Skip to main content

Press Releases

Red Line Passengers Urged to Seek Alternatives During SafeTrack Surge 10 from October 29 to November 22

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 24, 2016

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Surge 10 will affect the Red Line October 29 through November 22. This surge is expected to cause delays on the entire Red Line -- the Metrorail system’s busiest line. Metro is urging commuters to find alternatives, particularly during weekday, peak travel hours. Surge 10 is the last surge that will directly affect Montgomery County.

Summary of SafeTrack Surge 10:

  • Red Line trains will run in two segments -- Shady Grove to NoMa-Gallaudet U every six minutes and Glenmont to Fort Totten every ten minutes.
  • Metrorail stations at Brookland-CUA and Rhode Island Ave. will be closed.
  • Metro will run free shuttle buses to replace trains between NoMa-Gallaudet U and Fort Totten.
  • Ride On will run free shuttle buses between the Silver Spring, Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations during extended rush hours.
  • The Green/Yellow Line provides a good alternative between Fort Totten and Gallery Place.
  • Other alternatives include the MARC train; additional Metrobuses along key north-south routes; and Park and Ride lots at Green/Yellow Line Metrorail stations.
  • For those riding other sections of the Red Line, there will be fewer trains arriving less often.
  • Overall, Red Line customers are urged to consider telecommuting, off-peak travel, bus, MARC and other alternatives. Commuters should expect trains to be extremely crowded.

metro map for surge 10

 

What is Montgomery County Doing to Help Travelers?

Montgomery County, including the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), is assisting travelers during SafeTrack Surge 10, as outlined below.

For Riders:

  • To encourage commuters to travel outside of peak hours, provide free Ride On “Red Line Shuttles” between the Silver Spring, Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations weekdays every 10 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. MCDOT is extending peak-hour service to 4 ½ hours in both the morning and afternoon.
  • Distribute free round-trip MARC Train tickets prior to the start of Surge 10 at the Silver Spring and Rockville Metrorail stations to encourage commuters to try this alternative. Tickets will be distributed, while they last, on Wednesday, October 26 through Friday, October 28 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Sell MARC Train tickets at the MCDOT TRiPS store in Silver Spring, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Provide commuter services assistance, including telework, alternate work schedules, carpooling, vanpooling and use of car-sharing.
  • Post bike route “SafeTrack Detour” signs at station entrances to connect West Hyattsville on the Green/Yellow Line with the Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations.
  • Sponsor a “Learn the Route” free, guided bike ride from Glenmont Metro station on Saturday, October 29 at 10 a.m. to aid bike commuting.
  • Encourage commuters to use MCDOT’s recently created interactive map of Park and Ride Lot options.
  • Coordinate with Montgomery County Police to provide traffic control to improve bus operations at the Silver Spring Transit Center and other key locations.
  • Provide telecommuting resources at Montgomery County Public Libraries 
  • Offer free Bikeshare memberships, training and helmets to qualified, low income residents through the MC Liberty program.

For Drivers:

  • Monitor traffic and adjust traffic signals in areas most affected by SafeTrack to improve bus operations and traffic flow.
  • Suspend MCDOT road repair projects along key commuter routes affected by surges.
  • Request that the Maryland State Highway Administration restrict lane closures and construction projects along key routes affected by surges.
  • Prohibit metered parking on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. along the MD 97 and US 29 corridors in Silver Spring to improve bus operations and traffic flow.

Educate Travelers:

  • Provide information through MC311 Call Center. Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., people can call 311 from within the County, 240-777-0311 from outside the County or use Maryland Relay Services.
  • Provide Ride On staff at affected Metro stations to assist passengers, direct them to shuttles and distribute information.
  • Hold “pop-up” events at Metrorail stations to educate passengers.
  • Post interior and exterior Ride On bus and bus shelter ads.
  • Display informational posters at all transit centers.
  • Use social and traditional media to communicate with customers and the public.
  • Promote the Fare Share commuter benefits matching program in Transportation Management Districts and to major employers that allows them to buy down the cost of transit or vanpooling for their employees. Employers may contact Commuter Services at 240-777-8380 or by email.

