Greater Greater Washington

More Silver Line opening details emerge

In less than a month, Metro's Silver Line will open. WMATA has released some new details about the opening ceremonies at Wiehle Avenue station on July 26. We hope you can join us to ride the first train!


Image from WMATA.

On Saturday, Juy 26th, the 4 stations in Tysons Corner (McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill) will open at 11:30. If you want to explore the new stations, you can do so at that time.

The Wiehle Avenue station will open at noon. It's later than the others because that's where the opening ceremony will actually be held, including a ribbon cutting with regional leaders.

We're organizing carpools to get to the opening ceremonies, and we could still use drivers. Be sure to sign up if you need a ride. If you have a car and you're willing to take people, please sign up. We especially need drivers from Upper Northwest DC and from the NoMA/H Street area.

If you're driving to the opening ceremonies, the parking garage at Wiehle Avenue station will open at 9:30 am on Saturday the 26th. The other Silver Line stations do not have parking.

There will also be bus service to some stations. Fairfax Connector will be operating some sort of a shuttle from West Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue, but their exact service plan hasn't been announced. Metrobuses 3T and 23A will be running to McLean station and the 2T and 28A will run to Tysons Corner station.

The first Silver Line train will depart Wiehle Avenue station at noon. It will depart Spring Hill station at approximately 12:08, Greensboro at 12:10, Tysons Corner at 12:12, and McLean at 12:14. It will run all the way to Largo.

Additionally, WMATA will be selling a commemorative SmarTrip card at the new Silver Line stations. It will also be on sale soon on Metro's website and at Metro sales offices.

WMATA will be announcing additional details over the coming weeks, and we'll keep you informed.

David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

Comments

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So we know about Wiehle, but when does the first Silver Line train leave from Largo?

by william on Jun 30, 2014 3:47 pm • linkreport

Have they mentioned anything about bikes being restricted? I was considering biking out to Wiehle and riding the train back to downtown.

by Peter K on Jun 30, 2014 4:12 pm • linkreport

Now... when will the Silver Line commemorative cards stop being sold?

by VirginiaTransitFan on Jun 30, 2014 4:27 pm • linkreport

@ Peter K - outside of rush hour, bikes are always allowed. Now, because it's likely to be extra full during the first few hours, it might be a tight fit with a bike...but I think it would be safe (and legal) to bring one.

by JDC on Jun 30, 2014 4:29 pm • linkreport

Would suggest people should stop at Tysons Corner Station and check out the new deck plaza park part of One Tysons. There will be live music/movies etc to commemorate its open on that weekend, plus shake shack will be open.

by Navid Roshan on Jun 30, 2014 4:47 pm • linkreport

Why are the stations opening later when other stations opened in the past as the same time as the rest of the system ?

Noma for example opening the same time as the other stations when they opened with train service so why not at the new Silver Line stations ?

I was at Noma at 7 something in the morning waiting for the first RedLine back in 04 when it opened. They were still setting up tents that morning when I enter the station.

by kk on Jun 30, 2014 7:21 pm • linkreport

Carpools to get to the opening of a transit station, had to laugh about that.

by Omari on Jul 2, 2014 1:22 pm • linkreport

Why are the Silver Line prices so expensive?! $5.85, or 5 cents under peak fare, to go a few stops, yet you can ride the entire Orange line for $5.90. This makes my commute increase by $130.

by Celeste on Jul 9, 2014 5:38 pm • linkreport

@Celeste

You must be starting from Wiehle. Metro's fares are based on distance, and Wiehle is so far away from everything else (almost 6 miles to the next station) that you hit the cap of about 16 miles before you even get out of Virginia. (Rosslyn station is about 17 miles away.)

By comparison, starting at Vienna you can get all the way to Capitol South before hitting the max fare.

by Peter K on Jul 9, 2014 6:00 pm • linkreport

@Peter K

I'm starting at Court House. Using Google Earth, it's about 12.5 miles of Orange & Silver Line track to Wiehle. The entire Orange line is 26 miles. So it doesn't quite make sense to me why traveling that distance on the SV Line is only 5 cents cheaper than traveling the entire OR line. Maybe you know something I don't? :| I'm unhappy that my commuting costs, bus fare included, will go up by $110 when the SV line opens.

by Celeste on Jul 9, 2014 6:07 pm • linkreport

@Celeste

Maybe they changed the fare structure further since this blog post (http://planitmetro.com/2012/11/15/how-are-metrorail-fares-calculated/) but the point is that beyond a certain distance everything costs the same. The ride to Wiehle is very close to the maximum fare threshold, so at this point it doesn't matter if you're going 12.5 miles to Wiehle or to the other end at New Carrollton (which is not much futher, at 13.7 miles) or even all the way to Shady Grove (19 miles); they all cost about $6.

Rides above that maximum cost are subsidized by the outlying jurisdictions and by shorter trips within the core. Matt Johnson did a good job of explaining why Metro does this a few years back: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14445/why-a-flat-fare-is-a-bad-idea/ (short answer: at that distance you're essentially using a commuter rail system and it'd be unfair to jack up the price on short trips to subsidize long trips even more than they already are)

by Peter K on Jul 9, 2014 6:31 pm • linkreport

@Peter K

Ah, ok. Gotcha. Thank you for further explaining it to me. You've been infinitely more helpful than other outlets I've been trying to get an answer from. Unfortunately, my commute will still be quite a bit more expensive, ha. Nothing can be done about it. Am considering reverting back to driving.

by Celeste on Jul 9, 2014 6:35 pm • linkreport

@Celeste

I'm still not really sure how the opening of the Silver Line has made your commute more expensive. My best guess is that you're starting from Herndon-Monroe or something and the terminus of your bus moved from WFC to Wiehle without a reduction in fare?

I guess now your options are to 1) pay the same for the bus but a few bucks more for the train portion or 2) start parking at Wiehle and pay $5ish for parking plus $6ish for the train). Yeah, that's less than ideal. My apologies.

by Peter K on Jul 9, 2014 6:42 pm • linkreport

@Peter K

I currently commute from Court House to West Falls Church. From WFC I take the Fairfax Connector to Reston. The metro portion of my commute is significantly cheaper at the moment ($3 during peak hours), which is because I'm only on the metro for about 6 miles or so. Once the Silver Line opens, all those buses that take commuters to places like Reston will move from WFC and begin operating at Wiehle. Unfortunately, the new Wiehle metro is still a couple of miles from work, so I still have to take a bus. So my commute, bus fare included, goes from about $4 to about $7 one way. Over the course of a month, that adds up quickly. To add insult to injury, when my bus terminus moves to Wiehle, I won't get off-peak fare (part of the reason my monthly fare is relatively low--I work late) since the bus won't have to drive as far to a metro station. And you're correct in that there's no reduction in bus fare. FFX Connector buses, as far as I'm aware, all operate on the same base fee with a $0.50 reduction if transferring from the metro and vice versa.

C'est la vie.

by Celeste on Jul 9, 2014 9:50 pm • linkreport

Celeste - ouch. yeah, 7$ one way is pricy.

by asffa on Jul 10, 2014 3:29 am • linkreport

Court House to Wiehle-Reston is about the same distance as Farragut Square to Rockville. It's a long way.

I think we discussed a while ago that the Spring Hill to Wiehle-Reston distance is the second-longest gap between two stops on the entire system.

The Silver line is big - just phase 1 is growing the system by 11% and phase 2 will add the same number of miles.

by MLD on Jul 10, 2014 8:36 am • linkreport

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