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The Weekend and Beyond

Bus Route Changes
Metro is making changes in three dozen bus routes starting Sunday. The transit authority does this periodically to improve service, or at least get the schedules to match reality. The lengthy list of changes is posted on Metro's Web site for Virginia, Maryland and the District.

Weekend Track Work
Travel on Metro's Red, Orange and Green lines will be slowed this weekend as trains share a single track to get around maintenance and rail-car testing projects. This link will take you to a page on Metro's Web site that has the full details for each line.

New Year, New Taxes
As 2008 starts, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will begin collecting the seven new taxes and fees authorized by the Virginia government this year to support transportation improvements. The tax plan affects Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties as well as the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.

Rebuilding Benning
Benning Road NE, which had been torn up many months for utility work, is in for another round of construction from 14th and H streets to Oklahoma Avenue. The work just getting underway is part of a federally funded, $35 million reconstruction and streetscape upgrade scheduled for completion in early 2010.

Work on the project will include the installation of new traffic signals, streetlights, curbs, gutters and sidewalks along with new fire hydrants, catch basins and landscaping. During construction, a minimum of two lanes will remain open in each direction. The work will be done between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Holiday Lane Closures
In Virginia, you won't encounter any temporary lane closures from noon on New Year's Eve until noon on Wednesday. Maryland isn't planning any such lane closures from Saturday through Wednesday.

Holiday on Transit
Metrorail and Metrobus will operate on a regular weekday schedule on New Year's Eve, but with a later than normal closing time of 2 a.m. to accommodate holiday revelers. MetroAccess also will provide service until 2 a.m.
On New Year's Day, Metro will operate on a reduced schedule equivalent to Sunday service. (Metro provides a full list of the region's transit schedules for New Year's.)

Ride Sober
If you can't ride Metro, don't take a chance. Take a cab. The SoberRide program operates between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. each night through New Year's Day. Washington area residents celebrating with alcohol can call the toll-free phone number 800-200-TAXI and get free ride home, up to the equivalent of a $50 fare.

Tysons Rail Project
The first impact of the Metrorail construction will likely be felt early in January when Washington Gas crews begin to relocate utility lines at Gosnell Road along the Route 7 service road in Tysons. When work starts, a lane of the service road in that area will be temporarily closed, but access to all the businesses will be maintained.

Once the work in that sector is done, the utility crews will continue to work their way east along the service road to Route 123, a process that should take about four months. But this is just the beginning. Relocating all the utility lines along the service roads will take about two years. Eventually, the service roads will be eliminated and the rail line will run down the center of Route 7. (Here's a link to a fact sheet about the utility relocations.)

Route 5 Work
Structural steel for the new flyover ramp from the Capital Beltway to southbound Branch Avenue is scheduled to be placed starting Saturday, Jan. 5, at 2 p.m. This will require a complete closing of Route 5 between Auth Road and Manchester Drive until 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7.

The right lane along the Beltway's outer loop at the Route 5 interchange will be blocked for about a quarter mile north of the interchange. The outer loop ramp to northbound Route 5 also will be closed. Motorists will not have direct access from the inner loop to southbound Route 5. Watch for message boards directing traffic.
This $52 million interchange project should improve access to the Branch Avenue Metro station. Work began in March 2006 and is scheduled to end by fall 2009.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 28, 2007; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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Next: Alert for Southern MD Drivers


Metro raises cost of MARC/VRE TransitLink card from $65/mo to $80/mo.

Pssst. New Metrorail fare between Union Sta. and the majority of the stations located in downtown DC is $1.65 (3.30/RT). Likewise for the L'Enfant Plaza Sta. (VRE) and most downtown stops. If your trips consists only of traveling to and from your office from home (2 trips/day), the monthly charge would be $69.30/mo (assuming 21 work days/mo).

Hmm. $69.30/mo. or $80/mo.? Not a math whiz, but I'd take paying a fraction of Metro's increase over the full Monty any day. Did I figure that incorrectly, or is Metro trying to fool multi-system commuters into paying an additional $10/mo. for nothing more than a flimsy piece of paper?

Posted by: Metro Doesn't Want You to Know | December 31, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

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