Greater Greater Washington

How will Rush Plus affect Blue Line commuters?

On Monday we discussed how Rush Plus would affect the Yellow Line. If you commute on the Blue Line, you'll be in for some changes too.


Photo by Wayan Vota on Flickr.

The primary reason for Rush Plus is to allow more Orange Line trains to go through Rosslyn, which is currently maxed out. This will also make way for the Silver Line to Tysons, whose trains will also need to go through Rosslyn.

In essence, 3 Blue Line trains per hour in each direction will now travel across the Yellow Line bridge, and will now be labeled Yellow Line trains.

These trains will run all the way from Franconia-Springfield to Greenbelt. Riders from Alexandria and southern Arlington going to the eastern side of downtown DC or the mid-city will have shorter, transfer-free trips and more frequent service. But those traveling toward northern Arlington or the western half of downtown will see fewer trains.

Will my commute be longer?

Your commute might get a little longer if you commute between certain pairs of stations, but no one's commute should increase by more than 6 minutes.

If you commute between Franconia-Springfield or Van Dorn Street and any station that is both north of Pentagon and west of Metro Center, your commute might be longer under Rush Plus.

Why "might"? Only 30% of Blue Line trains will switch to the Yellow Line, so you'll only be affected if the next train leaving after you reach the station is one of those. The other 70% of trains will see no change.

Blue Line trains currently leave Franconia-Springfield every 6 minutes during rush hour (10 trains per hour). That won't change, but the destination of 3 of those trains will be Greenbelt rather than Largo. Here's the morning rush hour schedule for trains departing Franconia-Springfield. Trains shown in yellow will be Yellow Line trains to Greenbelt starting Monday, June 18.


Graphic by the author.

Let's look at an example

Let's say you commute from Franconia-Springfield to McPherson Square.

If you normally catch the train that leaves Franconia at 8:04, your commute will be the same as it is today. Your commute will also be the same if you normally get the 8:16, although you might notice more crowding. That's because with the 8:10 becoming a Yellow Line train, some people will wait for this train who would have caught the 8:10.

But if you usually ride the 8:10, that train won't be a Blue Line train anymore, starting on Monday. You could either take this train, or wait for a Blue Line train. Which is better?

Currently, pre-Rush Plus, you have 2 options for getting from Franconia to McPherson Square by train. If you stay on the 8:10 train the whole way, you'll pass through Rosslyn and then arrive at McPherson Square at 8:44.

You could also get off the 8:10 Blue Line train at Pentagon, hop across the river on the Yellow Line, then change back to Orange or Blue at L'Enfant. That would get you to McPherson Square 9 minutes later, at 8:53.

Under Rush Plus you'll also have two options, but they will be different. If you just stay on the 8:10 train, you'll cross the Potomac via the Yellow Line bridge and arrive at L'Enfant Plaza, where you'll transfer to a Blue or Orange train. This option will get you to McPherson Square at 8:46, 2 minutes later than you do today.

You also have the option of getting off the 8:10 train at Pentagon and waiting 6 minutes for the next Blue Line train. That would get you to McPherson Square at 8:54 8:50, 6 minutes later than you do today.

That's to get to McPherson Square, but each destination station is a little different. If you commute from Franconia to Smithsonian, you'll be saving 6 minutes over your commute today. But getting to Rosslyn will take 6 minutes longer.

The bottom line: Take Yellow or wait for Blue?

If you're taking Metro from Franconia to Foggy Bottom, or any station in Virginia north of Pentagon, it will be faster to take the Blue Line, even if that means waiting 6 minutes for the next train. On the other hand, if you're commuting to Farragut West or any station farther east, and the next train is a Yellow, then taking the Yellow and transferring at L'Enfant will be faster.

From Franconia-Springfield or Van Dorn Street, if a Blue train is next, take that. If you're going somewhere east or north of L'Enfant Plaza, transfer to a Yellow Line train at Pentagon.

In terms of winners and losers, Metro Center appears to be the divide. If you're headed somewhere west of Metro Center and north of the Pentagon, if your train is one that is now Yellow, your commute will get longer. If you're going to somewhere east of Metro Center, and your train is one that becomes a Yellow, Rush Plus will be making your trip faster.

