For Metro’s next SafeTrack surge, which begins Wednesday, crews are returning to where they began — the Orange and Silver line tracks between East Falls Church and Ballston. If you’ll recall, the first safety surge in June involved 13 days of continuous single-tracking between the two stations; that work was on what is commonly the inbound track. The coming surge will last 12 days and will consist of single-tracking along the same stretch on the outbound track.
During the first round, commuters endured significant delays and crowded platforms and trains. Some area roadways saw increased traffic. Expect the same this time around. For those who blocked the experience out of your minds, here’s a reminder of what it entails.
Trains will share a track between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations, affecting an estimated 73,000 weekday riders. The surge starts Wednesday and lasts through July 31. Single-tracking translates into reduced service, so trains and platforms will be crowded — especially during peak hours. As they’ve done for each of the previous surges, Metro and local officials encourage riders to use alternative means of transportation and to avoid traveling during peak hours.
If you choose to continue your normal commute and take Metro, you should expect significantly longer wait times at the following stations: Vienna (Orange), Dunn Loring (Orange), West Falls Church (Orange), Ballston (Orange, Silver), East Falls Church (Orange, Silver), Wiehle-Reston East (Silver), Spring Hill (Silver), Greensboro (Silver), Tysons Corner (Silver) and McLean (Silver).
Weekday service as follows:
● Orange Line trains between Vienna and Ballston will operate every 18 minutes.
● Additional Orange Line trains will operate between Ballston and New Carrollton.
● Silver Line trains will operate every 18 minutes.
● Orange and Silver line riders in Virginia should consider using Ballston for more frequent service.
Here’s what you can expect at specific stations:
Wiehle-Reston, Spring Hill and Greensboro: Weekday Silver Line trains will operate every 18 minutes. Consider Fairfax Connector service as an alternative, or travel to the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride for additional route options.
Tysons Corner and McLean: Weekday Silver Line trains will operate every 18 minutes. Consider Metrobus or Fairfax Connector service as alternatives, or travel to Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride for additional route options.
Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church: Weekday Orange Line trains will operate every 18 minutes. Consider Metrobus or Fairfax Connector service as alternatives. Shuttle bus service will be available to Ballston. Limited free supplemental shuttle bus service will be available between West Falls Church, East Falls Church and Ballston (morning and evening rush only).
East Falls Church: Weekday Orange and Silver line trains will operate every 18 minutes. Consider Metrobus service as an alternative. Limited free supplemental shuttle-bus service will be available between West Falls Church, East Falls Church and Ballston (morning and evening rush only).
Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and Largo Town Center: Weekday Silver Line trains will operate every 18 minutes. Blue Line trains will operate at regular weekday frequency. Take the first available train when heading downtown. Transfer before Rosslyn for Orange and Silver line service to Northern Virginia.
According to Metro, additional weekday rush-hour service will be provided on the following routes: Metrobus 2A, 38B, 3Y, 5A.
Limited free supplemental rail shuttle bus service will operate between Ballston, East Falls Church and West Falls Church (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. only).
Special weekday rush hour express Fairfax Connector shuttle bus service will operate between the Vienna Metro station and the Pentagon.
Additional Fairfax Connector weekday rush hour service will be provided on Route 599.
Larger buses will run on Arlington Transit routes 52 (Virginia Hospital Center/Ballston/East Falls Church) and 55 (Lee Highway/East Falls Church/Rosslyn).
The last evening trips of the Potomac and Rappahanock Transportation Commission Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes from the Tysons Corner Metro station will be delayed by 15 minutes to allow more passengers to make that connection.
You can also use alternative routes on Metrobus, Arlington Transit and Fairfax Connector. Some examples follow:
At East Falls Church:
2A — Dunn Loring to East Falls Church, Ballston
3A — East Falls Church to Annandale
3Y — East Falls Church to Rosslyn, Farragut West, Farragut North, McPherson Square
15K, 15L — East Falls Church to Rosslyn
26A — East Falls Church to NVCC Annandale
1A — Vienna to Ballston
1B — Dunn Loring to Ballston (morning and evening rush only)
1E — Seven Corners to Ballston
10B — Hunting Point to Ballston
22A, 22C — Ballston to Pentagon
23B — Crystal City to Ballston (morning and evening rush only)
23T — Shirlington to Tysons Corner Center (AM/PM rush only)
25B — Ballston to Van Dorn Street
38B — Ballston to Farragut Square
West of Vienna:
5A — Dulles to Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride lot, Rosslyn, L’Enfant Plaza. Supplemental service, Herndon to Rosslyn only.
ART 52 — Ballston-Virginia Hospital Center-East Falls Church
ART 53 — Ballston-Old Glebe-East Falls Church
ART 55 — East Falls Church-Lee Highway-Rosslyn
ART 62 — Courthouse-Lorcom Lane-Ballston
Supplemental express service to Pentagon from:
Vienna Metro station
Reston North Park and Ride
Existing express service to Pentagon from:
Backlick North Park and Ride
Gambrill Road Park and Ride
Reston North Park and Ride
Saratoga Park and Ride
In some cases, lines and waits for shuttle buses have been long, so make sure to add extra time to your commute, no matter what mode of travel you decide to take.