Metro and community leaders are trying to get out ahead of the next major construction work that the could impact rail users to a degree they haven't seen since the Safe Track repair program launched earlier this year.
Surge 11 begins the Monday after Thanksgiving. It will cause single tracking on the Orange and Silver lines and will force trains to run every 20 minutes.
"Even though the work is happening in Virginia the impact will felt from one end of the line to the other-- from Vienna to New Carrollton and from Reston to Largo," said Joe Leader, Chief Operating Officer for Metro.
Leader said that the majority of the work will be done between West Falls Church and East Falls Church but because the track work is in a tricky spot no additional trains can be added to help with congestion.
“We need about half of all our riders on the Orange and Silver line to stay off Metro rail altogether," said Leader. "That includes riders along the Orange line in Fairfax, in Arlington County, in downtown DC as well as Prince George’s County.”
Community leaders in Fairfax and Arlington counties are planning to add additional bus routes to help move people around easier. They're also urging rail users to seriously consider carpooling, working from home or working off hours to help with the traffic.
“Just driving on your own is really not a good option," said Tom Biesiadny, director of Fairfax County's Department of Transportation. "There are a number of other options that probably will work a lot better."
Biesiandy suggests utilizing added bus routes through the Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon, and Court House areas or carpooling until more cars can be added to the lines to shorten the wait time for a train (about two weeks into the repair work.)
Surge 11 is expected to last until Wednesday December 21.
Metro leaders also used this warning as an opportunity to highlight the quick work being done on updating the metro lines. Leader compared the improvements to a newly constructed highway.
"By the end of this surge, we will have done the same amount of work it would have taken us 14 months to do under the old repair system," said Leader.