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For immediate release: March 13, 2020

Metro announces travel alternatives for customers affected by summer platform reconstruction work

In collaboration with regional officials and transportation agencies, Metro today released information about free shuttle bus service and other travel alternatives during the summer closure of Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls stations on the Orange Line. Full details – including an online tool that provides recommended travel alternatives based on a customer’s specific trip – are available at wmata.com/platforms.

The station closures are part of Metro's multi-year Platform Improvement Project that will completely reconstruct 20 outdoor platforms deteriorating from age and exposure to the elements. The first six stations were completed last summer. In addition to being safer and more accessible, the reconstructed stations provide new slip-resistant tiles, brighter energy-efficient LED lighting, larger digital screens, new stainless-steel platform shelters with charging ports. 

In order to minimize the impact to customers and complete the construction work on the fastest possible timetable, three stations – Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church – will be closed from Saturday, May 23 through Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. West Falls Church Station will also undergo platform reconstruction but will remain open to customers throughout the summer, with some weekend closures anticipated.  

“As we’ve done before, we are tackling issues before they become emergencies, and I want to be the first to thank our customers for their understanding as we undertake this challenging project, rebuilding concrete megastructures in the median of a multi-lane highway,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “I also want to express our appreciation for the close partnership we’ve been able to forge with local and state authorities in the Commonwealth, as we work together to provide riders with the best alternatives possible.”

During the shutdown, Metrorail service will be reduced between Ballston and West Falls Church on the Orange Line, and between Ballston and Wiehle-Reston East on the Silver Line, as trains will be required to single track through the work area. 

In addition to free shuttles that will operate between rail stations, Metro is encouraging customers to consider regular-route bus service by Metrobus, Arlington Transit, Fairfax Connector, and OmniRide. 

Metro's contractor, Kiewit, will work concurrently at all four stations to expedite construction and ensure the stations are ready to reopen for customers after Labor Day. After stations reopen, construction may continue in designated areas that will be cordoned off from customer access. 

In order to stage materials and equipment, beginning March 15, parking will be unavailable at East Falls Church Station, and will be reduced at West Falls Church and Vienna stations. Metro has provided parking alternatives that customers may consider on its blog at wmata.com/platformsprogress.

Summer 2020 rail service information

•West Falls Church Station will serve as the western terminus of the Orange Line 

•Orange and Silver line trains will pass through East Falls Church station, which will be closed to customers, using a single track

•Between West Falls Church and Ballston-MU on the Orange Line, and between Wiehle-Reston East and Largo Town Center on the Silver Line, trains will operate every 16 minutes throughout the day, and every 20 minutes during late night hours

•Extra Orange Line trains will be deployed at Ballston-MU, so Orange Line service will increase to every 8 minutes between Ballston-MU and New Carrollton (Monday – Saturday only)

•Blue Line trains will operate every 8 minutes throughout the day to coordinate service (Monday – Saturday only)

Summer 2020 travel alternatives

PIP II alternativesSimilar to last year’s project, Metro is providing information on travel alternatives three months in advance to help customers begin planning for this summer's station closures. 

All-day Shuttle Service – Free

•Shuttle 1

Between Vienna and West Falls Church only

Approx. every 5 minutes during rush hour, 10 minutes at all other times

•Shuttle 2

Between Dunn Loring and West Falls Church 

Approx. every 5 minutes during rush hour, 10 minutes at all other times

•Shuttle 3

Between East Falls Church and Ballston-MU 

Approx. every 5 minutes during rush hour, 10 minutes at all other times

•Shuttle 4

Provided on request between Vienna and Dunn Loring 

•Shuttle 5

Provided on request between West Falls Church and East Falls Church

Rush Hour Shuttle Service – Free

The following rush hour shuttles will operate Monday through Friday only. These shuttles will operate eastbound, toward Washington DC, from 5 to 9 a.m., and westbound, away from Washington DC, from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be no service on these routes at all other times. 

•Shuttle 6 

Limited stop service at Vienna, Ballston-MU, Court House and Rosslyn

Scheduled service, approx. every 8 minutes during rush hours only

•Shuttle 7 

Limited stop service at Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride, Ballston-MU, Court House and Rosslyn

Scheduled service, five trips AM and five trips PM

Please note, shuttle buses will depart once the seats are filled, regardless of schedule time. There is no standing room available on coach buses, which will be used primarily for the shuttle service.