Get more information

If you're curious about the specifics of your commute, use Metro's Trip Planner. Entering June 18 as your travel date will show the Rush Plus schedules.

If Rush Plus impacts your schedule negatively, you might be able to adjust for it by sleeping 6 minutes later or getting up a touch earlier. Another option will be Metrobus routes 9E and 10E, which are being extended to Rosslyn to help Blue Line riders.

The key to making Rush Plus work for you is planning. So take some time before Monday's rush hour to look at the Trip Planner.

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. Hes a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Planning Department. His views are his own and do not represent the opinion of his employer. 

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and still nothing on the inconvience for orange line people to get to the airport now.

We need more tranit N-S in Arlington, not E-W.

by charlie on Jun 13, 2012 9:58 am • linkreport

@charlie

I'm sorry, but one transfer at Rosslyn to reach National Airport is not inconvenient.

While it's true that North + South Arlington could use more trains travelling between them, you cannot deny the overcrowding issues on the Orange Line in Arlington during rush hour. It's in no way sustainable, and without changes like this - could lead to disaster. Rush+ is a good thing.

by Colin Hart on Jun 13, 2012 10:13 am • linkreport

I know! How dare Arlingtonians receive less service connecting the two major areas of the county! The people of Montgomery County would never let Metro take away their direct E-W service between Bethesda and Silver Spring... oh, wait.

by Adam L on Jun 13, 2012 10:13 am • linkreport

1. This exercise shows why Metro should publish some sort of schedule for rush hours - then at least people could plan better. You can use the trip planner though I suppose.

If people are interested, here's a table comparison if you used to catch that 8:10 train and go to Farragut West:

Old New YL New BL
ARR Franconia 8:10 8:10 8:10
DEP Franconia 8:10 8:10 8:16
ARR L'Enfant N/A 8:38 N/A
DEP L'Enfant N/A 8:40 N/A
ARR Farragut W 8:43 8:47 8:49
Travel Time 0:33 0:37 0:39

This whole "12 minute wait" thing people have been throwing about is BS. Nobody's adding 12 minutes to your commute. At most you would wait 6 minutes MORE than you would have waited before.

by MLD on Jun 13, 2012 10:14 am • linkreport

I am mostly worried about overcrowding of the rush hours Blue Line trains that follow the "eliminated" train for the part between Metro Center and the Pentagon.

By the way, this article suffers from the DC-centrism of GGW. Not a word about people transferring from Orange to Blue in Rosslyn.

Also, 12 minute intervals are unacceptable on a system that mostly runs every 3 minutes during rush hour.

by Jasper on Jun 13, 2012 10:17 am • linkreport

@ MLD:At most you would wait 6 minutes MORE than you would have waited before.

6 minutes that might make you miss your VRE or bus connection, setting you back way more than those 6 minutes.

by Jasper on Jun 13, 2012 10:19 am • linkreport

charlie,

and still nothing on the inconvience for orange line people to get to the airport now.
We need more tranit N-S in Arlington, not E-W.

That's fine - but you can't get that via a service change like this. The rail infrastructure just doesn't support it.

Solving that issue will require a different and more capital-intensive solution than a mere rail service change.

by Alex B. on Jun 13, 2012 10:24 am • linkreport

@ColinHart; you already Transfer. The point is you're waiting longer.

All this for the theoritical convience of getting to Dulles...sigh.

@Jasper; yep, sometimes the W around here is bigger than the G.

by charlie on Jun 13, 2012 10:25 am • linkreport

@Jasper: 6 minutes that might make you miss your VRE or bus connection, setting you back way more than those 6 minutes.

And a train may break down, a fireball may fall from the Heavens, or an evil swamp monster may rise from the Potomac. You can't possibly account for every eventuality that would cause you to be late. People have a remarkable ability to adapt, including leaving 6 minutes earlier.

by Adam L on Jun 13, 2012 10:27 am • linkreport

Not everyone who rides the Blue Line starts their commute at Springfield. There are plenty of people who get on between Vienna & Courthouse, and they work at Pentagon/Pentagon City/Crystal City. No increase in Yellow Line traffic is going to help them.

by Rush Minus on Jun 13, 2012 10:41 am • linkreport

@Jasper:

What is the VRE travel scenario that's effected by Rush Plus?

by Steven Yates on Jun 13, 2012 10:43 am • linkreport

Once again, I'm in full agreement with Jasper. Springfield and the Pentagon are larger bus connections. Of course VRE is at Springfield, but I'm not sure those people will feel it as much since they may take it into DC unless they also have to account for buses.

by selxic on Jun 13, 2012 10:55 am • linkreport

@ Adam L:And a train may break down, a fireball may fall from the Heavens, or an evil swamp monster may rise from the Potomac.

