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Metro Hosts Open House in Tysons to Get Feedback on New Ideas

People in the Tysons area had a chance last night to provide feedback on several preliminary concepts that would change the Silver, Orange and Blue lines.

The concepts are a part of a two-year study to address both short- and long-term needs. For people in Tysons, one option would let trains turn back at different areas along the Orange, Blue or Silver Lines, while another option would create new Silver Line connections north or south of I-66.

Around 5 p.m. last night (Tuesday), a dozen attendees showed up to the open house at the Courtyard by Marriott Tysons-McLean (1960A Chain Bridge Road) — just in time for a presentation by Mark Phillips, the project manager for the reliability study.

Phillips said that capacity issues at the Rosslyn tunnel for the three lines prompted the study.

“It’s created reliability issues,” Phillips said. “If there is a breakdown, which has happened a couple of times this week, on one line, it impacts the other two.”

Phillips said that dangerous activity — like people holding the doors open and overcrowding — and an expected increase in ridership along the three lines also prompted the study.

By 2040, an 18% increase in daily ridership — roughly 40,000 new riders — is expected on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, according to informational boards at the meeting.

Informational boards gave the benefits and trade-offs for all of the preliminary concepts, along with a board comparing how the concepts do or do not meet Metro’s four goals: capacity, reliability, flexibility and sustainability.

People have until Jan. 6 to provide feedback via an online survey.

The list of ideas will get narrowed down once feedback from the public and external stakeholders — including six technical and advisory committees — has been received. A cost/benefit analysis is set to happen in the spring or summer, followed by a recommendation in the fall.

Phillips said that he expects the recommendation to include both short- and long-term changes.

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