.gov.

Prince William County
area routes

The Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes will discontinue service to West Falls Church and Vienna Metro stations. They will serve the Tysons Corner Metro Station.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.
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