The long-awaited expansion of Metro's Silver Line is getting close to becoming reality for commuters and travelers in the D.C. area. The transit agency recently announced an opening date of Nov. 15, which will bring six new stations into play in Northern Virginia.
But where, exactly, are the new stations? Will they have parking? How much will it cost to ride Metro all the way to the end of the line?
What Is the Silver Line's Phase 2, Exactly?
Metro's Silver Line extension will add another 11.4 miles of track west and northwest from the Wiehle-Reston East station, extending to Washington Dulles International Airport and beyond, ending in Ashburn, Virginia.
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The extension — also referred to as "Phase 2" of the Silver Line — will add six new stations in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
Where Does Metro's Silver Line Currently Go?
The Silver Line runs with the Blue Line in Maryland, and with both the Blue and Orange lines in the District and into Northern Virginia.
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But the Silver Line splits off from the Blue Line at Rosslyn, Virginia, and from the Orange Line at East Falls Church, Virginia. From there, it hooks northwest through the Tysons area and to eastern Reston. Five initial Silver Line stations — also known as Phase 1 — opened in 2014 in Northern Virginia.
When Phase 2 does open, it will include Metro's first-ever stations in Loudoun County, including that long-awaited stop at Dulles International Airport.
In September, Metro released a new version of its rail map, showing the six upcoming stations.
When Does Metro's Silver Line Phase 2 Open?
The opening of Phase 2 has been pushed back multiple times. Finally, Metro announced on Oct. 31 that Phase 2 will open Nov. 15, just in time for Thanksgiving travel.
The news came after Metro had to negotiate its way through yet another snag in planning. In September, Metro's board voted to give new General Manager Randy Clarke the authority to set an opening date — but at the time, Clarke warned it would be vital to get more of Metro's sidelined 7000-series railcars back on the tracks.
"It's just a simple math equation," Clarke said in September. "We need x amount of trains to deliver x amount of service, and now we are adding even more miles of track for new service — so we need to bring more trains back to the system."
Earlier this month, Metro announced it had gotten approval to bring more of those railcars back to the tracks, provided they perform rigorous safety inspections. That cleared the way for Clarke to set the long-awaited opening date for the Silver Line extension.
Where Will Metro's Phase 2 of the Silver Line Go?
The Silver Line extension will run west and northwest from Fairfax County into Loudoun County, Virginia.
It will start from the current end-of-the-line station, Wiehle-Reston East, and will travel through Reston and Herndon to Dulles International Airport and beyond. It will end at Route 772 in Ashburn, in eastern Loudoun County.
Where Are the New Silver Line Metro Stations?
Phase 2 of the Silver Line extension includes six new Metro stations in Northern Virginia — three in Fairfax County; three in Loudoun County.
The new stations are:
- Reston Town Center (12023-A Sunset Hills Road, Reston)
- Herndon (585-A Herndon Parkway, Herndon)
- Innovation Center (13747-A Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (44920 Saarinen Circle, Sterling)
- Loudoun Gateway (22505 Lockridge Road, Sterling)
- Ashburn (43655 Ashburn Metro Drive, Ashburn)
How Much Will It Cost to Ride Metro to Dulles Airport?
Well, it depends on what time you're traveling, and the distance you're covering. Fares cost more during peak times and if you have farther to travel.
Overall, Metrorail fares range from as low as $2 to as much as $6. During peak hours (5 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.), fares range from $2.25 to $6. During off-peak hours, they're $2 to $3.85. On weekends and weekdays after 9:30 p.m., Metro charges a flat fee of $2 for a one-way trip.
You can use Metro's Trip Planner to calculate your fare cost, but note that the not-yet-opened stations are not included in that tool.
What About Parking and Bike Storage at the New Silver Line Stations?
Four of the stations — Herndon, Innovation Center, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn — will have commuter parking available. Those stations will also have Kiss & Ride drop-off locations, bike racks and bike lockers. In addition, Innovation Center and Herndon will have secure bike storage rooms, repair stations and bottle-filling stations.
Reston Town Center Station will not have commuter parking available. It will have bike racks and bike lockers, and Capital Bikeshare stations are planned for the future.
Dulles International Airport will not have commuter parking, but short- and long-term parking are available around the airport. However, no bike parking will be available on-site.
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