Envisioning Metro of the future: Riders weigh options, commuting possibilities

WTOP's Neal Augenstein speaks to Metro riders on what they would like to see from the transit agency.
An Orange Line train waits for passengers to board at the Vienna Metro station in Fairfax County, Virginia. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
If Metro went more places, would drivers be more likely to leave their cars at home and commute by transit? Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke has said a robust Metro would mean fewer cars on area roads.

Now, riders and commuters have until Saturday to complete an online survey of proposals to improve service and reliability on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

Thursday morning, riders at the Vienna station on the Orange line weighed six alternatives that Metro has compiled. They discussed whether a larger Metro footprint would make them even more likely to use transit.

Among the alternatives, essentially turning the Blue Line into a loop — including a new stop in Georgetown and extending the line to National Harbor.

“Personally, I have no interest in National Harbor. But it would be great to get cars off the road and use that resource to get people there,” said one rider, as he stood near an Orange Line train ready to head downtown. “Right behind me is the original EV” — or electric vehicle, he said, gesturing toward the Metrorail train.

“Getting cars off the road is terrific,” he said. “And getting everybody in the EV is a great way to do that.”

Another young rider, sitting on the train before it departed, contemplated what it would take to get drivers out of their cars.

“I know a common thing that I’ve heard is building it to where more people are, like farther into Fairfax County and farther into places in Maryland,” said the rider. “I would like to see more trains running father into Virginia — Centreville, Clifton, a bit father than the current Fairfax line.”

Metro said people can take the online survey through Saturday.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up