WMATA may not be the most reliable system, but I won't hold it accountable for swamp monsters.

People have a remarkable ability to adapt, including leaving 6 minutes earlier.

Increasing their commute with 6 minutes.

@ Steven Yates:What is the VRE travel scenario that's effected by Rush Plus?

People try to have their train match up with a leaving VRE train from Crystal City, King St or Franconia-Springfield. They're used to 6 minute intervals, now, suddenly there's a 12 minute interval, making you miss your connection.

by Jasper on Jun 13, 2012 11:16 am • linkreport

@Jasper, @charlie, @Rush Minus:
I'm sorry if I didn't make this clear enough.

Court House and Clarendon and Ballston and Vienna are all (A) west of Metro Center and (B) north of Pentagon.

What this means is that your trip may get longer by 6 minutes, if the train you were transferring to was a Blue converted to a Yellow.

I didn't think it was necessary to actually call out the Orange Line transfer, since I thought it was clear that those stations (and Rosslyn, the transfer station) are all in the area described as north of Pentagon and West of Metro Center.

I also didn't think it was necessary to mention the Orange Line stations in north Arlington because if you're changing at Rosslyn, you have to get to Rosslyn, and I did explicitly mention that trips to Rosslyn could increase by 6 minutes.

And one more thing, I only mention inbound trips. But the same math applies to outbound trips. A trip from Franconia to Rosslyn might increase by 6 minutes. A trip from Rosslyn to Franconia might also increase by 6 minutes. Everything true one way will be true in the reverse.

If you have other specific trips in mind, please take the time to use the Trip Planner.

by Matt Johnson on Jun 13, 2012 11:16 am • linkreport

"and still nothing on the inconvience for orange line people to get to the airport now." @Charlie

"There are plenty of people who get on between Vienna & Courthouse, and they work at Pentagon/Pentagon City/Crystal City." @Rush Minus

Correct me if I'm wrong, but those passengers will also get more Orange line trains, right? Doesn't this mean that Orange line passengers transfering at Rosslyn might get to Rosslyn a little earlier because of better service on the Orange line, and catch an earlier Blue line train than they would now? This might wipe out any longer waits @ Rosslyn for a Blue line train.

"All this for the theoritical convience of getting to Dulles" @Charlie

Or the actual convenience of getting to Tysons.

"this article suffers from the DC-centrism of GGW" @Jasper

That may be true, but this aspect of the new service pattern doesn't change much for people living in DC. This change is happening because of the DC-centrism of those Virginians who live on the Orange line and work in DC.

"6 minutes that might make you miss your VRE or bus connection, setting you back way more than those 6 minutes." @Jasper

That's an argument for improving bus and VRE service. Improving either of those services may be a poor substitute for a new Potomac crossing or a new Orange-Blue junction below Rosslyn, but are far cheaper and attainable now (and should happen regardless of any new Blue infrastructure).

by Steven H on Jun 13, 2012 11:19 am • linkreport

Thank you Rush+ for putting one more car on the road--mine. Living in Alexandria and working in Arlington, I'm already a 3 seat ride from home to work (bus, blue, orange), which if timed perfectly is 45 minutes at best. Driving takes 15 minutes door-to-door, so why would I add even more time to this at greater incovenience?

For those that keep saying "it's only an additional 6 minutes, deal with it," I'd like to invite you to the Rosslyn platform in the pm peak. It's already at capacity (those new elevators are only going to put people onto the overcrowded platform faster). Miss a train and you miss a bus connection, so you can add another 20 minutes right there. That 10E bus extension to Rosslyn sounds nice, but it will never run according to the timeline currently proposed as traffic will bog that down.

