What changes, what doesn’t when Metro shutdown ends

While most things are set to get back to normal Monday morning after more than three months with the Blue and Yellow Line shutdown south of Reagan National Airport, a few things added during the shutdown will remain as options for travelers.

What stays

Alexandria has extended a waiver for the Potomac Riverboat Company to continue operations before 9:30 a.m. for the rest of the year. The water taxi company consolidated the schedule to remove two morning runs, but still plans to run boats from Old Town to The Wharf in D.C. weekdays at 6:40 a.m., 7:35 a.m., 8 a.m. and 8:55 a.m.

“This service has been very popular with Alexandria residents and both anecdotal and actual evidence suggests that these riders have not severely taxed our limited parking supply,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in a recent message to constituents.

“I am optimistic that this success will provide an opening to make the use of our water as a viable commuting option, a permanent feature for our community,” he said.

DASH Bus has also extended a discounted $1 fare through the end of the year for riders paying with the Alexandria bus system’s new mobile app. Regular fares will increase a week after the shutdown ends.

VRE, which has seen a significant ridership bump during the Metro shutdown, has also extended a discount on Amtrak step-up tickets through the end of September. Step-up tickets can be used with a VRE weekly or monthly pass to ride many Amtrak trains, essentially creating an express ride. Step-up tickets can be used any time within a year, so regular users may want to take advantage of the deal.

What ends

Things that do end with the resumption of rail service include extended King Street Trolley hours, additional bus service on DASH, Metrobus and Fairfax Connector routes, special OmniRide shuttles from park and ride lots to VRE stations, and, of course Metro’s free shuttle bus services.

That includes the end of the weekday Landmark Mall to Pentagon shuttle route, and the end of Alexandria’s lease for extra parking spaces for commuters at Landmark. Regular bus routes at Landmark Mall will continue as usual.

Metro will resume parking fees at Franconia-Springfield, Huntington and Van Dorn Street, including the extra fees where applicable for people who pay to park with a credit card or a SmarTrip that has not just been used to ride a Metro train.

Discounted night and weekend parking rates at City of Alexandria garages also end.

Expanded HOV rules on Washington Street in Alexandria also revert to normal.

Construction will continue outside many of the rail stations that have been shutdown since late May.

At King Street, the City of Alexandria will be able to fully resume work on the bus loop and kiss and ride area after Metro’s station construction contractor needed a significant part of the space this summer.

The city still believes the new bus loop area will be completed in the spring. Final completion of a new kiss and ride, taxi area and shuttle area now expected by late fall or the following winter.

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