In case you wanted to jump on a train from or to Tysons over the next two weeks, you may want to check the headways (length of time between trains) for your trip and find another way to get around. Until June 16th WMATA will be single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston.
How does this affect Tysons? Those areas are outside of Tysons!
Unfortunately because East Falls Church and Ballston are where all Silver Line and Orange Line trains must pass, the single tracking will cause much longer headways at all stations on either the Silver or Orange, with the greatest impact for those west of Ballston.
Trains will come only 18 minutes on schedule… and given the history of maintaining schedules during single tracking these past two years, you can go ahead and expect that sometimes those trains might not come for 30 minutes at a time. In other words, taking metro trains for the next two weeks is pointless.
Is this on weekends only?
No. I know you have gotten used to this kind of service on the weekends, but now imagine it during rush hour also. If you were thinking about using he Silver Line to get to work either in Tysons or from Tysons, think again or add about 45 minutes to your normal travel time.
Will fares be reduced?
HA! No, you will pay WMATA for your 90 minute stop and go train ride.
Will anything be fixed?
Who knows. To date, I have asked several times to WMATA Board members and media folks (to ask) what procedures will be implemented in terms of tracking inspections and providing some kind of list of responsible individuals for each segment. No answers as to what has changed from the technical stand point since the fiasco that is the 5 billion dollars that evaporated under the last maintenance crunch between 2009 and 2013. Remember no one really has a comprehensive list of what had actually been done… sure would be nice to have a means of tracking and recording that kind of information. To take a line from @FixWMATA ¯_(?)_/¯
What kind of alternative transportation will we get in the mean time?
There will be additional shuttle buses allocated to the affected areas, but nothing really to help if you are starting or ending in Tysons. Looks like the only Fairfax Connector change will be to shuttle from Wiehle via the 599, but both the 599 and the 5A skip Tysons all together. Sure would have been nice for some kind of bus service to Tysons to change considering the 100,000 jobs and 20,000 residents here.
A simple fix would be to route the 5A and the 23A/T via the old routes they had at the Westpark Transit Center. Going to the transit center would only add a couple minutes to each route due to it’s easy off highway access. Instead Tysons will be ignored. You can take the 23A, given the same route it has had this past year, from Tysons Corner Center but unfortunately even that route will not see any additional buses during SafeTrack.
Any other information that will affect my plans?
Well, in case you are some kind of sadomasochist (or have no other options) and plan on still using metro rail despite the massive delays the next two weeks, you may also want to know that there will be no train service at all after midnight. That’s not just in the impact area, the whole system, get used to it for the next year — possibly forever if the rumors about what the board wants to do are true.
When will this segment of track work end again?
Supposedly June 16th, but it may continue past that date if work isn’t completed on schedule of course.