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Discussion Title New Silver Line Bus Service

Join Nick Perfili, Fairfax Connector operations and planning manager, and Martha Coello, Dulles Rail project planner, on Wednesday, July 9 at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on Fairfax Connector's upcoming Silver Line service. Ask questions about bus route and schedule changes; park and ride options; and other topics related to the Silver Line.


Nicholas Perfili :

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us for today’s Ask Fairfax! discussion.  My name is Nick Perfili and I manage Fairfax Connector’s operations and planning efforts.  With me today are Florita Wesley, Fairfax Connector Customer Service Manager, and Martha Coello, Fairfax County’s Dulles Rail project planner.  We will answer as many questions as possible -- bus service to and from the future Silver Line stations is an important part of the transportation system in Fairfax County.  With Silver Line, Fairfax Connector is modifying 28 routes and starting service on 16 new routes.

Before we begin I want to outline Fairfax Connector’s Herndon, Reston, and Tysons area service plan for Saturday, July 26.  Metro has indicated Silver Line will start operating at 12 Noon that day.  Our bus service changes will begin the morning of July 26.  To provide a connection between the time when Connector buses start operating and when Silver Line service begins, we will operate special shuttle service to connect passengers who need to travel between Wiehle and West Falls Church and the Tysons area stations and West Falls Church.

WIEHLE - WEST FALLS CHURCH: Shuttle buses will operate non-stop between the West Falls Church and Wiehle stations.  The first shuttle buses will depart Wiehle for West Falls Church at 7:20 and 7:40 a.m. to meet the first Route 505 and Route 950 bus arrivals at Wiehle.  The first shuttle bus will depart West Falls Church for Wiehle at 7:45 a.m. to transport passengers from the Orange Line to Reston and Herndon buses.  Wiehle – West Falls Church shuttle buses will operate every 30 minutes from the start of service until approximately 10:45 a.m. and then operate every 10 to 20 minutes until 12:30 p.m.

TYSONS AREA - WEST FALLS CHURCH: Shuttle buses will operate between West Falls Church and the McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill stations, stopping at each location.  The first shuttle bus will depart Spring Hill Station for West Falls Church at 6:35 a.m. to meet the first Route 574 bus arrival at Spring Hill.  The first shuttle bus will depart West Falls Church to McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill stations at 7 a.m. to transport passengers from the Orange Line to the Tysons area.  Buses will operate approximately every 20 minutes until 12:30 p.m.

Note that the two special shuttle bus routes will operate Saturday, July 26 only.

Another topic I want to mention is Dulles Airport and National Air and Space Museum bus service from Wiehle Station.  Fairfax Connector Routes 981 and 983 and the Washington Flyer Silver Line Express will operate daily to the airport.  In addition, Route 983 will also serve the Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly - a one seat ride between the museum and Silver Line.

As always, for more information about Fairfax Connector’s Silver Line Bus Service Plan, including bus schedules and route maps, visit fairfaxconnector.com.  For information specific to Silver Line, including Metrorail fare rates and travel times, visit silverlinemetro.com or wmata.com.  With that, let’s begin with your questions.


Anonymous User : There are only partial sidewalks along rt 123 on the east side, where current stops are located. Will these sidewalks be completed?

Martha Coello : Good afternoon!  Yes, Fairfax County has initiated projects to provide sidewalks along the east side of Route 123.  Currently, these projects are in the design stage of engineering.


Anonymous User : Will there be service provided from the Orange Line to Reston on July 26 prior to noon, for those who would like to attend the Silver Line opening or need to be in DC prior to 1pm?

Nicholas Perfili : This is an important topic and one I know many have been asking about.  Fairfax Connector will operate special shuttle buses to connect Wiehle and West Falls Church and the four Tysons stations and West Falls Church prior to the start of Silver Line service on Saturday, July 26.  Shuttle details are outlined my opening notes.


Anonymous User : I have a question about the Tysons stop at the malls: Will there be a connection from the Tysons station to the mall near the Bloomingdales? I would like to ride the train to Tysons to go shopping. I live near the Virginia Square stop in Ballston.

