TYSON'S CORNER, Va. (WUSA9) -- Silver Line trains rolled out on their first rush hour Monday and are continuing real-time simulated service in advance of Saturday's opening.
Metro is conducting the simulated service this week to check signing and train employees.
"I think it's awesome. It'll make getting to work a lot easier,"said Nathaldon Ingram, who lives in Franconia and works in Tyson's. He says he's planning to sell his car because he won't need it, thanks to the Silver Line. "I'll get on the Blue, transfer to Orange...and cut my commute by 20--30 minutes," he said.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says the simulated service is going smoothly.
One problem that is anticipated is a shortage of parking. The only Metro parking garage along the new track is at the end in Reston at the Wiehle-Reston East station. Out of the four Tyson's stations, there is only one parking lot, at the McLean station with 711 spots, and it is temporary.
The McLean station and Spring Hill Stations do have Kiss and Ride lots, but the Greensboro and Tysons's station don't. That could bring some major headaches.
Cyclist Bill Ferinde understands it's because the new line was designed to discourage driving, but he thinks more thought should've been given to motorists who need parking in order to ride Metro.
Also, the new service does negatively impact some Metro riders. Stessel says 10 percent of all metro riders, those on the Blue and Orange lines, will see a two minute increase in their wait for a train.
That's because of the flow through Rossyln and the limited number of trains Metro can send through each stretch of track.
During rush hour, Yellow and Blue line trains will still leave Franconia-Springfield every six minutes, but Blue Line trains will run once every 12 minutes. It winds up that Yellow and Green Line riders from L'Enfant Plaza to Greenbelt will actually see more trains.
Orange Line riders will have more trains between East Falls Church and Rosslyn, but fewer between Vienna and East Falls Church and between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton.
Stessel says 37 percent of Metro Riders will see decreased wait times.
The last step before service can start is the regulatory documentation and for certificates of occupancy. No problems are expected. Stessel said it's "All systems go for Saturday."
There's a ribbon-cutting an opening ceremony at 10 am and service starts at noon on July 26, 2014
Written by Peggy Fox