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Metrorail SafeTrack - Commuting Alternatives for Safety Surges #3 & #4 Archived Discussion Room

Fairfax County, Virginia

Metrorail SafeTrack - Commuting Alternatives for Safety Surges #3 & #4

The Metrorail SafeTrack Safety Surge #3 begins July 5, 2016. To avoid gridlock, commuters are urged to consider carpooling, vanpooling, taking the bus, biking and teleworking as often as possible during Metro’s ongoing work. Know your commuting options and prepare now! Staff from Fairfax County Department of Transportation will be online Thursday, June 30 at 11 a.m. to answer your questions about commuter options in the county. Log on live or submit your questions now to learn more.


Nicholas Perfili : Good morning and thank you for joining today’s Ask Fairfax! online discussion concerning Fairfax Connector service during Metro SafeTrack surges 3 and 4.  We want to thank everyone for their patience during SafeTrack, and for those taking advantage of Fairfax Connector's mitigation service and have continued to ride transit.

Before we begin, I want to note that Fairfax Connector’s ?SafeTack? Surge 2 Pentagon express service will shift from the Vienna Metro station and Reston Supplemental Route 599 service to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station for surges 3 and 4 to assist rail customers affected by Blue Line and Yellow Line track work and line segment shutdown near National Airport.  (The Vienna Metro station and Route 599 Supplemental Service will return for SafeTrack Surge 5.)

Fairfax Connector also offers express service (with free parking) between the Saratoga Park & Ride and the Pentagon on routes 393 and 394, with service every 20 minutes during rush hours.  The free Saratoga Park & Ride and express bus option is a good alternative for Burke, Fairfax Station, Springfield, and Lorton area commuters, and those traveling in the I-95 Corridor.  View schedules, maps, ride share, carpool, and park-and-ride options at fairfaxconnector.com and fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack.

Joining me today is Ms. Florita Wesley, Fairfax Connector customer service manager, and Ms. Ciara Williams, from FCDOT’s Transportation Services Group.

With that, we will begin answering your questions.


Roy : Will all of the Metro surges affect Fairfax County, or just certain ones?

Florita Wesley : Hi Roy!  Not all of the Metro surges will affect Fairfax County.  Ten of the fifteen surges affect Fairfax County rail service.  Note, while SafeTrack work may not be taking place in the county, rail service will still be affected at Fairfax County Metrorail stations.  This was the case with surge 2 where track work was taking place in the District east of Eastern Market, and service in Fairfax County was reduced.


Anonymous User : What about express service from Huntington to Pentagon? Yellow line is also affected - what's the best way to get around from Huntington?

Nicholas Perfili : For riders in the Huntington area, Metrobus will be supplementing local Route 10A service between Huntington and the Pentagon, and express Route 11Y service between the District of Columbia (Potomac Park and Farragut Square) via 14th Street Bridge and the G.W. Parkway.  Service during rush hours will be doubled along the entire route to about every 15 minutes (instead of 30 minutes).  Get links to Route 10A and 11Y details at fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack or wmata.com/SafeTrack.


Anonymous User : What will be the best choice for late afternoon travel from Springfield into DC, for a National's game?

Nicholas Perfili : Hello Nats fan!  Fairfax Connector will be able to assist with taking you out to ballgame.  From Franconia-Springfield, Fairfax Connector will offer bi-directional express service to and from the Pentagon, including during the late afternoons on weekdays beginning July 6th.  View the schedule and other service option information at fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack. 


Mike : I found out there is a new slugline from Franconia-Springfield to L'Enfant Plaza that just recently started. Is there any other ones that would help with this surge?

Florita Wesley : Hello Mike - great question!  Fairfax County does not manage slug lines.  However, slugging is a great option to get around the SafeTrack zones.  The new slug line from Franconia-Springfield is an option, but there are several other ones in Fairfax County as well.  Check slug-lines.com for more information.  You can also work to establish a slug line from any of the county's 40+ park and ride facilities with 4,000+ parking spaces available.  Locations and additional information can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack.


Restonian : Will the 599 express service be $4 until the end of SafeTrack? I paid only $4 during surges 1 & 2 instead of the regular fare.

Florita Wesley : Thanks for your question.  The fare for the 599 express service will revert back to the regular fare. The $4.00 fare is charged when Fairfax Connector is supplementing Route 599 service when the Silver Line is impacted by SafeTrack. Please visit fairfaxconnector.com for additional information on fares. 


From Dr. Gridlock : How long should it take to get from Franconia-Springfield to Pentagon on the express? Which day does it start?

Nicholas Perfili : Hello Dr. Gridlock.  Thanks for participating in today's discussion.

The Franconia-Springfield - Pentagon SafeTrack express service begins Wednesday, July 6, 2016.  (The service will not operate Tuesday, July 7, 2016 due to the line segment shutdown at National Airport not beginning until 8 p.m. -- after the conclusion of rush hour.)  The anticipated travel time between the two points is between 26-30 minutes via the I-395/Shirley Hwy HOV lanes in the peak direction of travel -- providing options for riders to avoid the Metrorail shutdown zone.