Martha Coello : We are looking forward to new transit access now provided to the multiple retailers in Tysons!  The Tysons Corner station will provide access to the mall.  There is a pedestrian bridge connecting the station to the south side of Route 123 where the mall is located.


Glade/Soapstone commuter : At many other metro stations, motorcycle and scooter parking are free. Is this the case at the Reston station?

Nicholas Perfili : Hello Glade/Soapstone commuter.  Motorcycle parking is available within the paid area of the park and ride at Wiehle with a motorcycle parking area on level G3.  Free park and ride options are outlined on our website, fairfaxconnector.com. 


J.C. : What will happen to the current parking garage at Herndon Monroe? Will parking be free or will we have to pay? Also, that garage fills up almost every day. Will parking be added?

Martha Coello : The current garage at Herndon-Monroe will remain free to the public after the opening of the Silver Line Phase 1.  Additional parking will be constructed as part of Phase 2, when the Metro will be extended to the Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.  With the opening of Phase 2 the Herndon-Monroe garage and newly constructed garage will charge for parking similar to other metro parking garages.


Herndon commuting : Hi. I will need to connect to the Herndon-Monroe parking garage. Will there be frequent service to Wiehle from Herndon-Monroe?

Nicholas Perfili : Good afternoon Herndon commuter.  We will have daily service between Wiehle and Herndon-Monroe on routes 950, 981, and 983.  Frequent weekday rush hour service will be provided by routes 924, 929, and 980 in addition to routes 950, 981, 983. 


J.C. : I've heard about future bridges over the Toll Road at Soapstone and Rock Hill. Are those still planned for the future?

Martha Coello : Yes, these two bridges are still planned and discussed in the County Comprehensive Plan.  Fairfax County is currently working on the conceptual design for the Soapstone Bridge.


Anonymous User : Where are people getting on and off Spring Hill Rd going to park their cars?

Nicholas Perfili : There is no park and ride facility at Spring Hill Station (there is a kiss and ride lot).  We suggest you consider park and ride options at Wiehle or the interim park and ride at Scotts Crossing Rd and Route 123 near McLean Station.  In addition, park and ride options are outlined on our website, fairfaxconnector.com. 


Anonymous User : @TheTysonsCorner: @SharonBulova Question #1, How do you plan on running buses on North side Westpark in Tysons, when all the shelters and signs are on the South side? Thank you!

Nicholas Perfili : Good afternoon.  Westpark Drive will have bus service on both sides of the street.  See routes 423 and 424 as an example.  Buses will serve all bus stops along the routes.


stacy j : For those whose lives by Tysons Westpark transit station, what buses will get us to spring hill or Greensboro metro? Also will it just be weekday or weekend service as well?

Nicholas Perfili : Hi Stacy.  There will be two circulator routes in the area of Tysons near the Westpark transit station.  Routes 423 and 424 will connect passengers with Tysons Corner and Spring Hill stations.  Route 423 will operate seven days a week. 


Anonymous User : Will Park & Ride free like Herndon Park & ride?

Martha Coello : The Herndon Park and Ride will continue to be free.  The Wiehle Park and Ride, however, will require payment via SmarTrip or major credit card at a daily rate of $4.85.


Michael : Currently I commute from Herndon to Tysons. This involves three buses and costs $1.75 total one way. With the Silver Line, I will take one bus and the Metro two stops - that totals $4.95 one way. Do I have other bus options now that the 980 will be changed?

Nicholas Perfili : Hi Michael.  We have a bus option connecting Reston Town Center and Tysons on Route 574 which operates daily.  If you can travel from Herndon to Reston Town Center on Route 950 or RIBS 5, you can transfer with a SmarTrip card free and continue your journey to Tysons.


Anonymous User : Hello! I currently ride the 425/427 from the Tysons Westpark Transit Station. I understand those buses will be replaced by the 422/423/424. Will any of those buses stop at the Tysons Westpark Transit Station? Or will I need to locate the closest bus stop on the street? Also, Metro says they are running test service for the Silver Line starting on July 20th with passengers. Will that be the day the buses switch over? Thanks!

