• Silver Line Dulles WMATA Metrorail progress/pictures

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by perfbill
I have just found out that the Ashburn North garage is run by a different entity than Metro. So, for those of you planning on taking trains from Ashburn, go to the South garage instead. (And now, it will fill much more quickly, making this disconnect of proprietorship that much more inconvenient!)

Bill Edwards
  by JDC
The Ashburn North garage is of course touted as being part of the new station, but I believe it was built by the developer of the large mixed use project that is going in north of the station. Right now there are still large surface lots but eventually those will be built on so they needed a large garage for people coming to the mixed-use center as well as for Metro riders. And that's the reason they did not locate the garage right next to the station but instead closer to the development. As for the South entrance it does seem bizarre that they located the parking garage so far away from the entrance to the station. As a terminus, and one located in a county where you expect most people to arrive by car and not by bus, you would think they would have put the garage closer and that there would have been covered walkway between the garage and station.
  by RandallW
It looks like the area around the Ashburn station is primed for development (and would be undergoing massive development if it weren't for the COVID pandemic). If I understand correctly, historically businesses that a person must walk by in a modal shift (i.e., from train to bus or from train to parking) do get significant walk-in business. It looks like the north lot is prepared for that possibility.

The south lot is only prepared to force awareness of local bus options (by making drivers walk past the bus stands), which I would argue is smart on WMATA's part--drivers can't avoid being exposed to the busses.

BTW, the Wiehle-Reston East Station has the same confusion of parking lots--there are three parking lots at the north station entrance--the WMATA owned lot, a publicly usable pay lot owned by the developer, and a tenants only lot. (The south station entrance has no public parking.)
  by Sand Box John
The garages at Herndon, Innovation Center, Loudoun Gateway and the south garage at Ashburn are county owned garages. The north garage at Ashburn is owned by Comstock Partners and has been opened for use for more the 2 years.

WMATA's web site states SmarTrip can be used to pay the parking fee at the county owned garages.

My take on the new stations. Like Bill Edwards, to me they are also meh. With the exception of the airport station they are copies or mirror images of each other. The distinct differences between phase I stations and the phase II stations is the location of the restrooms. The phase I stations have their restrooms in the free area of the station adjacent to the fare media vendors. The phase II station have them adjacent to the station managers kiosk in the paid area on the mezzanine.

The airport station totally unique. It bears no resemblance to any of the other station served exclusively by the Silver line and for that matter any other station in the system. The large vertical space of the airport mezzanine could be seen as a what's to come for a first time visitor using the Metrorail system.
  by JDC
Having ridden the line a few times now, I can say that it's incredibly smooth. I was also surprised at how smooth the orange line is between EFC and Rosslyn. I road the Yellow from Lenfant to Eisenhower many, many times and there were some incredibly rough spots along that segment. Oh, and I always chuckle at how the brand new silver stations have the old fashioned PIDs. I wonder if Metro will bother replacing them or just wait for when the stations are old enough to require a rehab.
  by Sand Box John
Oh, and I always chuckle at how the brand new silver stations have the old fashioned PIDs. I wonder if Metro will bother replacing them or just wait for when the stations are old enough to require a rehab.

The specification in the contract for the Phase II stations were written almost 10 years ago. The PIDs in the stations were up and running around 2 years before the stations opened in November of 2022. The PIDs will likely be changed out for new ones long before any of the stations need any rehabilitation done to them. One must remember the rollout of the PID system happened a little over 20 years after the first handful of segments of the system opened over 45 years ago.
  by perfbill
I agree that the PIDs like those at EFC would be great. It will happen.

So far, so so. The $2 weekend fare has been a blessing, but 24/7 charge for parking not so much. Gotta make it back somewhere, I suppose. Having the bathrooms inside revenue was a smarter move than what they did in Phase 1. I feel safer and they are overall cleaner.

However, still see gate jumpers, and that is troublesome. Also, doing it in front of station personnel who are likely already overwhelmed with stuff to accomplish, so there are no repercussions.

