WASHINGTON — This week on Metro brings the first midweek change in 24/7 track work zones, so riders need to pay close attention to how the shifting shutdowns could affect their commutes or trips to and from the airport.
1. Last week’s work zone continues through Monday night
While all of the 24/7 work this week is on the Blue Line and Yellow Line tracks in Virginia, on Monday, the shutdown is between Braddock Road and Reagan National Airport.
This track work began last week, so backup options Monday should be familiar to commuters who are not coming back from vacation.
A key for riders on Monday who stick with Metro rather than using buses, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) or bikes is to remember to get off southbound trains at Pentagon City where there are more frequent shuttle buses. Southbound trains end at Reagan National Airport on Monday, but shuttle buses there are only scheduled every 15 minutes.
2. There is a different shutdown beginning Tuesday morning
On Tuesday, the work zone moves to the north side of Reagan National Airport. Crystal City Metro Station will be closed, and southbound trains will end at Pentagon City.
See more in the full WTOP track work guide for this surge, which runs through the end of the day Monday, July 18.
3. Many backup plans remain the same as last week
Because the area of the shutdown has just shifted to the north of the airport, many of the backup bus options that were in place last week can still be used this week.
Metro and other local transit agencies are offering express shuttle buses during the work zone beginning Tuesday between Braddock Road and Pentagon City, in addition to express buses between Franconia-Springfield and the Pentagon.
Metroway rapid bus service through Alexandria and Arlington remains free during this next surge.
For commuters who head north into D.C. in the morning, VRE or existing commuter and express buses are among the best options.
While a one-way VRE ticket is more expensive than a Metro ride, five-day tickets are about the same price as 10 peak-fare round-trips on Metro.
Riders who use the Blue Line to connect from Rosslyn or the Orange Line corridor to the Route 1 corridor may want to consider bus options like the ART 43 between Courthouse, Rosslyn and Crystal City.
Because the area has a number of bike trails, biking or walking may be another option.
4. To get to the airport, riders may need to take shuttles
On Monday, people headed to the airport from D.C. or Rosslyn can take the train straight there, but people coming from the south cannot. There are shuttle buses Monday between Braddock Road and the airport running every 15 minutes or so.
On Tuesday and throughout the rest of the week, riders from the south can take the train directly to the airport, but people coming from D.C. or Rosslyn cannot. Beginning Tuesday, the shuttles to the airport run from Pentagon City through Crystal City. Express buses remain between Pentagon City and Braddock Road for riders trying to bypass the airport, so it is important that riders double-check which shuttle route they are boarding.
During the second part of the week, the airport shuttles will run less frequently than the express shuttles or Metroway bus service between Braddock Road and Pentagon City.
5. There is a midweek switch next week too
The shutdown between Reagan National and Pentagon City ends after trains stop for the night Monday, July 18. Tuesday, July 19 is free of scheduled rush-hour work.
On Wednesday, July 20, 24/7 single-tracking begins between East Falls Church and Ballston. The 12 days of work are in the same area as the first work zone because crews must now work on the other track that was not addressed in early June.