Nicholas Perfili : Good afternoon.  You are correct-- Route 425 and 427 buses will be replaced by the 422/423/424 service.  If you are looking for service near the Westpark transit station, see routes 423 and 424 which will serve stops along Jones Branch Drive.  423 and 424 buses will not serve the Westpark transit station.

Fairfax Connector's service changes are effective Saturday, July 26 when public Silver Line service begins.


Navid Roshan-Afshar : The new north central district circulator system proposed in Tysons is running in a clockwise direction. It will run on the north side of Westpark Drive only. However, all of the fairfax connector existing infrastructure is on the south side of Westpark Drive including two shelters and several bus signs. These have not been relocated, and there is only 3 weeks until the start of service. When is this going to be addressed?

Nicholas Perfili : Hello Navid.  Routes 423 and 424 both serve Westpark Drive and operate on opposite sides of the street.  Thanks for asking -- we hope to see you on board! 


Anonymous User : What is available for bicycling to the stations given parking is lacking (which is a good thing IMHO)? Are there racks or lockers? Has FCDOT also offered up some preferred routes?

Martha Coello : We're glad to see your interest in bicycling!  There are bicycle racks and lockers available at all new stations.  If you are interested in renting a bike locker at the Spring Hill Station please contact Fairfax County DOT at 703-877-5600.  For bike lockers at all other Silver Line stations please contact WMATA.  The County's Bicycle Master Plan has looked at routes in the County including Tysons.  You can find it here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike/county_bike_master_plan.htm


Anonymous User : Is there a map of the parking garage available? For instance - one that would show what level the reserved parking is on and where located, what level of the garage to park on to be next to the walk way to the subway, where the motorcycle parking is, how the traffic flow is - are there two ways in and out, three ways in and out, etc. Also, how is the parking fee handled? Is there an attendant? Pay by cash or credit card only at a turn style? Will there be an express lane for those paying by smart card? I am just assuming that you can tap a smart card just like you can tap it on the bus or subway. Thanks!

Nicholas Perfili : FCDOT staff are currently working on a park and ride guide for Wiehle.  I can answer some of your questions now, however.  Motorcycle parking is available on Level G3.  There are two entrances, a main entrance and exit (along the west side of the facility) and an auxiliary entrance and exit (on the north side of the facility).

The park and ride will operate similar to other Metro station parking garage, patrons will pay on exit using SmarTrip or major credit/debit cards.  Parking will be free on weekends and major holidays.  The daily parking rate will be $4.85.

Note that the Fairfax County Department of Transportation will host a public open house on Saturday, July 19.  The garage and bus facility will be available for viewing.  Visit fairfaxconnector.com for more open house information.


Tysons Commuter : Is the current WestPark Transit building going to be available after the Silver Line opens?

Nicholas Perfili : Hi there, Tysons Commuter!  Yes, the Westpark Transit Station will be open after the start of Silver Line service.


Phase I : This question is about the parking garage at Wiehle Ave: will this garage be a Metro garage or a reserved garage? Will the public be able to park there?

Martha Coello : The Wiehle parking garage is for public use.  The public will be able to park there at a daily rate of $4.85 using SmarTrip or a major credit card. 

There is an open house for the Wiehle garage being held on Saturday, July 19th if you are interested in getting familiar with the garage prior to the start of Metro.


Anonymous User : I'm hoping to be able to take the Metro plus bus to Dulles from Fairfax City, and no longer have to park at the airport. Will the best way be Orange Line to WFC, then Fairfax Connector to Dulles?

Nicholas Perfili : We're glad to hear you plan to take flight with the Fairfax Connector!  Ride to the Silver Line and travel to Wiehle Station.  At Wiehle, transfer to Fairfax Connector 981/983 or Washington Flyer service to reach Dulles Airport.

From Fairfax city, you can reach the Silver Line by riding an Orange Line train to East Falls Church or riding routes 401 from Dunn Loring or Route 463 from Vienna to reach Tysons Corner Station.  Thank you for riding with us.


herndon rider : Hello! If I currently take the 950 up sunrise valley drive to the Herndon Monroe Park and ride and on to the West Falls Church metro, what will my options be for getting to the Silver Line? Will the 950 still be running?

