ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — With 10 days until the start of Metro’s summer-long shutdown on the Blue and Yellow lines, riders are still scrambling to figure out how they will get around.
Wednesday night, transit agency workers handed out leaflets to hundreds of riders who passed through Van Dorn Street Metro, one of the six Virginia stations that will be closed from May 25 to Sept. 8. The unprecedented three-month shutdown aims to fix crumbling outdoor station platforms which have been worn away by the elements.
“I’m still apprehensive and anxious about it,” said Brandon Rucker, who lives in Washington D.C. and commutes to Alexandria.
Metro will close six stations, essentially cutting off rail service in Virginia south of Reagan National Airport. The shutdown includes Braddock Road, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, Van Dorn St, and Franconia-Springfield.
Metro is providing free shuttle buses and special express buses between popular destinations such as Pentagon Metro. Alexandria’s DASH bus system will operate some buses replacing the Blue Line.
“Thankfully they do have the shuttles,” said Rucker, who was concerned about extra time on his commute. “They project 30 to 45 minutes which is not bad but I need to make sure I give myself extra time to circumvent that.”
Rucker will have to take a Blue Line shuttle operated by DASH to Reagan National Airport, where he can then get on a train home.
Metro projects the shutdown will impact 17,000 daily rush hour riders — almost one in every 10 riders across the entire system.
“Customer research has shown us that more than 80 percent of impacted customers already know about the summer shutdown, but we need to spread the word further,” said a Metro news release.
Metro outreach teams held two pop-up events at Van Dorn Street and Huntington to help explain travel workarounds to riders. WMATA has also set up a dedicated website about the shutdown with a full list of alternatives for riders.