Convenient Bus Options – Regular fares apply

Existing bus routes are also available to help customers get around the construction areas:

Metrobus

3Y Service between East Falls Church, Rosslyn, Farragut Square and McPherson Square (Weekday rush hour service only; eastbound in a.m., westbound in p.m.)

5A Service between Dulles, Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride, Rosslyn and L’Enfant Plaza

38B Service between Ballston, Clarendon, Court House, Rosslyn and Farragut Square

**Metrobus routes are subject to change pending final approval of FY 2021 Budget.

Arlington Transit

ART 55 Service between East Falls Church and Rosslyn via Lee Highway

Fairfax Connector (Weekday rush hour service only; eastbound in a.m., westbound in p.m.)

•697 Service between Stringfellow Road Park & Ride and L’Enfant Plaza, pending Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approval 

698 Service between Vienna and Pentagon

699 Service between Fairfax County Government Center, Fairfax Corner, US Department of State and Foggy Bottom

OmniRide

601 Service between Manassas, Farragut Square and McPherson Square

602 Service between Manassas and Pentagon

611 Service between Gainesville, Farragut Square and McPherson Square

612 Service between Gainesville, Pentagon, Smithsonian and Navy Yard

622 Service between Haymarket, Ballston-MU and Rosslyn

60 Service between Manassas and Tysons Corner

61 Service between Gainesville and Tysons Corner

“Metrorail is the backbone of our regional transit system and Fairfax County continues to support WMATA in its efforts to bring the system back into a state of good repair,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “I appreciate the patience of Fairfax County residents, employers and visitors as this important work is being done. I also want to urge everyone traveling in and out of Fairfax County to plan now for alternate travel options such as bus connections, ridesharing, telework and alternate work schedules." 

“Arlington recognizes the need to repair and reconstruct the East Falls Church Metro Station platform to make it safer and more convenient to use,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “We also know that this shutdown will cause a real inconvenience for many residents. We thank everyone for their patience, and our partners for supporting our riders as much as possible. With the East Falls Church parking set to close March 15 for the positioning of equipment for the project, riders should be thinking now about which summer travel alternatives will work best for them.”

Parking information

Beginning Sunday, March 15, surface parking lots at East Falls Church, West Falls Church, and Vienna stations will be closed for seven to nine months, as Metro’s contractors begin the process of moving heavy construction material and machines into place. Once these lots close, there will be no parking available at East Falls Church, severely limited parking at West Falls Church, and reduced parking at Vienna Station. Parking at Dunn Loring Station is not impacted. Read more here. 

Beginning May 23, parking at Vienna and Dunn Loring will be free of charge for the duration of the station closures. Regular parking rates will be charged at West Falls Church, which will have limited daily spaces available to customers.

About the Platform Improvement Project

Metro’s Platform Improvement Project is dedicated to making platforms safer and more accessible for all customers. As part of this multi-year project, Metro is rebuilding deteriorated platforms at 20 outdoor Metrorail stations. Phase I of the Platform Improvement Project was completed in 2019, with six stations successfully reconstructed on the Blue and Yellow lines in Virginia.

As the station platforms are reconstructed, Metro is using the time to make improvements that enhance customer experience with a higher level of safety, accessibility and convenience. Key customer experience improvements include new slip-resistant tiles, brighter energy-efficient LED lighting, larger digital display screens, new stainless-steel platform shelters with charging ports and new surveillance systems.

The remaining stations scheduled for platform reconstruction are: Addison Road, Arlington Cemetery, Cheverly, College Park- U of Md, Greenbelt, Landover, New Carrollton, Prince George’s Plaza, Reagan National Airport and West Hyattsville. 

Metro’s Capital Improvement Program

Metro is investing in system safety, reliability and the region's economy through its 10-year, $15 billion capital program. For the first time in Metro's history, the capital program is bolstered by dedicated funding from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The capital program will improve the customer experience and keep the region's infrastructure in a state of good repair by investing in new railcars and buses, improving stations and platforms, upgrading fire-suppression and emergency response systems, replacing and repairing tracks, tunnels, bridges, signals and communications systems, rebuilding decades-old bus garages and providing modern customer amenities such as passenger information systems. In spending local taxpayer dollars for capital projects, Metro is seeking to reinvest in our hometown economy, creating jobs and encouraging participation from disadvantaged, minority-owned, and small businesses in the region.