Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

Rail Service

Shuttle Bus Service

Local Bus Service

Parking & Biking

Fares

Accessibility/Language Assistance

About the Project

Why does Metro need to close the stations to make the repairs?

Metro is coordinating with the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) to begin construction on a new mezzanine at Silver Spring station to provide access between Metro and the future Purple Line. This new mezzanine will connect the Silver Spring platform with the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center and the future Purple Line Station, enhancing connections for Metro, MARC Train, and bus customers.

The Purple Line work will require Silver Spring station to close for several months. During the closure, Metro is planning to make additional improvements and upgrades along the Red Line to enhance safety and the customer experience. These improvements include tunnel leak mitigation, automatic train control system replacements, traction power cables installation, drain pumping station replacement, tunnel standpipe replacement, elevator and escalator maintenance, and digital new signage.

The completed work will increase safety and reliability, modernize the system, and enhance the customer experience.

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If the Purple Line construction is at Silver Spring, why do you need to close so many stations on the Red Line?

Performing this work in phases, station by station, would mean multiple weekend closures spread over more than eight months, causing significant disruption for customers.

To minimize the overall impact, Metro is opting for a single, larger closure. This concentrated approach allows our team to remove rail components, update train signals, and address other priorities efficiently within a consistent timeframe. Although it might cause a temporary inconvenience, this strategy allows Metro to complete the project quicker and ultimately get you back to a smoother ride sooner.

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How will this work impact my commute?

There will be no Red Line service between Glenmont and Takoma from Saturday, June 1, through Saturday, August 31, 2024. The closure will be extended to Fort Totten through Saturday, June 29, 2024. You can visit our Shuttle Bus & Travel Alternatives page for more information about rail service and shuttle bus options.

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Will there be noise associated with construction?

Yes, however, Metro and its contractors developed a construction strategy for completing the construction as quickly and safely as possible. This plan includes working around the clock at stations, which may generate noise at various times of day and night. Metro and its contractors have received noise permits from all the jurisdictions where work will occur. All activities will follow the guidelines issued with the permit. Most of the noisiest activities will take place during the day, but some nighttime work will occur. Metro is working to execute these projects as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the highest consideration for the safety of workers and riders. We regret any discomfort and inconvenience caused by the work. If you have additional questions or concerns about noise, please contact Metro Customer Service at 202-637-7000 or submit a customer comment.

Learn more about the Purple Line's construction and noise mitigation efforts or call 443-453-3706.

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How can I keep up to date on project information?

We will share project updates throughout the construction timeframe. Stay connected by signing up for our project newsletter.

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Why is Metro closing Silver Spring Station for the Purple Line?

For more than a year, the Purple Line and Metro teams have prioritized keeping the Silver Spring Station open to minimize the impact to customers.  This includes utility relocations and foundation elements.

To complete the remaining work safely, for customers, residents, and project teams, the station will need to close. The work requires significant structural elements that are adjacent to the inbound tracks and would impact the safe area around trains. This work includes supporting columns and beams, structural elements for the two new escalators, two new elevators, and a new stairwell.  Additionally, the platform will be demolished and re-installed at the southern end of the station. 

If we chose to do this work in another way, it would take eight months of weekend shutdowns.

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Rail Service

What are other travel options while the stations are closed?

Free local and express shuttle buses will be available with stops at all closed stations. Visit the Shuttle Bus & Travel Alternatives page for information about free shuttle bus routes and convenient travel options.

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What other options can I use?

The Maryland Area Regional Commuter Train (MARC) can be a good option for customers impacted by the Red Line closures. MARC has stations at Greenbelt, College Park-U of Md, and Silver Spring, where customers can easily connect with Metro at Union Station. Find more information on MARC's website.

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Where can I find information about other station closures and track work in the Metrorail system?

For all upcoming scheduled closures, track work, and other service impacts, visit wmata.com/trackwork.

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Shuttle Bus Service

Where can I learn more about the shuttle bus service?

Metro will provide free local and express shuttle bus service to the closed stations. Visit the Shuttle Bus & Travel Alternatives page for information about free shuttle bus routes and other convenient travel options.

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Will shuttle bus information be available on Metro's Trip Planner?

Metro will update the Trip Planner with shuttle bus and rail service information to ensure accurate trip planning. Once the Trip Planner is updated, third-party apps and websites will also use that data to update their information.

