CEO: VRE benefits from SafeTrack, picks up slack

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Virginia Railway Express is seeing the benefits of being a Metro alternative.

“We’ve seen increases in ridership,” said VRE CEO Doug Allen. “People are riding our services when SafeTrack is there.”

When it comes to ridership totals in northern Virginia, VRE experienced a 5 percent spike in the first quarter of 2017 over the previous quarter, according to a new report released from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

The boost comes during a time when Metrorail saw a 12 percent decrease, due in part to disruptions from Metro’s system-wide maintenance initiative known as SafeTrack.

Allen said all commuter operations should work together to pick up the slack during Metro delays.

“We approach this as we are on the same team, trying to move people in this region,” Allen said.

Allen said he expects riders using the rail line as a backup to return to Metro, but he said some are sticking with VRE.

He said some riders have said they didn’t know VRE was in the neighborhood. He said VRE should consider advertising the system more.

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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