A family waves their Silver Line grand opening pennants and commemorative SmarTrip cards while riding one of the Silver Line inaugural trains.
The Silver Line is off to a good start on the first weekday of service. As of 10 a.m. today, ridership at the five new Silver Line stations totaled 9,715 passenger trips (entries & exits). Wiehle-Reston East had 4,727 riders enter and 1,063 exit the station this morning, making it the 12th busiest station on the system today (comparable to Columbia Heights) and more than Crystal City and Glenmont, for example. Tysons’s station proved to be a destination for morning commuters, with 507 entering and 900 exiting the station.
On Saturday, Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles hosted federal, state and local officials for a grand opening ceremony at Wiehle-Reston East Station, while an excited public gathered to board one of the first Silver Line trains departing the station.
More than 500 people attended the opening ceremony, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Metro Board of Directors and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors.
We had a respectable level of ridership this weekend – with about 32,000 trips on Saturday and 19,000 on Sunday – and riders to the new stations represented about 10% of all riders. Trains operated reliably, without any delays.
This morning’s commute operated reliably as well. Extra Metro staff were on hand at the five new stations, as were personnel from Fairfax Connector, to make sure customers could easily navigate the line. Anecdotally, we began to see the predicted migration of some Orange line riders to Silver, with reports of less onboard crowding and lighter than usual parking on the Orange Line.
The new rail line is the largest expansion of Metrorail — and the first time a new color has been added to the Metro map — since the Green Line opened in 1991.
The Silver Line expands the Metrorail system by 10 percent and adds five new stations in Fairfax County, Virginia – McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East. Silver Line rail service began at noon with the departure of the inaugural train from Wiehle-Reston East Station in Fairfax County, Va., bound for Largo Town Center in Prince George’s County, Md. Along the way, Silver Line trains connect Fairfax County with popular destinations in Arlington County and Downtown D.C., serving a total of 28 stations.
Read about the Silver Line, in the news –
All aboard! Metro’s new Silver Line rolls down the tracks for the first time. (Washington Post, July 26, 2014)
D.C. Metro Opens New Silver Line Rail in Virginia (Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2014)