Metrorail SafeTrack Starts This Saturday

If you need to get on Metrorail this Saturday in Rockville, make it the Twinbrook station. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) will completely close the Shady Grove and Rockville Red Line stations from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, June 25, 2017.

Metro will be providing shuttle bus service from the Shady Grove and Rockville stations, but is urging commuters to avoid the stations if possible, particularly during weekday, peak travel hours and consider telecommuting, ride sharing and other alternatives.

Other options are to take the Brunswick Line MARC Train from Metropolitan Grove or get on Metrorail at Twinbrook, White Flint, Glenmont or Wheaton stations.

If you hop on the Red Line, trains will operate a little slower and commuters are advised to allow additional time. Service between Twinbrook and Glenmont will run every eight minutes (normally every six minutes). Additional Red Line trains will operate between Grosvenor and Silver Spring every four minutes (normally every three minutes).

Employers are being asked to consider allowing employees to flex their time, or signing up for the County’s FareShare program that allows employers to buy-down the cost of transit or vanpooling for their employees – at a greatly-reduced cost to the employer because the County pays for part of the fare.

MCDOT plans to coordinate with Montgomery County and Rockville Police to provide traffic control to improve bus operations at key locations. Traffic flow will be monitored and traffic signals adjusted in areas most affected by SafeTrack to improve bus operations and traffic flow.

Here are the bus options:

WMATA will be operating free shuttle buses on two routes:

1.) At all times of the day, a local route will operate between Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook stations. The local shuttle at Shady Grove will pick up passengers on the west side at Bay C.

2.) An express route will operate weekdays only from 5 to 9:30 AM and 3 to 7:30 PM between Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore stations. The express shuttle will pick up passengers on the east side of Shady Grove at Bay G.

NOTE: At the Rockville Metro station, shuttle buses will pick up passengers on MD 355/Rockville Pike. At Twinbrook, shuttles will stop on Chapman Avenue on the west side of the station. Metro and Ride On staff will be on hand to direct riders to the shuttle buses.

Other Metro bus options include the T2, which operates between Rockville and Friendship Heights and the Q line buses, which operate between the Shady Grove and Silver Spring stations.

Commuter Bus
The Maryland Transit Administration’s Commuter Bus Route 505 from Hagerstown/Myersville to Shady Grove/Rock Spring and the Commuter Bus Route 515 operating between Frederick/Urbana and the Shady Grove Metro Station/Rock Spring will serve the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station for morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups instead of Shady Grove.

Ride On
All Ride On service will remain unchanged during the surge. Consider taking Ride On Route 46, which operates between Montgomery College-Rockville and Medical Center, or Ride On Route 47, which operates between the Rockville and Bethesda Metro stations. Or, check other Ride On routes online or by using Metro’s Trip Planner. Ride on will have staff available at the Shady Grove and Rockville stations to help commuters.

MARC Train Option:

Try the Brunswick Line. Commuters are encouraged to consider using MARC to travel to Silver Spring or Union Station. Park and Ride commuters are urged to park at Metropolitan Grove as the Germantown MARC Train and Rockville Metro parking lots are typically full.

Buy MARC train tickets at the station or in advance:
In Person:
At Quik-Trak ticket vending machines available at Union Station, Brunswick, Monocacy, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Kensington and Silver Spring Brunswick Line stations. (No ticket machines are available at Metropolitan Grove.)
Onboard with cash only; $20 denominations or less. (Note: MARC charges a $5 surcharge for onboard purchases when boarding at stations with ticket machines. There will be no surcharge when boarding at Metropolitan Grove and purchasing an onboard ticket.)
Online: Ticket link here. (Note: When purchasing a ticket, use “Washington, DC” for Union Station.)

Parking Options:

Commuters who typically park and ride from Shady Grove or Rockville are encouraged to consider parking at the Twinbrook, White Flint, Glenmont or Wheaton stations. Metro will continue to charge for parking at Shady Grove and Rockville.

Use MCDOT’s interactive map of Park and Ride Lot options that includes hot links to provide directions and bus route and schedule information to and from the lots. (The map works best using Google Chrome browser.)

Commuter Services Assistance:

MCDOT Commuter Services provides assistance with telework, alternate work schedules, carpooling, vanpooling, use of car-sharing and Capital Bikeshare.  A new mobile app called CarpoolNow is available from Commuter Connections for real time matching of drivers and passengers. Sign up for Commuter Connections first, then download the free app.

Bikeshare Options:

MCDOT has 70 Bikeshare stations throughout the County, including in the Shady Grove and Rockville areas. Trying Bikeshare is simple with Capital Bikeshare’s $2 one-way trips of less than 30 minutes that can be purchased with a credit card at any Bikeshare station. Check the station locations online. In addition, MCDOT offers free Bikeshare memberships, training and helmets to qualified, low income residents through the MCLiberty program.

In the past, the Surges affecting the Rockville area did not result in any substantial delays.

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