SafeTrack – Know Your Options

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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.

SafeTrack information from Metro

Metro releases schedule information for 2017 SafeTrack surges

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 12, Feb. 11-28, 2017

  • 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

Arlington's SafeTrack surge response for Surge 12

Bus alternatives from ART - Arlington Transit

  • 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

Transit options during Surge 12 from Fairfax County

Information and options from Alexandria's DASH bus service


SafeTrack Resources

Metro SafeTrack page — Project information directly from the transit authority

Montgomery County Department of Transportation SafeTrack information — Information about SafeTrack Surge projects in Montgomery County.

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)

Metro Trip Planner — Trip planner has been updated with schedules for SafeTrack Surges

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.

Telework —  The easiest of all commutes! Ask your employer if you are eligible to telework. If your company is located in Virginia, Telework!VA can help.

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


Completed Projects

Surge 11, November 28 - December 20 (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.

Arlington's SafeTrack Surge Response for Surge 9

Transit, bicycling, carpooling options from Fairfax County for Surge 9

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

SafeTrack Surge 9 on Twitter

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.

Arlington Surge 8 Response

Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) suggests bike routes to bypass Surge 8 project area.

SafeTrack Surge 8 on Twitter

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 Department of Transportation SafeTrack information

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

SafeTrack Surge 7 on Twitter

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:

  • Glenmont
  • Wheaton
  • Forest Glen
  • Silver Spring
  • Fort Totten
  • Takoma
  • Brookland
  • Rhode Island Ave.
  • NoMa-Galludet

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 Department of Transportation SafeTrack information

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 #6information from the District Department of Transportation.

WTOP track work guide: Red Line Aug. 1 to 7

Information about bike routes around project (GGW)

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.

Taxishare in Ballston — The Stafford Street taxi stand near the Ballston-MU Metrorail station has been expanded and converted to "taxishare" to facilitate shared rides into DC. Taxi drivers will be able to accept multiple passengers for a single-stop connection directly to one of a several Metrorail stations, including: Rosslyn, Foggy Bottom, Farragut West, McPherson Square, MetroCenter, and Union Station. The drivers will make it easy for passengers to share the ride by splitting the fares evenly among passengers paying with cash or multiple credit cards. The standard Arlington taxi rates apply, there is no congestion or surge pricing. Look for the signs at Ballston and see if anyone is going your way to share your ride!

Surges 3 and 4, July 5 - July 18 (click to expand/collapse)

During Surge 3, July 5-11, the Yellow and Blue lines will be closed between National Airport and Braddock Road. Trains will still run to National Airport from D.C. and Arlington.

Arlington Response Plan for Surges 3 and 4

City of Alexandria SafeTrack page, updated with information about Surges 3 and 4. Bike Train schedule.

Alexandria DASH SafeTrack page, [expired link removed Jan. 23, 2017] with information about free DASH bus service between Braddock Road and Pentagon stations during Surges 3 and 4.

Surge 3 and 4 June 29 Press Conference [video]. Metro GM Paul J. Wiedefeld and officials from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, City of Alexandria and Fairfax County hold a news conference to discuss SafeTrack Surges 3 & 4.

Shuttle Bus information for Surges 3 and 4 (PDF)

Fairfax County press release about Surge 3 options, June 28, 2016. Fairfax will provide express bus service between Franconia-Springfield and the Pentagon, and between Saratoga Park and Ride and the Pentagon.

Metroway, Metro's premium bus service, operates between Braddock Road and Pentagon City.

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) SafeTrack information -- VRE's Fredericksburg Line offers service from Alexandria and points south to Crystal City, L'Enfant Plaza, and Union Station.

WTOP track work guide: 3rd surge July 5-12

Surge 2, June 18 - July 3 (click to expand/collapse)

Surge project #2 will bring a shutdown of a segment of track from Eastern Market to Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road. Stadium-Armory & Potomac Avenue stations will be closed. Orange, Silver and Blue line service will be affected both within and outside the surge area. There will be no Metrorail or Metrobus service between Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery during peak hours; travel via L'Enfant Plaza instead.

Arlington's response plan for SafeTrack Surge 2 — During Surge 2 there will be no Metrorail or Metrobus service during peak hours between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn. Metrorail's Blue Line will run between Franconia and Arlington Cemetery only. The Yellow Line will operate Rush+ service all day between Virginia and D.C. on weekdays during Surge 2. Arlington encourages telework, is adding capacity to Capital Bikeshare and ART - Arlington Transit, putting ambassadors at the Rosslyn and Crystal City Metro stations, and more.

Crystal City Bus Service Map for Surge 2 (PDF, 45 KB)

Crystal City Transportation Options Map for Surge 2 (PDF, 348 KB)

Alexandria SafeTrack page — Surge 2 is one of the projects expected to significantly affect Alexandria residents and workers.

Fairfax Connector adds supplemental express service for Surges 1 and 2 — Supplemental express service will be added added between Reston North Park and Ride and Pentagon, and between Vienna Metro station and Pentagon. There's also information here about existing express buses and other bus service.

VRE SafeTrack Information, June 16, 2016, VRE

Alexandria offers alternatives during SafeTrack, June 14, 2016, City of Alexandria

Prince George's County announces workarounds for Surge 2,  June 9, 2016, WTOP

SafeTrack News
SafeTrack's severe impact on Metro ridership

Martin Di Caro, February 20, 2017, WAMU

Metro to reduce call center hours

Faiz Siddiqui, February 16, 2017, Washington Post

What a weakened Metro means to the D.C. region

Robert Thomson, February 16, 2017, Washington Post

How the 4000 series became Metro's worst cars

Faiz Siddiqui, February 15, 2017, Washington Post

Metro makes case to local leaders for raising fares, cutting service

John Aaron, February 15, 2017, WTOP

Metro begins retiring 4000-series cars

Faiz Siddiqui, February 15, 2017, Washington Post

Costs to fix Metro could bog down budgets for schools, police

Max Smith, February 15, 2017, WTOP

Metro riders adjust to new SafeTrack commute

Robert Thomson, February 13, 2017, Washington Post

No Blue Line for 18 days

Robert Thomson, February 10, 2017, Washington Post

Jurisdictions get reprieve from safety agency deadline

Lori Aratani, February 9, 2017, Washington Post

SafeTrack is eating into Metro ridership revenue

Martine Powers, February 9, 2017, Washington Post

Crime is down on Metro, but certain violent crimes are up

Martin Di Caro, February 7, 2017, WAMU

Metro's next SafeTrack surge will halt Blue Line

Tim Regan, February 8, 2017, ARLnow

Arlington Cemetery Metro to close for maintenance

Tiffany Arnold, February 3, 2017, WTOP

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