Arlington County, Metro passengers preparing for major delays as 'SafeTrack' begins in June

- Arlington County officials are telling FOX 5 they are preparing to have a significant number of county employees telecommute in response to the first phase of Metro's massive “SafeTrack” repairs.

But telecommuting may be only one of several options to ease the pain for commuters before repairs start in Arlington at the end of next week. Metro's “SafeTrack” plan begins from East Falls Church to Ballston-MU starting on June 4.

Repairs will cause big delays, but there are bigger concerns of ripple effects on already-congested roads as people. Libby Garver, the chair of the Arlington County Board, said they are still finalizing their plan, but on the table is bringing in extra local buses in addition to telling some county employees to work from home.

But has the county gotten enough time from Metro to be able to deal with this?

“Well, the short answer is no, of course not,” Garver said. “None of us have. But we are where we are and we are going to make the best of it. Again, as I have said, we have had practice. We didn't have a lot of time and notice with that March shutdown or with Snowmageddon, Snowzilla, and we made it work.”

The first SafeTrack “surge” will go from June 4 to June 16. There will be continous single tracking on the Orange and Silver lines for 13 days. This means reduced service on all Orange and Silver Metro stations and it will severely reduce service west of Ballston.

This will impact 73,000 weekday trips. Metro is telling Orange and Silver line passengers to seek out other travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour, which is expected to be very crowded.

When SafeTrack begins on June 4, we are told the Orange Line will run every 18 minutes from Vienna to Ballston. Additionally, Orange Line trains will run from Ballston to New Carrollton only. Also, Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes at all times.

For more about Metro’s SafeTrack plan, click here.

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