You’ve got questions about the Silver Line? We’ve got answers.


The McLean Station in Fairfax County, VA. The station is part of the Silver Line. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
Robert Thomson
Columnist July 13

Metro’s new Silver Line is scheduled to open in two weeks, so we invited travelers to submit questions they might have about the new service.

Q. Why is the Silver Line running all the way to Largo Town Center? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Silver Line to terminate at Rosslyn?

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region. View Archive

A. Trying to turn back trains at Rosslyn would be a mess for all riders, given the station’s track configuration. At one point, Metro thought Stadium-Armory would be the line’s eastern terminus, but then officials decided it would be too difficult to turn back trains there. Running the trains to Largo makes the turnabout easier and boosts service on the east side of the Metro system.

Q. For people who ride the Orange Line between East Falls Church and Stadium-Armory, will there be a change in the frequency of trains?

A. Between East Falls Church and Stadium-Armory, there will be two more trains per hour during the rush. In Arlington County, trains should reach platforms about every three minutes under normal conditions. But between Rosslyn, where the Blue Line joins the tracks, and Stadium-Armory, where the Blue and Orange lines split again, the number of rush-hour trains will be the same as it is today.

Q. I live in Annapolis and work in Tysons Corner. I am thinking about trying the Silver Line from Largo Town Center to the stop in Tysons at Spring Hill. How long a ride might that be, and what would be the round-trip cost with parking?

A. The one-way trip should take 62 minutes. Parking at Largo will cost $5.10. The round-trip, rush-hour rail fare will be $11.80 (paying with a SmarTrip card), for a total cost of $16.90 a day to use Metrorail. Check out Metro’s new Silver Line fare and travel time calculator at silverlinemetro.com.

Q. Has Metro made any comments about allowing bikes on the Silver Line trains for reverse commuters during rush hour? I would expect it would make the line much more useful for those who live in or near the District and work out in Fairfax County.

A. No bikes — unless they’re the fold-up kind — on weekdays from 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Many bus routes will be altered to serve the five new stations in Fairfax County.

Q. There are Orange Line trains that do not go to the Maryland end of the Orange Line. These trains are marked “Orange Line Stadium-Armory” or “Orange Line Largo.” When the Silver line begins, will Metro return to the Orange Line always being the true Orange Line?

A. The start of the Silver Line means the end of the Rush Plus Orange Line, which sent trains to Largo. Rush-hour riders may still see an Orange Line train from Vienna that turns back at Stadium-Armory. That train, which Metro calls a “tripper,” is put on to ease congestion at peak periods. The Orange Line classic will continue to operate between Vienna and New Carrollton.

Q. I wonder about picking someone up at stations in the Tysons area. Say I wanted to meet my wife for dinner there. I could ask her to take the Silver Line from Foggy Bottom to the Tysons Corner station between the two malls. But there appears to be no Kiss and Ride area at the station. So where do you pick someone up or drop someone off?

A. No Kiss and Ride at Tysons Corner station, on Route 123, or at Greensboro, the nearest station on Route 7. The closest Kiss and Ride options are on the south side of Route 123 by the McLean station and the east side of Route 7 by the Spring Hill station.

Q. How will access be from the south side of the Wiehle-Reston East station?

My husband works in an office building just east of Wiehle Avenue between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road. We live within walking distance of the District’s Potomac Avenue Metro station. Now, with Metro at both ends, it would take him about 55 minutes between stations.

A. He would use a skywalk from the station to reach the south side of the Dulles Toll Road. Then he could follow the sidewalks along the west side of Wiehle Avenue and along Sunrise Valley Drive.

Q. Will parking be available on the south side of the Wiehle-Reston East station, or is that just a pedestrian entrance/exit?

A. The parking for cars and bikes, as well as the Kiss and Ride, is on the north side. Five bus bays are on the south side.

Q. I heard that Metro is altering the 7Y line from Shirlington to downtown Washington to incorporate a stop or stops in the Farragut West area. This alternative would allow me to bus into the city, avoiding the soon to be unbearable Blue Line crush at Pentagon.

A. This is one of several bus alternatives Metro is offering to ease the pain of some Blue Line riders who travel to Rosslyn and the west side of the District.

Starting Aug. 24, the 7Y will be rerouted to stop within walking distance of the Blue Line stations at Crystal City, Pentagon City, Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, Farragut West and McPherson Square.

Metro has posted maps of those routes on its Silver Line Web site, at silverlinemetro.com.

We’ll try to answer more of your questions online. Keep them coming.

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local