Overall, I'm just disappointed that Metro played the numbers game to benefit those commuting from further out at the detriment of those commuting from closer in.

by disappointed on Jun 13, 2012 11:24 am • linkreport

@Jasper
But the only people that are seeing fewer Metro trains to VRE stations essentially are reverse commuters who live on the Orange Line (and even then it's somewhat counterbalanced by more Orange Line trains). That has to be a vanishingly small number, right?

by Steven Yates on Jun 13, 2012 11:25 am • linkreport

@dissapointed?

Where from Alexandria to where in Arlington? Have you tried something like the 10B? It may take just as much time as the transfers but save you money (one bus fare rather than one combined)

by drumz on Jun 13, 2012 11:38 am • linkreport

@Steven Yates
I think Jasper is talking about PM rush when you take Metro to VRE to head home.

by MLD on Jun 13, 2012 11:41 am • linkreport

@ Steven Yates:But the only people that are seeing fewer Metro trains to VRE stations essentially are reverse commuters

Euhm no? Arriving VRE riders will see less Blue Lines in the morning, and returning VRE riders will see larger gaps between (some) Blue Line trains in the afternoon.

Look, my point is that many people do not live in a highly regular schedule. Metro, buses and VRE do. So, if you need to catch a bus or VRE train, you learn how to arrive in time. This is not very hard when you have regular intervals between trains. It becomes a lot harder when there are irregular intervals (6 or 12 minutes). The lack of regularity means that you have to increase your "safety buffer", which increases your commute.

by Jasper on Jun 13, 2012 11:42 am • linkreport

I used to have the "3 seat ride" that disappointed describes. Mine was AT3or10Eor10A/Blue/Orange. Its not a commute most people would bother with, and yes, driving is always faster. That said, my experience is that 110 usually moves fairly well, and if I still worked at my former job I'd give the 2-seat ride a try. It would still be far cheaper than parking, and the fewer seat changes would allow more working/reading, and greater likelihood of having a seat. Transfering to the 38B rather than Orange would also cut the cost significantly.

I think the overall takeaway of this thread is that nobody likes a change in their routine.

by spookiness on Jun 13, 2012 12:02 pm • linkreport

...those passengers will also get more Orange line trains, right? Doesn't this mean that Orange line passengers transfering at Rosslyn might get to Rosslyn a little earlier because of better service on the Orange line, and catch an earlier Blue line train than they would now?

Not necessarily. Most likely it will mean that they will just wait longer on the platform at Rosslyn, which as someone already mentioned, are crowded enough already.

by Rush Minus on Jun 13, 2012 12:23 pm • linkreport

more capital-intensive solution

Oh well--THAT will never happen!

by LuvDusty on Jun 13, 2012 1:02 pm • linkreport

Based on the below quotes, won't it add 10 minutes to your ride, not 6? 8:54 is 10 minutes past 8:44.

"Currently, pre-Rush Plus, you have 2 options for getting from Franconia to McPherson Square by train. If you stay on the 8:10 train the whole way, you'll pass through Rosslyn and then arrive at McPherson Square at 8:44. "

"You also have the option of getting off the 8:10 train at Pentagon and waiting 6 minutes for the next Blue Line train. That would get you to McPherson Square at 8:54, 6 minutes later than you do today."

by LB on Jun 13, 2012 1:07 pm • linkreport

@LB:
You're right. That was a typo. I've corrected it.

The 8:16 train from Franconia arrives at McPherson Square at 8:50, six minutes after the 8:10 does today.

by Matt Johnson on Jun 13, 2012 1:13 pm • linkreport

You know, looking at that timeline... I don't care if it's slightly before rush hour or not - 13 minute headways at ANY time are unacceptable for a major metropolitan mass transit system. Especially if they're scheduled that way.

And yes, this and everything else just scream for a WMATA with the balls to actually envision and invest for the long-term. A separated blue line, enough rolling stock and actual working ATO to run at 90 or 120-second headways, and some damn longitudinal seating in our 100% 8-car trains would go a long way towards making this system work for the next few decades.

