Last summer, as part of the Platform Improvement Project Phase I, WMATA temporarily closed six Blue and Yellow line stations in Alexandria and Springfield to perform major upgrades and create a safer and better passenger experience. This year the focus will be on the Orange Line stations in the Merrifield and Oakton areas, and the Silver Line stations. Metro recently announced that all stations on the Silver Line will be closed from Saturday May 23 through Labor Day, as they take advantage of historically low ridership and traffic-free highways to connect Metrorail to the “phase II” stations constructed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
Take some time ahead of the closures to learn about your options and how to prepare for the road ahead.
Skip the Trip and Telework
Now is a good time to implement or enhance your company’s telework policy. With stay-at-home orders in effect till June, you have time to think about what tasks can be completed away from the office, create a plan for staying connected with your team, and claim some space for yourself that will help you stay focused, productive, and distraction-free.
Arlington Transportation Partners and Commute66 can help companies create return plans and policies for your entire staff, or just for your employees affected by the station closures.
Join a ‘Pool
If the tolls on I-66 start congesting during the shutdown after social distancing orders are adjusted, then consider sharing a ride with neighbors or coworkers to ride for free. Get an E-ZPlass Flex at a Commuter Store and ride toll-free when you carpool with at least three people.
There are park-and-rides throughout Fairfax County that make it easier to connect with other commuters going in the same direction as you.
For a long-term solution, think about starting or joining a vanpool and put your commuter benefits toward leasing and parking a van.
Switch Modes Entirely
WMATA will be providing free shuttles to replace trains from affected stations. Fairfax and Loudoun Counties will have their own buses designed to bring commuters into Arlington and DC with limited stops for faster trips. Learn what commuter buses are available near you to get to work.
For the more adventurously inclined, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail runs from Purcellville all the way to Arlington. Hundreds of bike commuters use Mount Vernon Trail to get to work every day—could W&OD get the same love this summer?
Plan with the Pros
ATP has resources to help you prepare for changes in your own commute or to help keep business proceeding as usual at your company. Find out how you can maintain business continuity during this summer's disruption.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners