SafeTrack – Know Your Options
SafeTrack is a program to perform maintenance and repair of the Metrorail system, to improve safety and reliability. According to Metro, "SafeTrack is a massive, comprehensive, holistic effort to address safety recommendations and rehabilitate the Metrorail system... by expanding all available maintenance windows." The plan includes "maintenance surges," periods of days or weeks when segments of Metrorail lines operate on one track or are shut down completely.
During the SafeTrack project, many Washington, D.C.-area residents, workers, and visitors will need to use other transportation options for many trips that would normally be taken by Metrorail, or plan for additional time to accommodate the delays.
CommuterPage.com is all about providing information about transportation options — rail, bus, bike, walk, Capital Bikeshare, car/vanpools and even telework — that make it easier for you to get where you need to go. As SafeTrack progresses, check this site for regular updates and information about current maintenance projects and options for traveling to and through areas affected by reduced Metrorail service.
Metrorail Weekend Hours
The Metrorail system closes at midnight every night, including weekends, to increase the overnight maintenance window.
SafeTrack Surge 14, April 15 - May 16, 2017
Surge 14 will affect the Green Line, with line segment shutdowns between Greenbelt and College Park. Surge 14 will be conducted in two phases.
During phase 1, from April 15 through April 29, buses will replace trains between Greenbelt and Prince George’s Plaza. Two stations will be closed: Greenbelt and College Park. Free shuttle buses will run between Greenbelt and Prince George’s Plaza with an intermediate stop at College Park. Green Line trains will run close to regular service elsewhere on the line, between Prince George’s Plaza and Branch Ave, every 6 to 8 minutes during rush hours. Yellow Rush+ trains will not operate during this time.
During phase 2, from April 30 through May 14, the work zone will be shortened to between Greenbelt and College Park only. As a result, only Greenbelt Station will be closed. Free shuttle buses will run between Greenbelt and College Park. Green Line trains will run close to regular service between College Park and Branch Avenue, every 6 to 8 minutes during rush hours. Yellow Rush+ trains will not operate.
Surge 14 Options and Resources
Surge 14 information from Metro, including travel options
Information from MARC Commuter Rail — MARC's Camden Line has stations in both Greenbelt and College Park. Purchase MARC tickets at the Commuter Store, or online from CommuterDirect.com. CommuterDirect.com also has staff at the Greenbelt Metro station during Surge 14.
Metro announces SafeTrack Surge 14 service plan
March 30, 2017, WMATA
WTOP track work guide: Surge 14
Max Smith, March 30, 2017, WTOP
Surge 14 will shut down northern end of Green Line
Martine Powers, March 30, 2017, Washington Post
Prince George's County SafeTrack information — From the Prince George's County, Md., Department of Public Works and Transportation
Metro SafeTrack page — Project information directly from the transit authority
Alexandria SafeTrack page — Information from the City of Alexandria
Arlington County SafeTrack information — Information about the SafeTrack plan, focusing on Arlington.
Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) SafeTrack page — Information from Arlington County’s business-to-business transportation consulting organization.
BikeArlington.com SafeTrack page — Bicycling resources for SafeTrack projects that affect Arlington.
BikeArlington.com Bike Commuting page — In addition to being fun, bike commuting can be a great way to increase physical fitness, help the environment, and save money. And when traffic is bad, it's often the fastest way to get to work, too. Check out BikeArlington's information for biking during SafeTrack and the formation of bike trains.
Capital Bikeshare — With over 3,000 bikes located throughout DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County, it's easy to get from place to place. Join Capital Bikeshare for a day, 3 days, a month, or a year. The first 30 minutes of each ride is free. NEW! Capital Bikeshare will offer a Single-Trip fare that will allow travelers to take a single Capital Bikeshare ride for $2 for trips under 30 minutes.
car2go — Now car2go members can travel freely between Arlington and D.C., and car2go has increased vehicle availability in Arlington.
Car-Free A to Z — This trip-planning tool lets you compare all regional transportation options including bus, rail, biking, walking and Capital Bikeshare for any trip you want to take. Get turn-by-turn directions, travel times, costs and calories burned.
Car-Free Near Me — Provides locations of bus stops and other transportation services near your home, workplace, current location, or any location you choose. Car-Free Near Me also tells you what transit services and routes serve those locations, and provides real-time information.
City of Alexandria SafeTrack Page — Information about the surges that will most affect Alexandria, and the city's response.
CommuterPage.com Transportation Options — Metrorail might be the Washington, D.C. area’s most popular car-free transportation option, but it’s certainly not the only one. Get an overview of Metrobus, local bus systems, bicycling, Capital Bikeshare, and more.
Fairfax County SafeTrack information — Links to Fairfax Connector and VRE schedules, park and ride lots, more.