We have a similar question from another participant about the this service, and also the first and last trip times, and I suggest riders (and your readers) visit fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack to view the schedule.


Rani : Totally off the wall question for the next time there's a safe track but has there been any regional progress on a ferry service to utilize boats like San Francisco or other cities?

Florita Wesley : Hello Rani -  Thank you for your question. All suggestions are appreciated.  We recommend that you send your suggestion to Metro, as they are coordinating all SafeTrack mitigation.


Kathy Larash Black : Hi Fairfax Connector! Thanks for providing extra bus service from Franconia-Springfield to the Pentagon during the July metro safety surge. Are there plans to include a bus from the Huntington metro stop to the Pentagon as well? That's a very popular route. Thanks!!

Nicholas Perfili : Good morning, Kathy-
Metro is offering supplemental local and express bus service in the Huntington area, including on Metrobus routes 10A, 11Y, and Metroway; in addition to shuttles around the shutdown zone near National Airport.  Fairfax Connector does not have spare buses available to operate express service from both Huntington and Franconia-Springfield.  Our special SafeTrack express service will operate via the I-395/Shirley Hwy HOV lanes between Franconia-Springfield and the Pentagon.


Nicholas Perfili : To follow up on Dr. Gridlock's question -- the response should have indicated the Franconia-Springfield - Pentagon SafeTrack express service will not operate Tuesday, July 5, 2016 due to the shutdown not beginning until 8 p.m. that day.  The service will commence Wednesday, July 6, 2016. 


Oakton, VA : I'm so disappointed to lose the wonderful Vienna-Pentagon express bus during the next surge! Will it actually run July 5, or is July 5 (Tuesday) the first day it will NOT run? Is there any chance Fairfax Connector might make it a regular route if it's profitable? Thanks!

Nicholas Perfili : Hello Oakton rider.
Thank you for the comment on Fairfax Connector's Vienna - Pentagon SafeTrack express service.  We are glad you are enjoying the ride.  Resources used to operate the Vienna service are being shifted to the Franconia-Springfield service for SafeTrack surges 3 and 4.  The Vienna service will return for SafeTrack Surge 5, and future surges affecting the Orange Line Fairfax County.


Emily Woodward Deutsch : I use the Yellow Line between Huntington and Gallery Place for my daily commute. What can Fairfax Connector do to help me during these two Safety Surges? Thank you very much!

Florita Wesley : Hello Emily -
If you are looking for an express Fairfax Connector service option, you can begin your trip from Franconia-Springfield or the Saratoga Park & Ride.

Franconia-Springfield is served by many Fairfax Connector routes, including Route 310 which connects with the Huntington station, and other routes in the area, such as 301, 371, 372, and 373, among others.  Fracnonia-Springfield also includes park-and-ride and kiss-and-ride options.  The Saratoga Park & Ride express service is offered on routes 393 and 394.  These services will connect you to the Pentagon where you can board Yellow Line trains to Gallery Place.

From the Huntington area, Metrobus is offering supplemental service on local Route 10A and express Route 11Y, in addition to shuttle buses to connect riders around the work zone near National Airport.  Route 10A connects to the Yellow Line at Pentagon, Route 11Y connects into the District of Columbia via 14th Street Bridge, and the shuttle buses will get your around the work zone on the Yellow Line.


EllenKs : Overall have you found commuting patterns have changed dramatically in the region? Do you think people will continue their new commuting ways after SafeTrack is over.

Florita Wesley : Good morning Ellen,
I think people are definitely beginning to rethink their commutes as a result of the SafeTrack repairs.  It's hard to tell exactly how much the commuting patterns have changed but I think we'll begin to see more noticeable changes as the repairs progress.  That being said, we are encouraging everyone to consider alternate commuting options such as carpooling and vanpooling, as well as teleworking and flexible work schedules as much as possible.  Please visit fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack for additional resources and assistance on all of your commuting options. 


Anonymous User : The 10A and 9A is a regular metro route, you guys are not offering an additional shuttle for Huntington passengers directly to the Pentagon

Nicholas Perfili : Good afternoon.  Metrobus is operating supplemental service to and from the Huntington Metro station (Metrobus Route 10A), in the corridor (Metrobus express Route 11Y), and around the shutdown zone (shuttles and Metroway).  Fairfax Connector does not have enough buses available to operate service from all Metro stations affected by SafeTrack.

Park-and-ride, kiss-and-ride, and bus connections from many areas of southern Fairfax County are provided to Franconia-Springfield, where the Pentagon express service will operate via the I-395/Shirley Hwy HOV lanes during rush hours.


Florita Wesley : Thank you to everyone who joined us for today's Ask Fairfax! chat.  If you have additional questions about Fairfax Connector service during SafeTrack, vist www.fairfaxcounty.gov/SafeTrack. Please check back frequently to wmata.com/safetrack and fairfaxcounty.gov/safetrack for the latest information on Metro's SafeTrack program.

Thank you for your interest in transit. Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July holiday!