WTOP track work guide: Surge 14, April 15-May 14

WASHINGTON — Metro’s next round-the-clock work zone now includes plans for a complete two-week shutdown of the Green Line between Greenbelt and Prince George’s Plaza, in addition to a longer closure of the Greenbelt station.

Click to expand. (Courtesy WMATA)

The work

From April 15 through April 29, there will be no Green Line trains between Greenbelt and Prince George’s Plaza. The College Park and Greenbelt stations will be closed, Metro announced Thursday.

During that time, shuttle buses will serve those stations. There will be reduced service downtown, with no Yellow Line “Rush Plus” service during the work zone and somewhat reduced scheduled service on the Green Line. Green Line trains will be scheduled every six to eight minutes during rush hour, rather than the usual six minutes.

From April 30 through May 14, only the Greenbelt Station will be closed. Shuttle buses will run between Greenbelt and College Park. The service reductions elsewhere along the Green and Yellow lines will remain the same.

Metro had originally said trains would single-track for the entire work period, which was originally announced as running April 15 to May 16. Metro has adjusted schedules for previous work zones as plans have been finalized and final inspections of what work is needed have been completed.

The Federal Transit Administration says it did not direct Metro to make the changes to plans for this surge.

In this case, the change is “primarily” to lessen the impact on Green Line riders outside the work zone, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said in an email.

“Continuous single-tracking would have meant significantly reduced service across the entire Green Line, affecting 19 more stations. With this approach, the major impact is limited to 3 or 4 stations. Also, going with a shutdown allows even more work to get done, all while slightly reducing the overall duration of the surge,” Stessel said.

The changes do reduce service elsewhere to some degree, though.

With no Yellow Line “Rush Plus” service, and no plans to add Blue Line trains, the changes mean riders at Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street will only see trains scheduled every 12 minutes at rush hour during this surge. It comes after Blue and Yellow Line riders faced extended delays in the work zone due to end April 12.

The workarounds

While there will be shuttle buses, riders who drive to Green Line stations should consider using other lines or stations besides those shut down during the surge.

MARC trains also serve Greenbelt and College Park, providing an alternative for riders who commute to downtown D.C.

In Virginia, Blue Line riders who commute to the Crystal City or L’Enfant Plaza area might consider using the Yellow Line from Huntington or VRE instead.

Yellow Line riders between King Street and L’Enfant Plaza should also consider VRE trains from Franconia-Springfield or commuter bus routes to avoid potential crowding, if riders who found other alternatives during the work zone that ran from early March through mid-April return to Metro.

Riders who get on or off the Yellow or Green lines between Prince George’s Plaza and Mt. Vernon Square might want to consider existing bus alternatives for their trips, since scheduled rush-hour rail service will be reduced. From stations such as Fort Totten, Georgia Ave-Petworth, Columbia Heights, U Street and Shaw-Howard University, a series of bus routes run regularly to and from downtown D.C.

For students and staff at the University of Maryland, the school’s Shuttle-UM will run special service to and from the Prince George’s Plaza Metro Station between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays for the two weeks that the College Park station is closed. Outside of those hours, shuttles will run to the College Park station where riders can transfer to Metro shuttle buses.

The university is also offering special parking passes for $5 per day during the closure. The passes must be purchased in person at the school’s Regents Drive Garage.

Metro is also recommending people who typically drive to Greenbelt or College Park to commute elsewhere park at New Carrollton (Orange Line), Prince George’s Plaza (Green Line), or Forest Glen, Wheaton or Silver Spring (Red Line). For parking with access to the Silver Spring station, use Montgomery County’s Bonifant-Dixon Garage.

What’s next

Following this shutdown of Green Line stations, Metro plans a work zone that is expected to be very disruptive for Orange Line riders.

Metro plans to single track in late May and early June between New Carrollton and Minnesota Ave. in an area that has been identified by federal inspectors as a stretch that requires significant repairs.

 

The final scheduled 24/7 work zone is expected to be in June, on the Red Line between Twinbrook and Shady Grove.

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