Fairfax County Commuting by Bike during SafeTrack — Bicycling directions and maps
goDCgo SafeTrack page — Information from the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT)
Montgomery County Department of Transportation SafeTrack information — Information about SafeTrack Surge projects in Montgomery County.
Prince George's County SafeTrack information — From the Prince George's County, Md., Department of Public Works and Transportation
Ridesharing — Ridesharing can be as simple as family members, neighbors, or coworkers deciding to ride to and from work together. But that's not the only way. Local governments, employers, and private companies offer ridesharing services to match you to an existing carpool or vanpool, or help you form a new one.
Want to ride the bus during SafeTrack but don't know how? — These days many commuters are looking at the bus as an alternative to the troubled Metro system. But for many people who rely solely on the rail system to get around, the bus may be a new, even intimidating experience. Luz Lazo, October 28, 2016, Washington Post
- Surge 13, March 4 - April 12, 2017 (click to expand/collapse)
The work zone will be between the Braddock Road and Huntington/Van Dorn Street stations. Continuous single-tracking will mean less-frequent Blue and Yellow line service.
Update March 18, 2017
Metro is extending SafeTrack Surge 13 to make up time lost during this week's winter storm. Surge #13, which had been scheduled to end on April 9, will be extended through the end of the day Wednesday, April 12. In addition, there will no longer be a "Phase 2" of this surge as originally planned. This means that Blue Line service, which had been expected to return to normal on April 2, will remain modified for the duration of the surge.
- Blue Line trains will run every 24 minutes, even during rush hour. All Blue Line riders should consider alternate travel options.
- No Yellow Rush+ service between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt.
- Yellow Line trains will operate every 24 minutes between Huntington and Mt Vernon Square, even during rush hour. All Yellow Line riders south of Reagan National Airport should consider alternate travel options during this time.
- Additional Yellow Line trains will operate between Reagan National Airport and Mt Vernon Square. Customers traveling south of Reagan National Airport should consider transferring at Pentagon, Pentagon City or Crystal City to continue their trip and avoid crowding.
Surge 13 Options and Resources
More information from Metro about Surge 13, including bus options
Metroway – frequent bus service between Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Braddock Road Metro stations
City of Alexandria SafeTrack Surge 13 video
- Surge 12, February 11-28, 2017 (click to expand/collapse)
- No trains will run between Rosslyn and Pentagon.
- In Virginia, no Blue Line trains will be in service. Use Yellow Line Rush+ trains and transfer at L'Enfant Plaza to continue your trip. In Maryland, use Silver Line instead.
- Arlington Cemetery Station closed (served by buses from Pentagon).
- Yellow Rush+ trains will run all day between Franconia-Springfield & Greenbelt.
- Green Line frequency will be reduced as Yellow Line Rush+ trains operate all day on shared tracks
Surge 12 Options and Resources
More information from Metro about Surge 12, including transit options
- ART 43 Courthouse-Rosslyn-Crystal City is a convenient option for getting between Crystal City and the Rosslyn-Courthouse area. Service runs every 10 minutes during rush hours with only four stops at the Court House Metro, Rosslyn Metro, Crystal City Metro and the Crystal City VRE. Service runs every 20 minutes during midday, evenings and weekends.
- ART 42 Ballston-Pentagon runs weekdays between Ballston Metro and Pentagon Metro with stops at Virginia Square, Clarendon, Courthouse Road and Arlington's Department of Human Services.
Welcome Back, SafeTrack, February 6, 2017, Arlington Transportation Partners
- Surge 11, November 28 - December 20, 2016 (click to expand/collapse)
Orange and Silver Line trains will continuously single track between West Falls Church and East Falls Church from November 28 through December 20, 2016. Expect fewer trains and crowded conditions on the Orange and Silver lines between Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory, not just in the project area.
Information from Metro about Surge 11, including train frequency, transportation alternatives, and links to maps, a flyer, and a brochure.
Arlington's SafeTrack Surge Response for Surge 11 -- To supplement Metro’s efforts to assist travelers, Arlington County is continuing to encourage alternate work/travel options, providing supplemental ART bus service, and making temporary street changes around Arlington’s Orange Line Metro stations.
Surge 11 information from Fairfax County, including bicycling information, bus and rail options, and Park-and-Ride information.
WTOP track work guide, Surge 11 -- Details of the work and workarounds for travelers.
- Surge 10, October 29 - November 22 (click to expand/collapse)
Surge 10 will bring a line segment shutdown on the Red Line between NoMa-Gallaudet U and Fort Totten stations. Two Red Line stations will be closed: Brookland CUA and Rhode Island Ave. Green and Yellow lines will see an increase in riders between Fort Totten and Gallery Place as riders shift away from the Red Line.
Information from Metro about Surge 10, including train frequency, shuttle buses, enhanced Metrobus service, and more.
Information from Montgomery County (click "Critical Info" or "Travel Options" under "Oct 29-Nov22.")
