Metro and regional officials urge customers to finalize alternative travel plans as summer 2019 station closures approach
Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld was joined today by Virginia and regional officials at Braddock Rd Station, one of the six Blue and Yellow line stations south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport that will close this Saturday, May 25, for full platform reconstruction and infrastructure improvements. Officials urged residents affected by the shutdown to make their travel plans before the start of the project.
“As a region, we have been preparing for the start of this major capital project for more than a year, and the partnership with Northern Virginia has yielded a robust network of travel alternatives,” Wiedefeld said. “Customers have many good options, but I encourage everyone to take the time to study the shuttle options, learn more about the bus routes that serve your neighborhood, and then be prepared to add an extra half hour to your regular travel time.”
"The City of Alexandria is working closely with Metro, the Commonwealth of Virginia and our other transportation partners to help residents, businesses and visitors move safely and efficiently throughout the region," said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson.
"Whether or not you usually take Metrorail, now is the time to make sure you are familiar with all your transportation options and have a plan for how to get around this summer."
Through Sunday, September 8, 2019, rail service south of Reagan National Airport will be replaced by five free shuttle routes, and parking will be free at all stations in the affected area with Metro parking – Van Dorn St, Franconia-Springfield and Huntington stations. In addition, state and local transportation agencies have established a robust travel alternative network to help residents navigate the rail shutdown. This includes additional service on local Metrobus, DASH, Fairfax Connector, and OmniRide routes, as well as service on Virginia Railway Express, Amtrak, and more.
“I would like to thank Fairfax County commuters, employers and visitors for their flexibility as we head into this pivotal time of WMATA continuing to rebuild one of the key pieces of our regional transportation system,” said Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “We want to reach out to those who have yet to plan and currently take the Metrorail Blue or Yellow Lines to and from Fairfax County, and urge them to prepare NOW and utilize the mosaic of travel options available from local bus service to biking, carpooling, vanpooling and slugging. We also ask Fairfax County employers to allow telework and the use of flexible work schedules, and to increase the use of these alternatives as we move forward. Fairfax County appreciates employers’ cooperation in providing commuting solutions as it is critical to regional mobility while WMATA makes these necessary improvements over the next several months.”
For travelers to Reagan National Airport, rail service between the airport and points north will operate on a normal schedule with trains departing the airport every four minutes during peak periods. For customers accessing the airport from the south, only Metro’s Blue Line Shuttle will stop at the airport. Customers on the Yellow Line Shuttle should transfer to Blue Line Shuttle at King St-Old Town Station.
“With terminal construction continuing at the airport, we encourage passengers to use public transit when catching their flight at Reagan National this summer,” said Reagan National Airport Manager Paul Malandrino. “The airport station will remain open, with normal train service north to Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. A free local shuttle from the airport will serve Old Town Alexandria and other Blue Line stations affected by platform work. These alternatives are preferable to driving on airport roadways, which can become congested during the peak summer travel season.”
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) has worked alongside state and regional partners to develop supplemental local public transit strategies to complement the Metro plan. These strategies include $4.4 million in funding (with $3.65 million provided by the Commonwealth) for additional local bus services, reduced-fare VRE commuter and Amtrak passenger rail services, alternative transportation options including bike share and ferry service, and highway/operational improvements.
“This critical rehabilitation project will require patience and planning for commuters and visitors through the summer, but will move Metro and the region forward,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Director, Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation (DRPT). “We are dedicated to the success of moving more people throughout Northern Virginia and returning WMATA to the safe, efficient, and reliable service our community deserves.”
The summer 2019 station closures are part of Metro's three-year Platform Improvement Project that will completely reconstruct the outdoor platforms at 20 Metrorail stations, making platforms safer and more accessible for customers with disabilities, while also addressing safety concerns and longstanding structural issues.
Customers traveling to or from the six closed stations (Braddock Road, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, Van Dorn St, Franconia-Springfield) are encouraged to visit wmata.com/platforms for additional project information and travel alternatives.