Nicholas Perfili : Route 950 will continue to serve Sunrise Valley Drive as it does today and will connect to the Wiehle station after serving Herndon-Monroe daily.  In addition, routes 924, 926, and 929 will connect Herndon-Monroe and Wiehle during weekday rush hours.


Walker : I'm concerned about the lack of sidewalks in and around McLean and Tysons. The Silver line starting service is no surprise. 1. What plans are there for a path or sidewalk along Rte. 7 under the 123 bridge? 2. Why has it taken so long (longer than to build the rail project itself!) to address missing links in the sidewalk system?

Martha Coello : The sidewalk under the Route 7 and Route 123 bridge is one of the projects being pursued under the Tysons Area Metrorail Station Access Improvement Project.  It is currently under pre-final design and is expected to be completed in June 2015.


Reston Commuter : A question regarding the week of July 21st when simulated Metrorail service will begin on all rail lines, but Fairfax Connector buses will continue to discharge passengers at West Falls Church Station, which is served only by the Orange Line. (Silver Line trains will not accept passengers until East Falls Church.) According to Metro, the number of eastbound Orange Line trains at WFC will drop from 17 to 11 trains per hour during peak morning rush. Currently, these 17 Orange Line trains already fill to capacity at West Falls Church during peak periods. Thus, there may be overcrowding and possibly delays for Connector passengers transferring to rail. How does the Connector plan to provide rush hour commuter service during this transition period? Extending buses to East Falls Church (where empty Silver Line trains will begin to accept eastbound passengers)? Providing ‘bridge’ shuttle bus service between West Falls Church and East Falls Church? Any other options, other than driving to work?

Nicholas Perfili : Good afternoon.  During the week of July 21, Fairfax Connector will operate service as we do today (in your case, service will continue to West Falls Church from Herndon and Reston).  Our service changes will not take effect until Saturday, July 26.  For Metrorail operation concerns, please reach out to Metro directly at wmata.com. 


Longtime Connector Rider : Will there be a consolidated schedule listing all buses between Wiehle Station and Reston Town Center (and showing travel times)?

Nicholas Perfili : Thanks for being a long time Connector rider!  I will mention a consolidated schedule for service between Wiehle and Reston Town Center.  In the meantime, please review the schedules for routes 505, 981, 983, and RIBS 4.


Matt : What are the plans for the Reston North P&R that is a short walk from the Wiehle Metro? I believe that I had read that this lot will continue to be free to park.

Martha Coello : Reston North Park and Ride is operated by VDOT and will continue to be free.


Diane : What will happen if the route changes do not operate as planned and there is a need for later service? I will ride Bus 927 and the last bus on my route is scheduled for around 7:00 at night.

Nicholas Perfili : Hello, Diane.  We will monitor service after Silver Line service begins and can plan for service adjustments to address traffic, crowding, and other route matters.  Thanks for being a 927 rider.


Centreville : Will the 642 bus connect to the Silver Line at the new station in Reston?

Nicholas Perfili : Route 642 will not be extended to serve the Silver Line.  Route 642 will continue to operate between Vienna and Sully Station via I-66.


Anonymous User : What is the fare for a bus ride and do you pay with exact change or with some kind of Metro Card?

Martha Coello : You can find information about Fairfax Connector fares here:  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/riders/fares.htm

You can pay with SmarTrip or exact change.


Navid Roshan-Afshar : No 423 service will not be on the southside of Westpark drive. 423 bus services is the main circulator for North Central Tysons which feeds to Tysons Metro Station. Based on this link http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/pdf/map/423.pdf It only goes clockwise, ie the north side of Westpark Drive where there are no bus infrastructure in place, with only 3 weeks to go to opening and start of service. So I must repeat the question, when will the 423 bus infrastructure be properly installed on the north side of Westpark Drive. Thank you

Nicholas Perfili : We continue to install bus stops for our Silver Line routes.  This is an ongoing process.  Thanks for your patience as we prepare for Silver Line service. 