WTOP track work guide: 10th surge, Max Smith, October 22, 2016, WTOP
Capital Bikeshare service enhancements for Surge 10, October 21, 2016, Capital Bikeshare [expired link removed February 7, 2017]
Red Line passengers urged to seek alternatives during SafeTrack Surge 10,
October 24, 2016, Bethesda Beat
- Surge 9, September 15 - October 26 (click to expand/collapse)
Surge 9 will affect the Orange Line, with continuous single-tracking on weekdays between Vienna and West Falls Church. Some Orange Line stations will be closed on four weekends:
- Weekends of Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2: Vienna, Dunn Loring, and West Falls Church stations will be closed.
- Weekends of Oct. 8-9 and Oct. 15-16: Vienna and Dunn Loring stations will be closed.
Information from Metro about Surge 9, including train frequency, shuttle buses, enhanced Metrobus service, and more.
Tips for surviving Surge 9, September 13, 2016, Washington Post
SafeTrack Surge 9: 42 days of continuous single tracking, September 12, 2016, NBC Washington
WTOP guide to Surge 9, September 9, 2016, WTOP
- Surge 8, August 27 - September 11 (click to expand/collapse)
UPDATED August 16: Blue Line trains will continuously single track weekdays between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St., August 27 through September 11, 2016. New weekend shutdowns: Surge #8 will now include three consecutive weekend shutdowns, during which free shuttle buses will replace trains along segments of the Blue Line to complete necessary switch rehabilitation work.
Information from Metro about SafeTrack Surge 8, including train frequency, enhanced Metrobus service, and more.
Information from Alexandria DASH [expired link removed Jan. 18, 2017] about bus and other options for getting around the work area.
Virginia Railway Express (VRE) option: Travelers coming from southern Fairfax County can avoid the Metrorail project area by riding VRE's Fredericksburg Line from Franconia-Springfield to King Street in Alexandria, or to Crystal City, L'Enfant Plaza, or Union Station. VRE SafeTrack information.
Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) suggests bike routes to bypass Surge 8 project area.
- Surge 7, August 9-21, 2016 (click to expand/collapse)
UPDATED August 16: SafeTrack work moves to the west end of the Red Line. Red Line trains will continuously single track between Shady Grove and Twinbrook from August 9 through August 21, 2016.
Information from Metro about SafeTrack Surge 7, including train frequency, enhanced Metrobus and Ride On bus service, and more.
Montgomery County Ride On will provide a free bus shuttle between the Grosvenor and Shady Grove stations via I-270 every 10 minutes during peak travel times. Ride On will add more buses to Ride On’s Route 46 that provides service from Grosvenor to Rockville via White Flint and Twinbrook, increasing bus frequency to every 10 minutes during peak travel times. Regular fares apply. More information.
MARC Commuter Rail's Brunswick Line travels between Martinsburg, West Virginia and Union Station in D.C., serving the area affected by Surge 7, with stations in Gaithersburg, Washington Grove, and Rockville. MARC tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter or from kiosks at Union Station, from The Commuter Store, online at CommuterDirect.com, or, for an additional cost, on the MARC train.
WTOP track work guide: Red Line Aug. 9-18 – Max Smith, August 5, 2016, WTOP
- Surge 6, August 1-7, 2016 (click to expand/collapse)
Beginning on Monday, August 1, there will be continuous single tracking on the Red Line between Takoma and Silver Spring. Red line trains may be very crowded, especially during rush hour due to severe service reductions. Expect significantly longer wait times at the following Red Line stations:
- Forest Glen
- Silver Spring
- Fort Totten
- Rhode Island Ave.
Customers traveling between Fort Totten and downtown D.C. should use the Green Line.
Information from Metro about SafeTrack Surge 6, including train frequency, enhanced Metrobus service, and more.
Montgomery County Ride On will run free weekday rush hour express shuttle bus service between Silver Spring, Takoma and Fort Totten and between Grosvenor-Strathmore, Medical Center, Bethesda and Friendship Heights Metrorail stations. More information.
DDOT Prepares for SafeTrack Surge #6 — information from the District Department of Transportation.
- Surge 5, July 20-31 (click to expand/collapse)
During Surge 5, July 20-31, 2016, there will be continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston, affecting the Orange and Silver lines. Orange and Silver line trains may be very crowded, especially at peak times.
Additional Orange Line service will operate between Ballston and New Carrollton. To avoid crowded trains, customers traveling from Ballston toward D.C. may want to use the additional trains, which will board on the opposite platform from the through-train service.
Information from Metro about SafeTrack Surge 5, including train frequency and travel alternatives.
Arlington's Response Plan for SafeTrack Surge 5, including Street operations changes, supplemental ART service, and work and travel options.
Transportation options from Fairfax County, including bicycling, bus, and commuter parking information.
Bicycling information from BikeArlington, including suggested routes, information about wayfinding signs, and Capital Bikeshare information.