But of course, by the time they actually get to planning this stuff, it will be obsolete for the future demands they're building it in anticipation of.

by GWJ on Jun 13, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

Matt, this statement is still misleading: "If you commute between Franconia-Springfield or Van Dorn Street and any station that is both north of Pentagon and west of Metro Center, your commute might be longer under Rush Plus."

The problem isn't limited to commuters from Franconia and Van Dorn -- anyone from south of the Pentagon risks a longer trip to Rosslyn and west. But WMATA analysed the frequency of those cases and determined that they can move just as many people by extending some Pentagon buses to Rosslyn. VA-110 rarely has traffic, even during rush hour, so those buses will move almost as fast as a train.

@GWJ: no station will see 12-minute headway. Four stations will see 6-minute headway, and the rest will see 3-minute headway. The only difference is that more trains will be headed in a direction that more people need to go. I agree about more longitudinal seating.

by Novanglus on Jun 13, 2012 3:21 pm • linkreport

@Novanglus Sorry, what I meant was not necessarily 12-minute headways during Rush Hour, but that headways of that time are inexcusable at any time. Really what I was referring to were the trains at 5:08, 5:21, 5:34, etc. Those gaps are pretty outrageous, and especially for a town with a lot of early risers where the Metro should be opening at 4AM anyways.

by GWJ on Jun 13, 2012 3:24 pm • linkreport

re: missed VRE/bus connection issue:

As noted, this refers to afternoon commutes OUT of DC. From my observation as a commuter on the BL/OL, it seems that for much of this period, the trains aren't following the schedule anyway due to crowding and the resulting "bunching". So before R+, was it really possible to reliably plan around a specific train with less than a six minute margin of error? Also, assuming R+ lives up to its promise to reduce crowding, I wouldn't be surprised if the resulting reduction in time at each station (and consequently less bunching) might actually offset some of the added wait for the affected blue line riders. I've spent lots of time on blue line trains in the afternoon commute that must wait before every station while the overcrowded OL train in front attempts to load or unload.

by West End on Jun 14, 2012 2:34 am • linkreport

But you see, a minute waiting is always longer than a minute traveling. Quality of one's life, and how those precious minutes are spent, will always have more personal value than any quantity of travel-time savings.

by Stlplanr on Jun 14, 2012 8:10 am • linkreport

I think the real takeaway here is that everyone expects public transit to cater to his/her specific schedule. And that's just ridiculous. Plan a route based on available service, adjust, and go forth. Imagine people in third-world countries who walk miles a day to earn a few cents complaining about an extra 6 minutes! My commute includes a 45 minute Marc train ride and a mile walk. I could skip the walk and take Metro two stops, but the delays and skyrocketing fares keep me away. Metro is a convenience--it's miles better than most other cities' systems, but if you don't like what they have to offer, keep your money and walk. That is all!

by yandymung on Jun 14, 2012 8:34 am • linkreport

Such poor planning here...and we have not even begun to discuss the impact of the ill-conceived Silver Line. The governing authority for this system needs to be replaced, the Union labor dismissed and get some people there who can plan for what the taxpayers pay for...not for what some academic formula attempts to foist upon us as reasonable. Another Potomac River crossing has long be needed but no foresight or leadership was ever attempted on that issue. And, even if it were you'd have the extreme environmental hoodlums tying it up with court battles.

METRO would have been better of leveling with the public. People respect honesty. Tell them that some METRO riders are going to get shafted in this deal...with more such displacement expected when the lamentable Silver Line kicks in.

by Pelham1861 on Jun 14, 2012 8:40 am • linkreport

@ West End:So before R+, was it really possible to reliably plan around a specific train with less than a six minute margin of error?

Yes, because you know that there will be a train about every 6 minutes. It does not really matter when that train comes. I just aim for a train that arrives about 10 minutes before my bus leaves. That leaves me a little buffer for delays of all kind. Trains can be late, and if I am late myself, I can catch the next train and still arrive a few minutes before my bus leaves, run my ass of and be safe.

From now on, I'm going to have to assume 12 minute intervals, because that's gonna be the interval most of the time. Three times an hour equals 36 minutes. Only 24 minutes of the hour can one count on 6 minute intervals, but it will be hard to predict when that is. Metro does not run on a reliable schedule.

