WASHINGTON - Monday's morning rush hour marks the first commute since Metro began it's year-long SafeTrack maintenance project, and it's expected to be a tough ride-- whether you're taking the train or not.
The first phase of construction lasts until June 16, and it means trains are single-tracking at the Ballston and East Falls Church stations in Arlington. Workers were down on the tracks making repairs at Ballston Sunday evening.
Orange and Silver Line riders will be most impacted by the first surge, with trains running more infrequently-- but the work is expected to have a ripple effect on other commuters as well.
HERE'S WHAT IS INVOLVED IN SURGE #1 OF SAFETRACK:
- Orange Line trains between Vienna and New Carrollton will operate every 18 minutes
- Additional Orange Line trains will operate between Ballston and New Carrollton only every 6 minutes during the AM & PM rush, and every 10 minutes during midday and evening hours
- Silver Line trains will operate every 18 minutes
- At 10:00 p.m. all trains will operate every 20 minutes
Metro is also warning rider that trains operating from Vienna, through Ballston, may be extremely crowded on weekday mornings. Some Metro riders told FOX 5 they plan to be up at least an hour early on Monday in preparation for delays.
"My boss knows that it's going to be hard to get to work on time, and I hope everyone else has that same understanding," said Joyska Nunez, who works in Arlington.
Another rider said SafeTrack has sparked talk of teleconferencing at his workplace.
"The Metro is certainly prompting more conversation about whether or not employees have to actually be in the office or if they can work from home," Shawn Sweeney said.
This is the first of 15 phases of construction, slated to last about a year in total. The second phase starts on June 18 and involves a 16-day shut down on Silver, Blue and Orange lines from the Eastern Market station to the Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue stations.
As part of SafeTrack, Metro has eliminated overnight trains and now closes all stations at midnight.
Get real-time updates for all Metrorail lines on WMATA's website by clicking here.
Orange and Silver line trains may be very crowded, especially during rush hour due to severe service reductions.
Expect significantly longer wait times at the following stations:
Fairfax County SafeTrack Page (FairfaxCounty.gov/SafeTrack) - Resources for commuters in Fairfax County during Metro's continuing track work
Arlington County SafeTrack Page - Know your options for Metro's SafeTrack plan in Arlington County
At East Falls Church -
2A - Dunn Loring to East Falls Church, Ballston (enhanced weekday rush schedule | regular timetable)
3A - East Falls Church to Annandale
3T - East Falls Church to McLean
3Y - East Falls Church to Rosslyn, Farragut West, Farragut North, McPherson Square
(enhanced weekday rush schedule | regular timetable)
15K, 15L - East Falls Church to Rosslyn
26A - East Falls Church to NoVA Annandale
At Ballston -
1A - Vienna to Ballston
1B - Dunn Loring to Ballston (AM/PM rush only)
1E - Seven Corners to Ballston
10B - Hunting Point to Ballston
22A, 22C - Ballston to Pentagon
23B - Crystal City to Ballston (AM/PM rush only)
23T - Shirlington to Tysons Corner Center (AM/PM rush only)
25B - Ballston to Van Dorn St
38B - Ballston to Farragut Square (enhanced weekday rush schedule - coming soon! | regular timetable)
West of Vienna -
ART 52 - Ballston - Virginia Hospital Center - East Falls Church
ART 53 - Ballston - Old Glebe - East Falls Church
ART 55 - East Falls Church - Lee Highway - Rosslyn
ART 62 - Courthouse - Lorcom Lane - Ballston
Supplemental Express Service to Pentagon from:
Vienna Metrorail Station
Reston North Park & Ride
Existing Express Service to Pentagon from:
Backlick North Park & Ride
Gambrill Road Park & Ride
Reston North Park & Ride
Saratoga Park & Ride
Loudoun County Transit -
Routes serving West Falls Church will be relocated to Ballston
Washington Area Bicyclist Association - Information on bike options in SafeTrack Surge zones
Bike Arlington - Information to make it easy for cyclists in Arlington to get where they need to go, including more than one hundred miles of multi-use trails, on-street bike lanes, and designated bike routes.
Washington & Old Dominion Trail - scenic bike route from Herndon, Vienna, Dunn Loring, Falls Church.
Orange and Silver Line customers using the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church and Wiehle-Reston East Metro Park & Ride facilities should consider other park and ride options, including Park & Ride facilities on the Blue or Yellow lines.
CARPOOLS, VANPOOLS & OTHER RESOURCES
Commuter Connections - Provides commute options to get to work and get you home in an unexpected emergency. Among many services, it offers ridematching for carpools and vanpools and administers the Guaranteed Ride Home program.
Fairfax County Ride Sources - The RideSources program provides commuters with free ridesharing information, including ridematching assistance to form or join carpools or vanpools.
Commuter Page - Arlington County website with helpful links and information regarding local commute options.
Loudoun County Commuter Services - Links to commute options for carpools. vanpools, biking, transit and more.
goDCgo - Resource for transportation information and options for getting into and around the District.
RideSmart Solutions - Guide to alternative transportation options in Prince George's County.
Vanpool Alliance - A public-private partnership to support vanpool riders and providers in Northern Virginia.