Morning Commute Will Be Tough For Many
Metrorail opened at 5 a.m., but with a bus bridge service on the eastern side of the Red Line similar to what riders encountered in the hours after the crash. The transit authority said riders should add an hour to their usual commuting times in that area this morning. MARC canceled today's service on the Brunswick Line from western Maryland into Union Station.
Metro said that Red Line trains will operate between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. Riders could board the free shuttle buses connecting the stations.
Bus shuttles can be quickly overwhelmed by demand. This will be a slow way to get to work. Rush hour passengers who reach Silver Spring Station might consider taking one of Metrobus's limited stop services to reach downtown Washington. The S9 leaves every 10 minutes from the corner of Colesville Road and East-West Highway and heads down 16th Street. The 79, the Metro Extra, leaves from Wayne Avenue near Dixon Avenue and heads down Georgia Avenue. Riders would pay the regular fare for those services.
Downtown Silver Spring is likely to get very crowded as rush hour develops. The Metro station area already was disrupted by construction of the new transit center, which has closed the old bus terminal for Metrobus and Ride On. Last night, Metro's special shuttle buses were loading and unloading passengers along Wayne Avenue, by the concrete barrier in front of the construction area. This morning, they have moved around to the M bus bay on Dixon Avenue, which is working much better.
Some commuters may want to try their luck on the Green Line, driving to the Greenbelt Station off the Capital Beltway, but parking there tends to be tight and it's best to arrive very early.
Metro also recommended these bus routes that could take people west to the untroubled part of the Red Line:
• Metrobus C8 line (Glenmont to White Flint)
• Metrobus Q2 line (Wheaton to Rockville)
• Metrobus C2, C4 line (Wheaton to Twinbrook)
• Metrobus J1 line (Silver Spring to Medical Center)
• Metrobus J2, J3, J4 line (Silver Spring to Bethesda)
• Metrobus L7, L8 line (Friendship Heights)
Metro's Trip Planner calculator will not give accurate guidance on a Red Line trip this morning. It does not factor in the disruption. But tell it to calculate a "bus only" trip and it will be useful if none of the Metrobus routes listed here work for you.
Ride On, Montgomery County's bus service, reports no delays or detours as of 6 a.m.
Brunswick Line commuters are on their own, but could drive to some of the outer stations on the western side of the Red Line, such as Shady Grove. Those outer stations also tend to fill up early under normal circumstances.
New Hampshire Avenue Status
New Hampshire Avenue inbound lanes only will be open between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., the District Department of Transportation said. Then New Hampshire will close again, between North Capitol Street and Eastern Avenue.
Watch for Variable Message Signs in decision-making locations in Montgomery County that will point drivers toward alternative routes. Here are some suggestions: Riggs Road, Piney Branch Road, Missouri Avenue, New York Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, Bladensburg Road, Michigan Avenue to Irving Street to southbound North Capitol Street, Georgia Avenue, 16th Street NW, Interstate 295 southbound to Benning Road or Howard Road
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June 23, 2009; 5:55 AM ET
Categories: Commuting , Metro , transit | Tags: MARC, Metro delays, Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, Ride On
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