Carl Stone : McLean bus service: Will the new route 721 McLean bus run on Saturday's or will it be weekday service only?

Nicholas Perfili : Hi Carl.  Route 721 will operate seven days a week connecting central McLean to McLean Station via Chain Bridge Road.  We hope to see you on board. 


Phase II : This question is about parking: will there be more parking at the next phase of the Silver Line stations? I know the Tysons area has no parking and want to be sure there will be parking at the stations coming online in a few years.

Martha Coello : Phase 2 of the Silver Line will include additional Park and Ride facilities.  Park and Ride facilities will be available at Herndon and Innovation stations in Fairfax County and Route 606 and Route 772 stations in Loudoun County.


Mark : Will there be any bus service between Tysons and Centreville?

Nicholas Perfili : Mark- We have no service between Tysons and Centreville in our Silver Line Bus Service Plan.  From Centreville, you can ride to Vienna Station and take Route 463 to travel to Tysons.  Route 463 provides service between Vienna and Tysons Corner stations.


Phil : We are happy about the new Fairfax Connector route 432. I just saw the new bus schedule with the 432 clearly marked. When do you anticipate it will begin?

Nicholas Perfili : Hi Phil.  Route 432 service will begin with our July 26 service changes.  Since Route 432 operates weekdays only, the first day of service will be Monday, July 28. 


Michael : I'd like to get from the Orange Line to the Wiehle station for the first train. I see your 505 buses stop at Wiehle. Will they still go to West Falls Church before the Silver Line starts running?

Nicholas Perfili : Michael- Route 505 buses will serve between Reston Town Center and Wiehle.  Buses will no longer will serve West Falls Church effective Saturday, July 26.


redfood : I live in North Tysons and am excited about the new circulator buses, but I don't really know where in my neighborhood they will be stopping. I haven't seen any new bus stop signage to indicate where the stops will be.

Nicholas Perfili : Our crews are continuing to install bus stop signs along the routes.  You should see bus stop signs soon.


Kay : You may have already answerd this - I joined late. Will there be a sidewalk or path from Reston Town Center to the Wiehle Station? There are parts of Sunset Hills which require walkers to walk in the street. Not a good place to walk. Thank you

Martha Coello : Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  We will try to address this in conjunction with our Pedestrian Program Manager.


Anonymous User : Currently I drive to the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride and catch the first 980 bus at 5:08 am to West Falls Church. I was hoping that once Wiehle opened that I could take a 554 bus which is a closer drive to my house to do the same early ride but I see that the first bus leaving Center Harbor is 5:40-5:45. Also, the trips home are about 18 minutes apart. You miss a bus and it's a long wait. (I know, I've been spoiled with having the 950 and 980 current choices from Falls Church) I would think that service along Wiehle would increase. I know it's too late to modify the schedule at this point, but I'd like to put in my vote for more AND earlier service both am and pm.

Nicholas Perfili : Hello.  The time between Route 554 buses was reduced from every 30 minutes to every 18 minutes as part of our Silver Line Bus Service plan.  I will pass along your suggestion for earlier Route 554 service.


Mary F. : Has the Fairfax Connector considered putting a bus in service between Centreville and Herndon with a stop at the Wiehle Ave station? This would be a good idea and would save a commuter like me a transfer on the Orange line.

Nicholas Perfili : Hi Mary.  Thanks for the suggestion.  We are beginning the process to update our Transit Development Plan (TDP) which is where suggestions like yours are looked at more closely.  For information on the existing TDP, see http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/tdp.htm.  A route between the Centreville and Herndon is something we will consider. 


Nicholas Perfili : We appreciate your participation today and thank all who submitted questions.  Unfortunately, our time is up and we were not able to respond to everyone due to the number of questions.  If your question was not answered, you have additional questions, or need Fairfax Connector or Silver Line service information, visit fairfaxconnector.com or silverlinemetro.com.

For those who have questions about the future Wiehle Park and Ride facility, please join us at the open house on Saturday, July 19 if you can or continue to check our website, fairfaxconnector.com. 

See you on the Silver Line.

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