So what's gonna happen is that I need to leave earlier to make sure I get the train that gets me to my bus in time. Sometimes I will get a 6 minute interval, and lucky me will get to wait 6 minutes more for my bus in stead of waiting for a train. Oh, the joy.

Case an point, the average wait time is going up, which means my commute will become longer.

by Jasper on Jun 14, 2012 10:01 am • linkreport

@ Pelham: Another Potomac River crossing has long be needed but no foresight or leadership was ever attempted on that issue.

You can't have it both ways. You can't oppose government spending on metro and at the same time complain that there are missing connections.

by Jasper on Jun 14, 2012 10:03 am • linkreport

There's also a different scale of change.

If you don't like your house and think you need more room, you can put on an addition. That's very expensive and time consuming.

Or, you could re-arrange your furniture and maybe repaint the walls to make the space feel more open.

Rush plus is the latter. And just because it doesn't do what a full addition to the house would do, doesn't mean it isn't a good change. Just remember to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

by Alex B. on Jun 14, 2012 10:16 am • linkreport

@ JASPER

Have never complained about METRO spending...only wasteful spending which is evident to any thinking person who looks at the system. Get rid of the union contracts, actually find competent people to run and police the system and have some rational business types running the operation. I see METRO spent $400,000 on 5-fold color brochures and other confusing advertising for RUSH PLUS. Bad use of tax dollars. Would have been helpful if METRO had been honest and called it: RUSH LESS.

by Pelham1861 on Jun 14, 2012 10:46 am • linkreport

To ALEX B: Your comment sums up METRO exactly: Or, you could re-arrange your furniture and maybe repaint the walls to make the space feel more open.

In other words..all METRO is doing is trying to fool customers into the illusion that this is a solution. When in fact, this is a result of incredibly poor planning, lack of leadership and incompetence. And one other matter...when you make alterations to your house...you are using your own $$. METRO is using (wasting) taxpayer dollars on a non-solution.

So yes, let's compare Apples to Apples. Any way you add this up it's a result of criminally bad planning...only to get worse when the Silver Line kicks in.

by Pelham1861 on Jun 14, 2012 10:52 am • linkreport

@ Pelham:Get rid of the union contracts, actually find competent people to run and police the system

Getting rid of a union contract usually is intended to lower cost and higher less educated people. How is that gonna work with getting more competent people?

and have some rational business types running the operation.

Metro is not a business. It will never run a profit. It is not the goal of metro to run a profit. Just like DOTs are not businesses running for a profit. The goal of metro (and DOTs) is to move people.

I see METRO spent $400,000 on 5-fold color brochures and other confusing advertising for RUSH PLUS. Bad use of tax dollars. Would have been helpful if METRO had been honest and called it: RUSH LESS.

For all my griping about the Rush Minus, that only pertains to my personal route. On the whole, it is better service and preparing us for the future.

Again, you can't have it both ways.

Also, please give me an example of a good information campaign that's less than $400k.

by Jasper on Jun 14, 2012 12:35 pm • linkreport

Imagine people in third-world countries who walk miles a day to earn a few cents complaining about an extra 6 minutes!

I don't have to imagine--I grew up in Brazil. For 12 years I took the public transportation in/within/out of a city not much different from DC. Keep in mind it was the 80s.

As bad as the public transportation situation could sometimes get in Brazil (particularly during the flood season), I never experienced as much of a wait as I have REPEATEDLY experienced currently on DC Metro Train and Bus service.

And even if I had, keep in mind that service cost about 1/10th of what it costs to ride Metro. (and yes, that is calculating for inflation and cost of living).

No matter how you slice it---DC Metro is an abomination. It is horrible managed, over-priced and almost completely unreliable.

I have spoken with colleages who have lived across the World, in the poorest of countries, and they have often mentioned to me that DC Metro is one of the worst run public transportation systems they have ever been on and they are often shocked and appalled that the capital of what is supposed to be a "great Nation" has such horrible public transportation.

Oh and just in case you think I was "rich" when living in Brazil, I was not. Both my parents earned a middle class salary in local currency.

