Riders on the Red Line will need to add some extra time to their commute as the sixth safety surge in Metro's nine-month maintenance plan begins. Commuters could face delays of up to an hour in both directions when the surge begins Monday.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is telling people who use the Red Line to seek alternate routes for the first few weeks of August. Surge 6 and 7 of the SafeTrack plan will affect the entire Red Line. This is the first time Red Line riders have been affected by SafeTrack.
Surge 6 will begin on Aug. 1 and last until Aug. 7, and affects the second highest number of passengers who use the transit system. Montgomery County DOT said continuous single tracking between Takoma and Silver Spring will result in major disruptions for the entire line.
The resulting delays could add an hour each way to commuters who use the Red Line.
Surge 7 starts on Aug. 8 and continues to Aug. 18, focusing on the rails between Shady Grove and Twinbrook. Montgomery County DOT is encouraging passengers to avoid Shady Grove and Rockville stations.
Single-track service between Shady Grove and Rockville means only one-third of the regular service will be available during peak hours.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is promoting alternative travel options on its website to help residents get to and from their destinations.
Other Ways to Avoid Metrorail
In addition to taking the bus, here are more options for getting around without Metrorail:
Biking: The Washington Area Biking Association (@WABA) previously tweeted this Google map of D.C.-area trails, bike lanes and bike-friendly roads. You can also find information on the best bike routes in Montgomery County on Montgomery County Bike/Walk and Silver Spring Bikeways. If you need to tune up your biking skills, check out WABA's classes on learning to ride and urban cycling online here. Need to rent a bike? Capital Bikeshare stations are located throughout the area; you can see rates or sign up here.
Driving: Drivers should expect increased traffic and are encouraged to carpool or travel outside of peak periods if possible. If you must drive, leave yourself plenty of extra time to get around. In addition, D.C. has expanded parking restrictions during SafeTrack (find details here), and will have more traffic control officers on the streets.
Carpooling: Drivers who are interested in carpooling can check out the following resources: Commuter Connections, Montgomery County Commuter Services, Montgomery County Car Sharing Services and Montgomery County Carpool/Vanpool.
Lyft and/or Uber: You might want to download a ride-hailing app like Lyft or Uber if you haven't already. Find the Lyft app here for either iPhone or Android, and the Uber app on iTunes here or on Google Play here. Lyft said it will offer Metro riders discounted rides throughout SafeTrack's phases; see discount zones and info here. Uber says UberPOOL, in which passengers share cars, will be available across the entire D.C. area through the year of SafeTrack.
Taxi: You can, of course, hail a cab on the street, but you can also order one online or by phone. DC.gov has a list of District taxi companies online here.