And strangely enough, although I've done a couple of weekdays since opening, it appears that there are no big crowds getting on until Wiehle-Reston. They didn't get the message? Or is it just habit? Or a huge segment of riders live there? I would guess that the charges for RTC garages might force some of that traffic. But for going from my Ashburn home to Tysons, or downtown, or stadiums, or whatever, great. So, it may take a while to catch on, but I am encouraging people. Oh, yeah, our assessment went up around 15% on our homes, so there is THAT impact. Ride with Peace.
  by RandallW
I think most of the automobile traffic at Weihle Reston is not off the toll road, and some significant businesses did relocate from Reston Town Center to that station (Google and Rolls Royce being the two biggest). I'd think that drivers on the toll road looking to park and ride would use Herndon Monroe since it has dedicated ramps from the toll road to the garage.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.ffxnow.com/2023/05/15/metro ... -2-so-far/
Metro: Over 1 million people have ridden Silver Line Phase 2 so far

Two stops on Metro’s Silver Line have risen above all others since the rail line was extended into Loudoun County last fall.

The stations at Dulles International Airport and Ashburn remain the most popular so far, continuing a trend seen in the first month of operations for the extension, according to Metro officials.

At a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board meeting on Thursday (May 11), Metro Director of Performance Improvement Jordan Holt said that nearly a third of all Silver Line Phase II trips start or end at the Dulles stop. Additionally, a quarter of all trips start or end at Ashburn.
So far, there have been more than 1.1 million trips on the new extension in its first five months of service.
  by Traingeek3629
1.125m over 150 days works out to about 7500 a day. If 2400 of them are from Dulles, and another 1875 from Ashburn, that works out to an average of 800 riders a day at the remaining four stops, which is quite poor, to say the least.

Edit: Page 6 of this https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/rider ... apshot.pdf
Boardings (tap entries) per day, March 2023:

Ashburn: 1,153
Loudoun Gateway: 268
Dulles: 1488
Innovation Center: 607
Herndon: 694
Reston Town Center: 616
I remember thinking that Loudoun Gateway was virtually useless, and wow, it's worse than I thought. And I'm sure building two behemoth garages at Herndon was necessary - the average daily utilization is 6%.
  by RandallW
Pre-Covid, the Herndon garages were routinely full, even though they were only served by busses to Wiehle-Reston East (and before that, busses to West Falls Church). Since almost all commuting from Herndon and western areas into Arlington and DC could be replaced with work-from-home, the pandemic did a number on WMATA in the outer suburbs. More interesting is that those who depended on busses to get to Metro, still do, but it is clear that people who started their commute by driving are either skipping Metro entirely or working from home.
  by YOLO
I still dont understand why Loudoun Gateway and Spring Hill stations were necessary to build, would have been better off with a Wolf Trap station instead of those 2
  by justalurker66
20/20 hindsite. Plans made and approved and construction started long before the pandemic reduced demand.
  by JDC
I'd previously pointed out how Loudoun Gateway seemed poorly situated given the surrounding area. I believe it was SBJ who mentioned it was intended to capture folks coming from the Sterling area. I guess they're also teleworking a lot, or else have decided to access the Metro from another station. I assume there is no precedent for Metro shutting a station when there is not enough riders to justify keeping it open?
  by RandallW
The Innovations Center and Herndon stations capture all Sterling residents who use busses to get to the Metro. It seems to me that the bus routes out of Loudoun Gateway primarily serve the US 50 area (why bother--traffic on 28 isn't bad enough to use car-bus-train to commute) or the businesses north of Dulles airport. The numbers show that for every person who rides a bus to Loudoun Gateway, 4 people drive. Innovations Center (with 3x the ridership of Loudoun Gateway) has only 1/4 the drivers using its parking facility. Given how unworkable that light industrial / commercial area between Sterling and Ashburn is, I'm not surprised people aren't choosing to commute by rail and bus into that area.
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