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SafeTrack: What Surge 2 Means for Your Commute

Maggie Awad
Maggie Awad June 14, 2016 Maggie Awad is the former Marketing Director at Arlington Transportation Partners.
ATP TAKEAWAY: Do you know your commute options for SafeTrack, Surge 2? Download our free guide to help you better understand SafeTrack during June 18-July 3.

SafeTrack Surge 1 is two days away from completion and SafeTrack Surge 2 starts soon after, running June 18-July 3. If you’re traveling through or to Arlington, your commute may change depending on your destination.

While the majority of the work for the second maintenance surge will take place in DC, a segment is also being shutdown in Arlington. While the shutdown hits only one stop, it will have major implications for passengers traveling on the Blue Line to Rosslyn. There will be no rail or bus service between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn.**

Crowded Metro Train, Arlington, Virginia, SafeTrack
Photo credit: Sam Kittner/

WMATA has suggested that Blue Line passengers travel via L’Enfant Plaza; however, Arlington County Transit (ART) has extended service for the ART 43 to help mitigate commuter congestion. The ART 43 is typically a rush-hour only bus service, but a temporary extension will allow riders to travel from Crystal City to Rosslyn (and up to Courthouse) throughout the day, evening and weekends.

Both rail and rail to bus are viable options for your commute, but how does the ART 43 stack up to WMATA’s suggested rail route? Using the WMATA trip planner, we did a little breakdown for you.

**It's true, WMATA's SafeTrack site lists a shuttle service option between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn. We have confirmed that there will be ONE shuttle running from 9AM-4PM only. The shuttle is intended to support visitors to the Cemetery and not for rush hour commuters, please be courteous.

ART 43 vs L’Enfant Plaza Transfer

In the moment of your commute, it can be hard to decide which route is more time efficient. Each route has its pros and cons and only you can decide, but here is the actual ride time for each option. Note, this does not include walking or transfer time and this assumes you hit the transfers for both like a pro.

ART 43: Crystal City to Rosslyn – 10 minutes

Metrorail: Crystal City to Rosslyn, via L’Enfant Plaza – 22 minutes

Needless to say, the ART 43 is an ATP favorite. For passengers coming into Arlington via the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), please note that the ART 43 bus stop will be relocated to the Transitway station at 18th Street & Crystal Drive. Bus operators will only serve the new stop location.

Speaking of Virginia Railway Express

For commuters who are traveling from outside Arlington, it may be time to consider a new rail option. If the first surge has taught us anything, it’s that driving alone (and increased traffic/congestion) is not the answer. And if you can’t face the delays from a surge, then perhaps VRE is your solution. Virginia Railway Express has two lines, the Manassas Line (starting from Broad Run) and the Fredericksburg Line (starting from Spotsylvania), both extending to Union Station with an Arlington stop in Crystal City.

While you can’t use your SmarTrip card on VRE, you can use your SmartBenefits. Quick link to VRE’s handy FAQ page here. And for commuters not walking distance from a station, free parking is available at most stations.

Oops, I took the Blue Line to Arlington Cemetery. Now what?

We get it, routines are hard to break, especially when your caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet. But now you’re stuck at Arlington Cemetery - so what are your options?

You could hop back on the Metro and trace your tracks back to Crystal City OR you could walk or use Capital Bikeshare. We suggest walking, but have listed information below for both options.

Walk: From the Cemetery, you are approximately 1.1 miles from the Rosslyn Metro Station. Click here for a mapped walking route that will take approximately 24 minutes. Ahhhh fresh air!

Capital Bikeshare: Unfortunately, the closest Capital Bikeshare station is either at the Lincoln Memorial (which means walking across the bridge) or at Iwo Jima at N Meade & 14th St N (which means you’re more than halfway to Rosslyn Metro). But if Rosslyn Metro isn’t your destination and you have further to go – pick up a bike at either station and enjoy the SafeTrack single trip fares for just $2! The first 30 minutes are $2, additional fees apply after.

Check out our dedicated SafeTrack page for additional information as it comes available.

More information

Now available: SafeTrack Frequently Asked Questions for both commuters and Arlington businesses. Plus, a map to highlight impacted areas for surge 2.

SafeTrack FAQ Guide - Click to Download

Tags: Bus, Capital Bikeshare, Metro, Walking, Arlington County, ATP Services, Commute, SafeTrack, Transit


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