Now that an opening date for the Silver Line is within sight — even if Metro remains tight-lipped as to when it might be — Metro and other transit agency officials are asking the public to familiarize themselves with the many new bus routes that will take commuters to Tysons Corner and Reston.
There will be no permanent parking lots at the four Tysons Corner rail stations. The robust bus service is designed to keep people from getting in their cars in order to reach the new mass transit system, whose first phase will end up costing close to $3 billion. When the second phase of the Silver Line is completed in 2018 to Dulles Airport and beyond into Loudoun County, the total Silver Line price tag with approach $6 billion.
“Metro bus will provide service to and from the McLean and the Tysons Corner stations. Fairfax Connector, which provides the bulk of the bus service in the Silver Line area, will connect riders to all five stations. Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission will provide service to the Tysons Corner station, and Loudoun County Transit will provide service to Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East stations,” said Metro’s Jack Requa.
Metro altered seven bus routes to accommodate Silver Line commuters, and the Fairfax Connector added several routes. Because the first phase of the rail line ends in Reston, Metro’s 5A bus will take travelers from Wiehle-Reston East to Dulles Airport. Fairfax Connector route 981 and Washington Flyer service will provide the same trip.
In the meantime, mall property owners are preparing to enforce parking rules in Tysons Corner to prevent motorists from driving to their lots, parking for free, and then taking the train to work.
This is for shoppers, not commuters (Martin DiCaro)
“This is not commuter parking. This is shopper parking,” said Michael Caplin, the executive director of the Tysons Partnership, who said the malls are still figuring out how to keep commuters out of their lots that are a short walk from the rail stations. “I have a feeling a lot of plans are still in development because no one really knows what the demand on the parking will be."
He added: “A lot of thought has been put into moving people without cars, so there is really no need to bring your car into Tysons."