Metro expects everything to get back to normal Sept. 9 — including parking fees

The scene at the Van Dorn Street Metro station on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. (WTOP/Max Smith)

When six Blue and Yellow Line stations reopen at 5 a.m. on Sept. 9, Metro expects everything will return to normal, including the fees charged at the stations’ parking lots.

The Metro Board voted in April to waive parking fees during the closures at the three stations with parking available — Franconia-Springfield, Huntington and Van Dorn Street.

The return of parking fees also includes the return of additional charges for non-Metrorail riders or people who pay with credit cards at Franconia-Springfield and Huntington, including VRE riders.

Though all six stations south of Reagan National Airport are expected to open Sept. 9 for the first time since May 25, construction will not be finished at Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Avenue, Van Dorn Street, Huntington or Franconia-Springfield.

Work is expected to continue to disrupt Kiss-and-Ride areas and some bus loops at the stations through late fall, and additional work will continue at some areas inside the stations.

People briefed on Metro’s plans expect the agency to provide specific details the last week of August regarding exactly how much construction will continue at each station after train service resumes, how long that construction will last and how the areas outside the stations will operate.

SmarTrip card machines will be available at each station.

Single-tracking is scheduled to continue at Franconia-Springfield and Huntington after the stations reopen so that crews can continue platform work, but Metro does not expect that to have any impact on regular service. Metro remains optimistic that single-tracking will not be needed at Van Dorn Street, which would have reduced Blue Line service to every 24 minutes.

On the first day of rail service, Metro expects to have extra staff at the stations, banners welcoming riders back and, possibly, some giveaways.

Other agencies such as the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services are finalizing their plans for when stations reopen. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission plans to run ads on the radio, websites and in movie theaters aimed at persuading former and potential riders to return to Metro or other public transit.

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