Transportation Alternatives

Ride a Bus

Take a free Ride On “Red Line Shuttle” between Silver Spring, Takoma and the Fort Totten Metrorail stations weekdays every 10 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Connect to the Green/Yellow Line at Fort Totten. Look for Ride On shuttles at the following locations:

  • Silver Spring (southbound only): Colesville Road (between Wayne Avenue and the Metrorail entrance)
  • Takoma (northbound and southbound): Bus Bay A
  • Fort Totten (northbound only): Bus Bay C

Ride enhanced Metrobus service

  • Route 80 weekday rush hour service connecting downtown DC and Fort Totten
  • Route P6 weekday rush hour service connecting downtown DC and Rhode Island Station
  • Route L2 weekday rush hour service connecting downtown DC with Chevy Chase Circle
  • MetroExtra S9 limited stop service, midday and rush hour, between Silver Spring and McPherson Square

Check other bus options

Ride the Metrorail Green/Yellow Line

Take MARC Train

  • Try the Brunswick Line, which has stations in Rockville, Metropolitan Grove, Garrett Park, Kensington, Silver Spring and Union Station (limited parking available near Garrett Park and Kensington stations).
  • Connect with Ride On at many MARC stations. Enter station name here to view transit options.
  • Buy MARC train tickets at the station or in advance:
    • In Person:
      • Use Quik-Trak ticket vending machines at some stations.
      • On the platform from MARC staff at Rockville and Silver Spring during peak travel times.
      • Onboard with cash only; $20 denominations or less. (Note: MARC charges a $5 surcharge for onboard purchases.)
      • Online: http://www.mta.commuterdirect.com (Note: When purchasing a ticket, use “Washington, DC” for Union Station.)
      • Silver Spring TRiPS store at the Silver Spring Transit Center, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Explore Commuter Services Options

  • View Montgomery County’s telework video and webinar or receive free, expert consulting services from Montgomery County Commuter Services. Call 240-777-8380 or email.
  • Consider allowing employees to flex their time.
  • Consider signing up for the County’s FareShare program for employers that allows them to buy-down the cost of transit or vanpooling for their employees. Contact Montgomery County Commuter Services at 240-777-8380 or email.

Telecommute at a Montgomery County Public Library - Library card holders can access the following resources for telecommuters in all branches:

Try Biking

  • Ride to the West Hyattsville Green/Yellow Line station.
    • Look for MCDOT’s bike route “SafeTrack Detour” signs that begin at station entrances at the Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations.
    • Route distances along the Sligo Creek Trail, with local street connections, range from about five miles between Takoma and West Hyattsville to 11.6 miles between Glenmont and West Hyattsville.
    • As with any bike route, prepare for the weather and be sure your bike has a headlight.
  • Use the Georgetown Branch Trail between Silver Spring, Bethesda and Georgetown. This signed trail combines on-street travel with a gravel and paved path. Route distances are 5.7 miles between Silver Spring and Bethesda and 12.1 miles between Silver Spring and Georgetown.
  • Use Capital Bikeshare.
    • Access Capital Bikeshare in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Chevy Chase Lake, Rockville or Shady Grove. See full station map online.
    • Use a credit card for a $2 single trip fare, good for up to 30 minutes, or an $8 daily fare.
    • Limited income residents can call Montgomery County Commuter Services at 240-777-8380 to learn about eligibility for a free, annual, Bikeshare membership.
  • Plan your ride by checking the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Level of Traffic Stress map.
  • Join a “Learn the Route” free, guided Community Ride from Glenmont Metro Station on Saturday, October 29 at 10 a.m., sponsored by Montgomery County Commuter Services and led by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Register at http://www.waba.org/adult-education/

Consider Driving as a Last Resort

For those with limited choices, driving may be the best option, but expect more traffic congestion than usual.

For more information, visit Montgomery County SafeTrack, Metro SafeTrack or Montgomery County Commuter Services.  

The Montgomery County’s 311 Call Center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 311 from within the County, 240-777-0311 from outside the County or use Maryland Relay Services. You can learn more about Surge 10 at www.mc311.com by using the key words “safe track”.

# # #

Release ID: 16-439
Media Contact: Lorraine Driscoll 240-777-6507