But even the poorest in Brazil, who are traveling usually from the suburbs (where most of the poorest live) into the city to work, often have more reliable and quicker service than parts of DC Metro provides.

by LuvDusty on Jun 14, 2012 1:40 pm • linkreport

@jaspar

In my experience as a commuter on the BL/OL, with train bunching downtown, the gap bw trains is often more like 2-3 mins; if you'll now have two OL trains between two BL, instead of alternating B/O/B, the gap bw BL trains only increases from 4-6 minutes to 6-9 minutes (ie a 2-3 min increase). I would also suspect this added time might be offset by fewer delays for loading crowded OL trains.

by West End on Jun 14, 2012 10:50 pm • linkreport

Again, amidst all of the hyperbolic whining above, I will once again gently point out that 83% of people affected by Rush+ service changes will gain, rather than lose, service. We are not hearing from this overwhelming but silent majority -- yet more evidence that humans are strongly loss-averse.

Whether the Blue Line service reduction occurs now or next year (when the Silver Line begins service) is ultimately immaterial. Taking this step now gives you and the system more time to adjust. Metrobus routes have been adjusted, ART is maintaining plenty of north-south Arlington service, and there will still be plenty of other alternatives like bicycling. And if a few people resort to driving to work, the world won't end -- because probably other people whose service gets better will stop driving to work.

by Payton on Jun 15, 2012 9:28 am • linkreport

To me this situation just doesn't work. I commute from Pentagon City to Farragut West. Getting into work has been more crowded, but that isn't my major complaint. Coming home from work during rush hour has been almost unbearable. It used to take me 35 minutes door to door. Now it is closer to an hour due to massive over crowding on the blue line train leaving Farragut West. Yesterday for instance, I arrived on the platform and there were 3 Orange line trains on the board. Not one blue line train was in sight. When the 6 car blue line train got to Farragut West it was obviously over crowded and there was no way for me or a vast amount of other people to get on the train. It didn't help that there was one car out of service, so there were 3 orange line trains with a total of 22 cars (one 6 car and two 8 car trains). Then there was the 5 car blue line train. Next up...3 more orange line trains. I don't remember the sizes...I was losing my mind at the time. I decided to get on one of the orange line trains and get off at Rosslyn and transfer to the next blue line train in hopes that I would be able to get on. That did work, but funny enough, this 6 car blue line train had another car that was empty and not in service. To top it all off, I get onto an extremely crowded blue line train at Rosslyn, and the car I get on doesn't have air conditioning on a 100 degree day. So frustrated.

by 16 year metro rider on Jun 22, 2012 11:41 am • linkreport

@16 year metro rider
If you get to the station and see no blue trains on the board and a packed platform in your usual direction, it's probably a good idea to jump on a train in the other direction (towards New Carrolton/Largo) and transfer to yellow to get to Pentagon City. Much faster than waiting for a train that will probably be packed. And the difference from Farragut West is something like 4 minutes of travel time.

by MLD on Jun 22, 2012 11:49 am • linkreport

What MLD said.

Though if I lived in pentagon city and commuted to farragut W, well ....

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/15168/when-is-bikeshare-faster-than-transit/

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 22, 2012 11:55 am • linkreport

I do use the bikeshare as well, but not on a day like yesterday. 100 degrees riding a bike through DC isn't worth it.

by 16 year metro rider on Jun 22, 2012 11:57 am • linkreport

Also, If you have ever been "dock blocked" after riding into DC that will make you think twice about taking bikeshare into work.

by 16 year metro rider on Jun 22, 2012 12:04 pm • linkreport

True, and I will try that, but the fact that blue line trains are coming through that station in less than full working order during a packed rush hour seems avoidable. I know that trains sometimes have problems, but to have two blue line trains that are short to begin with roll through the station with a car out of service is unacceptable to me. Just my opinion.

by 16 year metro rider on Jun 22, 2012 12:06 pm • linkreport

The blue line train is now crowded because the ratio of blue lines to yellow or orange line trains is like 1:4 Its very crowded whether your going northbound to Rosslyn or going southbound to Crystal city. I live in Pentagon city and I work in Court house. So, now I take the bus to Rosslyn and take the orange line to court house and vice versa. I noticed a lot of travelers who use the blue line to go to Reagen airport and they enter the metro with large luggage so instead of removing trains from the blue line new trains should be added

by blue line metro rider on Jul 31, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

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