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Metro Closures Require Commuters to Seek Alternatives
Friday, 24 May 2019
| County News & Features | | | 0 Comments

​Beginning next Tuesday, six Metro stations on the blue and yellow lines will close on weekdays until Sept 8 for major station improvements and platform reconstruction, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority website. 

The stations that will be closed are Franconia-Springfield, Huntington, Eisenhower, Van Dorn, Alexandria, and Braddock Road. 

The Franconia-Springfield Metro station, which is served by OmniRide buses, will have a significant impact on Prince William County residents according to Potomac Rappahannock Commission's, or PRTC's, spokesperson, Christine Rodrigo. 

OmniRide's Prince William Metro Express bus, which connects eastern Prince William County takes about 550 passengers a day to connect with the Franconia-Springfield Metro station. "is one of our most popular routes," Rodrigo noted. 

In an effort to ease commuting problems in Prince William County, OmniRide will add two free shuttle buses to two Virginia Railway Express, or VRE, stations. One of the buses will run between the Lake Ridge commuter lot and the Woodbridge VRE station. The other bus will run between the Dale City commuter lot and the Rippon VRE station.

Riding VRE trains might be a feasible way for people to get to metro stations at King Street in Alexandria or Crystal City according to Rodrigo. "If somebody was riding and needed to get further in, and couldn't do it because of the local shutdown, VRE would be an option."

OmniRide buses also have routes to the Pentagon and into Washington D.C. so that could be an option as well, Rodrigo said. 

OmniRide has other services to help people get to points north. "One of the things we do is help people find carpools and vanpools. Reach out to us to find out if there's somebody who already has a carpool that is going from near where they live to where they need to go." 

Visit PRTC at http://omniride.com/ for commuting information.

Slugging might also be an option for some commuters. Slugging, or casual carpooling, is a system connect with drivers with passengers to form impromptu carpools that qualify for express lanes. Single drivers who need riders go to slug lines at designated spots – often near commuter lots or bus stops – to find riders who are going their way. Once the drivers and passengers are connected to form carpools, with the required number of people, they can use the express lanes for free.  

According to www.sluglines.com, new slug lines will be opening May 27 at several locations along the Interstate 95-395 corridor. A couple of the new slug lines might be useful to Prince William County residents. 

One of the new morning slug lines will be at the Franconia-Springfield station kiss-and-ride lot at 6880 Frontier Drive in Springfield. Another slug line will form at the Landmark Mall at 5701B Duke Street in Alexandria. 

New Afternoon slug lines will be at 19th and F Street, 14th Street and Madison Avenue and L'Enfant Plaza. 

Existing slug lines in Prince William County, mostly in commuter lots, include Dale City, Horner Road, Montclair Fire Station, Montclair Northgate, Old Hechingers, near the intersection of Gordon Boulevard and Old Bridge Road, Potomac Mills, Route 123, Route 234, Tackett's Mill and Telegraph Road.

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