Tom Biesiadny, Fairfax County’s transportation director, highlighted an express bus service that’s going to begin operating between the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and the Pentagon for $4 a trip. The service will continue for the duration of the next two disruptions, which begin next Tuesday night and continue through July 18. (Note the unusual 8 p.m. start on Tuesday. It’s designed to ensure that most Independence Day weekend travelers have a chance to get home before they encounter this new disruption.)
An express service between Franconia-Springfield and the Pentagon should help commuters dislodged when the Blue and Yellow lines are each split in two. It also could help the region generally by reducing the potential for even more traffic on Interstate 395 at rush hours.
There’s not that much new service. No local transportation department has a lot of buses and drivers on standby. So the transportation officials are trying to steer travelers to the parts of their existing systems that have some excess capacity.
Biesiadny, for example, said commuters might want to try the Saratoga Park & Ride, where they can board Fairfax Connector express buses 393 or 394 to the Pentagon. The Saratoga facility, just west of I-95 near the Fort Belvoir North Area, has about 400 spaces to spare on a typical weekday. Transportation officials say more than 4,000 spaces are typically available at the Park & Rides across Fairfax County. See more about the alternatives for Fairfax commuters.
Transportation officials are aware that the region’s success in getting through the maintenance projects so far doesn’t depend entirely on fancy footwork by commuters who are switching from trains to buses or biking or ridesharing. Many people are telecommuting at least occasionally while the individual disruptions last, or varying their travel time so they avoid the peak periods when everyone else is on the road.
For employees and employers who need help with the wide variety of options, your best single source of information is Commuter Connections.
Metro also has a very helpful online resource in its SafeTrack page. I notice that many venues trying to help fans and patrons reach their events are pointing them toward that Metro page for advice.
These are some of the top suggestions from Metro for those who will be affected by the first of the July shutdowns, which shuts down the Blue and Yellow lines between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road from Tuesday night through July 11:
- Free express shuttle Metroway buses between the Braddock Road, Crystal City and Pentagon City stations every six minutes during rush hours.
- Free Metrobus shuttles between the Braddock Road and Pentagon City stations.
- Free Metrobus shuttles between Braddock Road and Reagan National Airport stations every 15 minutes.
- Extra service on Metrobus routes 11Y and 10A, ART43, DASH AT3 and AT4.
Here are some of the other pages developed by local transportation agencies to help you get through the disruptions coming in July.