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What will be the hours of operation and frequencies for the free shuttle bus service?

Local shuttles will be available during Metrorail operating hours, with service operating every 4-8 minutes. You can visit Metro's Shuttle Bus & Travel Alternatives page for more information about local and express shuttle bus options.

Customers may experience longer wait times, up to 20 minutes, during rush hours, and should add extra time to their commutes. Shuttles may experience delays due to construction-related detours.

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What will the shuttle buses look like?

Standard Metrobus and coach (tour) buses are used on all shuttle routes. The destination is displayed on the signage on the front of the bus.

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Will the shuttle buses be free?

Yes, Metro's shuttle bus service will be free during this shutdown. Customers do not need to use or show their SmarTrip® card to board the shuttle buses.

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Why will the Express Shuttle Buses continue to go to Fort Totten instead of Takoma Station when it reopens?

The Takoma Station's configuration is not designed to accommodate the large number of shuttle buses needed for express shuttle buses and the regular route Metrobuses and other regional bus service which normally service the station. In addition, the location of the station in a residential area does not allow for alternative locations for shuttle stops or to relocate existing bus routes. Customers traveling to the Takoma Station after June 29, may use the Local Shuttle Bus or Limited Shuttle Bus service to Fort Totten and take Metrorail one stop to Takoma Station.

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How will the shuttle buses navigate traffic in Montgomery County and Washington, DC?

Metro, in partnership with MDOT SHA, developed a plan to implement more than seven miles of bus only lanes along sections of Georgia Ave between Glenmont and Silver Spring. In addition, adjustments to signal timing will be made to prioritize buses.

In the District, DDOT will adjust signal timing in addition parking restrictions to increase road capacity, and other measures to alleviate congestion.

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Local Bus Service

Will there be any changes to the current local bus service at the closed stations?

During the closures, there will be bus stop relocations at Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring, Takoma, and Fort Totten. Signage will be posted in advance at each impacted bus stop before any bus stop relocations.

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Parking & Biking

Can I take my bike or scooter on the shuttle buses?

Yes, bicycles can be stowed in the luggage compartment of the coach buses and transported on the front racks of Metrobus. Scooters are allowed onboard Metrobus if it is an electrical device that can be folded and stored between your legs or under the bus seat while traveling. It must be powered off when traveling. Metro does not allow gas-powered scooters onboard.

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Will I still have to pay for parking at the closed stations?

Parking will be free at Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring, and Takoma stations from June 1 - Aug. 31, 2024.

Please note the parking garage at Bonifant Street and Dixon Avenue, near the Silver Spring Kiss & Ride lot, is operated by Montgomery County. Parking is not free at this garage. Parking at the Metro Kiss & Ride lot.

Short-term metered parking at the Fort Totten Kiss & Ride will be impacted because a portion of this lot will be converted to bus stops.

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Fares

Will the shuttle buses be free?

Yes, Metro's shuttle bus service will be free. Customers do not need to use or show a SmarTrip® card to board the shuttle buses.

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How can I load my SmarTrip® card if the station is closed?

Customers can reload their SmarTrip® card online, set up Auto Reload or use the SmarTrip app. For other ways to pay, customers can add their SmarTrip to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay and pay using their Android phone, iPhone, or Apple Watch. For more information, please visit our Mobile Pay page. Customers can also load SmarTrip cards at any open Metro station.

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Accessibility/Language Assistance

Will the shuttle buses and bus stops be accessible?

Yes, all shuttle buses (standard Metrobus and coach buses) will be ADA-accessible. To request an accessible shuttle, please ask a Metro team member onsite. MetroAccess paratransit is available for customers who cannot use the accessible shuttles. For MetroAccess eligibility, an expedited process is available at the Transit Accessibility Center.

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Can I bring my service animal on the shuttle buses?

Yes, service animals that assist people with disabilities will be permitted on the shuttle buses (similar to accessibility on Metrorail and Metrobus).

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Will bilingual staff be available to provide information and assistance to customers?

Yes, bilingual Spanish-speaking Metro staff will be at all impacted stations to provide information and assistance to customers. Based on station-specific needs, other languages that may be available are Korean, Vietnamese, Amharic, and Mandarin. Metro outreach staff will wear language buttons to inform you which languages they can speak.

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