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Press Releases - Department of Transportation

Montgomery County Leaders Mark the End of Metro’s Silver Spring Turnbacks

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 1, 2019

As commuters made their Monday morning trek through the Wheaton Metro Station today, MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh and other Montgomery County leaders gathered at the west entrance to the station to celebrate the end of Metro’s Red Line turnbacks at Silver Spring station. Effective today, all peak hour morning and afternoon trains leaving Washington, D.C., will travel all the way to the eastern terminus at the Glenmont station. The move effectively doubles Metrorail service for Glenmont, Wheaton and Forest Glen residents. This change follows Metro’s ending of the Grosvenor/Strathmore turnback on the western end of the Red Line in December.

For more than a decade, MCDOT and Montgomery County leaders have been recommending and working to bring about this operational change.  In 1984, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began turning around every other Red Line car at Silver Spring to return to Washington, D.C., a policy that spelled daily delays for the 11,000 riders who use the Glenmont, Wheaton and Forest Glen stations.

Speaking on behalf of County Executive Marc Elrich, Director Roshdieh thanked WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld and Michael Goldman of the WMATA Board of Directors for their leadership in helping to bring about the end of the turnbacks, as well as Montgomery County councilmembers for their efforts to shine a spotlight on the many disadvantages to county residents of the turnback policy. Councilmember Tom Hucker, chair of the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, collected more than 2,500 petition signatures that were delivered to the WMATA board in support of the change.MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh

“The timing of this milestone could not be better,” said Director Roshdieh. “We are in a season of innovation at MCDOT that saw the launch of the Ride On Flex on-demand bus service just last week, which serves both Wheaton and Glenmont, and the addition of e-scooters and expansion of e-bikes across the county this spring. There has never been a better time to commute without a car in Montgomery County.”

In addition to the new first mile / last mile commuting options now available to residents, he noted the ample parking capacity at the Wheaton and Glenmont stations that can support an increase in Metrorail ridership. With MCDOT’s construction of the second Glenmont Metro garage in 2012, there are now 3,000 parking spaces in Glenmont; 13 percent of the garage’s capacity is currently unused and available for new transit riders.

WMATA has also announced other changes effective today. Yellow Line turnbacks at Mount Vernon have also been eliminated. All Yellow Line trains now continue through Fort Totten to the terminus at Greenbelt, thereby offering Montgomery County users of the Yellow Line an option to avoid a transfer at the congested Gallery Place station when traveling to National Airport and the Pentagon.

Finally, WMATA has introduced new Metro bus passes that make Metro buses more affordable.

Release ID: 19-106
Media Contact: Maureen McNulty 240-777-7199

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