Montgomery Co. unveils strategy for Metro SafeTrack

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County, Maryland has announced its plan to help residents navigate the many delays which are expected as Metro does much needed repairs on the Red Line in August.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said the county’s transportation department was trying to mitigate the effects of Metro’s SafeTrack plan, which calls for periods of around-the-clock single tracking. This means trains will be sharing a single rack and, as a result, arrive less frequently to Red Line stations in the county.

Here’s a breakdown of the plan:

Aug. 1–7

The first “surge” project will result in continuous single tracking from the Takoma Park to Silver Spring stations.

During that period, Ride-On buses will provide free bus shuttles every 10 minutes between Silver Spring and Fort Totten with service to Takoma station during peak travel times for riders. Also, shuttle will run from Grosvenor to Friendship Heights stations, with stops at Medical Center and Bethesda.

Aug. 9– 18

This surge of repairs will include continuous single tracking from the Twinbrook to Shady Grove stations.

During this period, free shuttle will run between Grosvenor and Shady Grove stations using Interstate 270, every 10 minutes during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Also, more buses will be added to Ride-On’s Route 46 ,so buses will arrive every 10 minutes during peak hours from Grosvenor to Rockville via White Flint and Twinbrook stations, but regular fares will remain in place.

Oct. 10–Nov. 1

During this repair blitz, there will be a total shutdown of Metrorail between the NoMa-Galludet University and Fort Totten stations.

To mitigate this, Montgomery County will provide free shuttle buses, every 10 minutes during the morning and afternoon rush, between the Silver Spring Transit Center and Fort Totten via Takoma Station along Blair Road.

Extra buses

To keep up with demand, Montgomery County Department of Transportation will keep 17 recently replaced buses on the road a bit longer, to get the county through the repairs period. Riders can look for on street ambassadors to help them find shuttle buses at all the affected stations.  The county’s transit department says WMATA has promised 40 buses to help with service in surge areas.

Other modes of transportation

MARC plans to add cars to its trains during peak hours. Also, Capital Bikeshare will offer a $2 one-time use option for those who want to ditch a motorized vehicle all together for a commute.

More to come

The county said it will closely monitor the situation and from its transportation management center to keep traffic flowing and get help to accident scene and disable vehicles as quick as possible. Montgomery County’s transit department might also use on-street parking restrictions and enforcement it needed. More information is available on the county’s website.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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