Metro’s SafeTrack Initiative:  Be Scared or Prepared

Carlyle Council is committed to giving you up-to-date information about the day-to-day developments with SafeTrack.  This is the initiative of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which operates the MetroRail system, to make needed track repairs to improve its safety and reliability.  The City of Alexandria, other jurisdictions and entities, such as Carlyle Council, are working together to coordinate resources to help plan for and mitigate SafeTrack impacts.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade has put together a comprehensive package of resources for the region’s employers and employees. The following is from their latest briefing on what you need to do:

GET INFORMED: Do you have all the information about SafeTrack – when which lines, segments, and stations will experience reduced or suspended service? Different service changes will have varied impacts across the region. You and your employees can start by getting familiar with the SafeTrack plan:

  • KNOW THE IMPACT: Have you thought about the direct impacts of these service reductions? Interruptions close to you will impact employees’ and customers’ ability to get to you, and interruptions far away may affect employees and customers at the origins of their trips or at transfer points.  Have you thought about indirect transportation impacts from SafeTrack? As commuters’ regular routes are impacted by SafeTrack, they will find other ways of getting to work, which may cause cascading delays and disruptions throughout the region’s transportation network, including overcrowding on other Metrorail lines, increased road congestion on parallel routes, and increased demand for parking in places that are heavily served by Metro, like Carlyle.
  • UNDERSTAND THE EFFECTS ON YOUR BUSINESS: Do you know how your employees get to work? Where do they live? Who relies on Metrorail? Are they making their own plans for dealing with SafeTrack? Do they have the information they need to make good decisions?
  • MAKE A PLAN: Got all that? Now it’s time to do something about it. Get prepared, offer alternatives, communicate with employees and customers – and keep on doing what your organization does.

SafeTrack will create challenges, but with planning and communication, we will get through. Businesses and organizations that plan and execute solutions will keep the region running and their own operations functioning smoothly. The Washington DC Board of Trade has put together the following for employers:


Which SafeTrack Safety Surges will most affect Alexandria?

There are fifteen SafeTrack projects, called “Surges” and certain ones will impact Alexandria more directly. This information is from the City of Alexandria’s dedicated SafeTrack web page.  While, the nature of the system is such that any of the 15 Safety Surges has the potential to cause delays throughout the region,  the following four Safety Surges will take place in or immediately adjacent to the City of Alexandria:

 Safety Surge # Action  Train Frequency  Alternatives 
Safety Surge #3July 5, 2016 (8 p.m.)
to July 11, 2016
(6 days)
Blue and Yellow Lines will be completely shutdown between the Braddock Road and National Airport stations 12 minutesWMATA expects “significant crowding” on trains Free shuttle buses will operate via Metroway between Braddock Road, Crystal City and Pentagon City
Safety Surge #4July 12, 2016
to July 18, 2016
(7 days)
Blue and Yellow Lines will be completely shutdown between the National Airport and Pentagon City stations 12 minutesWMATA expects “significant crowding” on trains Free shuttle buses will operate via Metroway between Braddock Road, Crystal City and Pentagon CityReagan National Airport will be served via free shuttle bus to/from Pentagon City & Braddock Road
Safety Surge #8Aug. 20, 2016
to Sept. 5, 2016
Trains on the Blue and Yellow Lines will share a single track between the Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield stations 24 minutes from Franconia-Springfield12 minutes from Van DornWMATA expects “significant crowding” on trains
Safety Surge #14Jan. 2, 2017
to Jan. 13, 2017
(12 days)-AND-

Jan. 22, 2017 (10 p.m.)
to Feb. 3, 2017
(13 days)

Trains on the Blue and Yellow Lines will share a single track between the Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street/Huntington stations. 18 minutes (Blue Line)6 minutes
(Yellow Line north of National Airport)”Major reduction”
(Yellow Line south of National Airport)

WMATA expects “severe crowding” on trains

Bike and Ridesharing Services Offer SafeTrack Discounts

Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) has rolled out a pilot program offering one-time bike rentals for $2, targeting those riders looking for alternatives during SafeTrack surges. The usual rate is $7 for an all-day pass. Its first day saw a bump of a couple thousand more Bikeshare users than usual according to a Capital Bikeshare spokesperson, and there’s every reason to think that number will grow as more people learn about it.

Enterprise is working closely with local customers, companies, organizations and transportation authorities to ensure commuters have options during the SafeTrack Project. From discounts on car sharing and car rental to organizing carpools and ridesharing, they have a wide variety of transit solutions that fit the needs of commuters including free membership to new Enterprise CarShare members (a savings of $65) as well as $10 in driving credits. This offer is valid through the end of July, and can be accessed by visiting . Enterprise is also offering a 10 percent discount on car rentals at all 160 Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations in areas serviced by Metro to anyone with a Metro SmarTrip card.

Uber is offering a “Pooling Together” campaign that includes a new site with information about outages as well as an extension of its existing UberPOOL option, which lets strangers ride together for lower fees. The service is being expanded to the entire D.C. region, instead of its previous coverage of the District, Arlington, Alexandria, and Reagan National and Dulles International airports.

Ride-sharing competitor Lyft is offering discounted rides, too, that fit into SafeTrack’s phases, according to a release. For a limited time, riders can get 75 percent off all Lyft Line trips (rides with strangers) in the company’s discount zone which includes Georgetown, Columbia Heights, Capitol Hill, and Navy Yard. Plus, riders who start or end their journeys in Northern Virginia can take 50 percent off their first five “Lyft Classic” rides on weekdays from June 6 until June 17 from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.  Lyft is also offering a “deal of the week.” First up is 20 percent off rides between 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. from June 6 through June 12. Rides must originate in the D.C. coverage area.