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Metro to offer free shuttles during partial Orange Line shutdown this summer

Vienna Metro station bus shelter (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Metro will assemble an armada of shuttles this summer to support travelers during its multi-week shutdowns of several stations on the Orange, Silver and Green lines.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced yesterday that free shuttle buses will be available throughout the closures, which will begin on May 12 and roll out to Fairfax County’s Orange Line stations starting June 3.

During the closures, the agency will conduct maintenance work at each of the stations and modernize their facilities.

“Continued maintenance work is essential to safe and reliable rail service,” WMATA Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off said in the press release. “We are working strategically to target maintenance locations and minimize the impacts on customers as we conduct this critical work to upgrade systems, improve reliability, and modernize station facilities.”

In Fairfax County, the closures will take place in two phases.

First, the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations will close from June 3 to 25 so that Metro can replace the 40-year-old train rails and add fiber-optic cables.

“Replacing the track in this section is a top priority to ensure safety and increase reliability,” WMATA said.

A combination of local, express and limited-stop shuttle service will be offered:

Orange Line Shuttle: Local service between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, and Ballston-MU stations.

  • Local service between McLean, East Falls Church, and Ballston-MU stations.
  • Every 5 minutes during rush hours. (6- 9 a.m., 3-7 p.m.)

Orange Line Express: Express service between Vienna and Rosslyn stations.

  • Service every 5 minutes during rush hours. (6-9 a.m., 3-7 p.m.)
  • Service every 10 minutes during non-rush hours. (9 a.m.-3 p.m., 7-9 p.m.)

Silver Line Limited: Limited-stop service between Washington Dulles International Airport, McLean, and Rosslyn.

  • Service every 5 minutes during rush hours. (6-9 a.m., 3-7 p.m.)
  • Service every 10 minutes during non-rush hours. (9 a.m.-3 p.m., 7-9 p.m.)

Silver Line riders will need to take a shuttle to bypass the East Falls Church transfer station. Trains between Ashburn and McLean will run every eight minutes, except after 9:30 p.m., when they will operate every 10 minutes.

Both of the Falls Church stations will reopen on June 26, but the Vienna and Dunn Loring stations will stay closed through July 16 to finish the rail replacement and cable installation.

Free local shuttle service will be provided betwen the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations, operating every 5 to 10 minutes on weekdays and every 10 minutes on weekends while Metrorail is open.

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