After a long stretch of only typical weekend work on Metro, the transit system is once again gearing up for a long stretch of serious service changes as part of its maintenance blitz.
Beginning Saturday and lasting through Feb. 28, a stretch of the Blue line between Rosslyn and the Pentagon will be completely shut down, and the Arlington Cemetery Station will be closed.
Blue Line trains will be replaced by Yellow Rush+ service at all times between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt, the transit agency said.
In Virginia, riders should use Yellow Rush+ and transfer at L'Enfant Plaza to continue their trips. In Maryland, riders should use the Silver Line instead.
Free shuttle buses will run between the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery, Metro said.
Trains will run at the following intervals during rush hours:
- Yellow Line trains will run every 8 minutes between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square.
- Yellow Rush+ trains will runs every 8 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt.
- Green Line trains will run every 8 minutes between Branch Avenue and Greenbelt.
Trains will run at the following intervals during midday and late evening:
- Yellow Line and Yellow Rush+ trains will run every 12 minutes on each line (every 6 minutes at stations normally served by both Yellow and Blue lines).
- Blue Line riders in Virginia should consider alternate travel options.
- All trains will run every 20 minutes after 9 p.m.
Metro said riders should expect crowding on all Yellow Line trains between D.C. and Virginia.
The Orange and Silver lines will operate normally, Metro said.
Travel Alternatives: Metrobus, ART or Fairfax Connector
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has encouraged riders to try to use buses during SafeTrack. To find a bus-only trip, use WMATA's online trip planner and choose the "bus only" option. See Metrobus timetables here.
Limited free shuttle buses will run between the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery every 15 minutes on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. See the weekday timetable here and the weekend timetable here.
In Arlington, the ART 43 bus route will run every 10 minutes during weekday rush hours between Crystal City and the Rosslyn-Courthouse area, and will run every 20 minutes during midday, evenings and weekends.
The ART 42 bus route will run every 18 minutes during weekday rush hours between the Pentagon, Virginia Square, Clarendon, Courthouse and Ballston.
The Fairfax Connector will offer supplemental express bus service between Vienna and the Pentagon on weekdays about every 20 minutes between 5:40 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., and between 3:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.
You can also find a full list of alternative bus routes on Metro's website (scroll down to the "Bus" heading) and other transit options during the surge.
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 (@WABADC) previously tweeted this Google map of D.C.-area trails, bike lanes and bike-friendly roads. 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.
Car2Go or Zipcar: You can get a short-term rental car from Car2Go or Zipcar.
Carpooling/Slugging: Drivers can use the I-95 and I-495 Express Lanes for free with three people in the car (but you'll need an Express Lanes E-ZPass Flex transponder). VDOT also recommends checking out Slug-Lines.com if you're interested in slugging ("casual" carpooling to meet HOV requirements).
Driving: Drivers should expect increased traffic and have been encouraged to carpool or travel outside of peak periods if possible. If you must drive, leave yourself plenty of extra time to get around.
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 is offering new customers free credits during SafeTrack; find more 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.