- Metro is closing the Silver line and the Orange line west of Ballston from late May until this fall.
- Bike commuting, with careful planning and preparation, is a great alternative option.
Updated and corrected on May 21, 2020.
Metro recently announced that it was taking advantage of low ridership during the pandemic to consolidate planned work on the Orange and Silver lines into a single lengthy shutdown. Beginning Saturday, May 23, all stations west of Ballston on these two lines will close until the fall. In other words, there will be no Silver line service and the East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring, and Vienna Metro stations will be closed.
FABB suggests for commuters affected by these closures that this is a great time to try bike commuting. Some transportation watchers forecast that people will be avoiding public transportation and commuting by car, which means more congestion and more time spent in traffic. One significant advantage of traveling by bike is knowing how long it takes to get to your destination. It may take longer to ride than some other options but at least you can plan accordingly.
Fairfax County’s interactive bike map and Google Maps bike directions are good places to start to find possible bike routes.
If it is not feasible to complete your full commute by bike, you can still ride to bus stops and connect to public transportation. You can put your bike on the rack on the front of the bus, and then reverse the process at the other end of your bus ride. Fairfax Connector and Metro buses have bike racks, so combining bikes and buses make longer commutes manageable. The WMATA Trip Planner can help you develop your route. You also can find information on the Fairfax Connector Service here. Also, check the WMATA web site for updates on health and safety precautions, such as requirements to wear face masks and maintain social distancing on buses and trains.
Bikers can park at stations to take advantage of free shuttle services offered by Metro. These include a local service between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, and Ballston; a direct service between Vienna and Ballston; and local service between Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner, and Ballston. The shuttles will run seven days a week and operate during the same hours as the rail system, 5:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays and 8:00 am to 9 pm on weekends. Parking will be FREE at the Vienna, Dunn Loring, and Wiehle Reston-East stations through the end of the summer shutdown. No customer parking is available at East Falls Church Station due to construction activity.
The Orange Line will resume operations at Ballston, so your bike commute could connect back to the Metro there. For users of the Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations, consider parking at the stations and then taking the W&OD and Custis Trails to Ballston station. The W&OD trail is within a half-mile of these stations and leads to Ballston via the Custis Trail. Metro allows bicycles on trains during all hours, but bicyclists should not try to get on a crowded railcar. Please do not block aisles or doors of the train with your bike. For more information, check out the WMATA Bikes page.
If you would like more information on strategies for bike commuting, including advice on equipment, clothing, parking, and finding the best routes, contact FABB at [email protected]kes.org.