Tysons, VA

Due to ridership plummeting and a need to conserve cleaning supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, Metro plans to temporarily close two Tysons stations.

Metro announced last night (Tuesday) that the Greensboro and McLean stations are a part of the 17 stations that will close tomorrow (Thursday).

“While Metro increased its on-hand warehouse inventory of essential supplies,… other items used by Metro’s frontline employees, suppliers are experiencing delivery delays,” the announcement said. “Metro is taking action to make its current 2-3 week warehouse supply stretch until massive orders placed in late January are received.”

Metro has been urging people recently to only use the public transit system for essential trips. Last week, Metro closed the Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery stations to discourage people from visiting the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin.

“The 19 stations will remain closed until further notice and trains will pass through without stopping,” Metro said.

Map via WMATA/Twitter

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

New Grab-and-Go Food Sites for Students — “We are expanding the grab and go food distribution sites to a total of 29 locations. The food distribution is set up outside the schools. Breakfast will be served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Cafe Closes in Tysons — “Cafe Deluxe restaurants in Tysons, Virginia, and Bethesda, Maryland, have closed, early victims of the COVID-19 outbreak. Both leases were set to expire in April, with no plans to renew.” [WTOP]

Coronavirus Prompts Metro to Shifts Hours — “Starting March 16, trains on all lines will operate every 12 minutes on weekdays. That’s comparable to train frequencies on Saturdays, which will stay at that frequency. Sunday schedules will also remain unchanged, with trains every 15 minutes.” [WAMU]

Falls Church Eateries Alter Service — “Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken and Taco Bamba, both in Pimmit Hills, and Liberty Barbecue in the City all announced Monday they will shift to delivery and takeout service only. Spacebar, Northside Social and Dominion Wine and Beer have gone takeout only and Starbucks, with three City locations, said Sunday it was instituting a to-go model for all of its stores nationwide.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Falls Church Shelter Shuts Down for Two Weeks — “The Falls Church Homeless Shelter announced its decision to close the hypothermia shelter on March 16 in response to the growing spread of the coronavirus.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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People impacted by the Orange Line closures this summer will have the option to use free shuttle buses.

Beginning May 27, the Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations will be closed through Sept. 7 (Reminder: On March 15, some or all of the parking options will be closed at the Metro stations in the Falls Church and Vienna area.)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced today (Friday) the routes for the free buses that will replace trains at the affected stations.

Riders can use an online tool to find recommended travel alternatives.

While the Silver Line won’t be closed, WMATA officials have said that the stations from McLean to Wiehle-Reston East will also be affected.

The summer work will include updating slip-resistant tiles, LED lighting, adding new large digital displays and building new shelters on the platforms.

“West Falls Church Station will remain open and serve as the western terminus of the Orange Line,” according to Metro. “Trains will continue to pass through East Falls Church Station while it is closed to minimize service impacts outside the construction area.”

Map via WMATA

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Updated at 12:10 p.m. — Normal service has resumed at the Vienna Metro station as of noon, Metro tweeted.

A man has been struck by a train at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.

Firefighters from Fairfax and Arlington counties are currently on scene after the man was struck around 9 a.m.

The man appears to have intentionally “placed himself in the path of the train,” according to Metro Transit Police. He is reportedly deceased.

Riders should expect delays on the Orange line. Train service has been suspended between the West Falls Church and Vienna Metro stations, Metro tweeted.

Shuttle buses are now available at:

  • West Falls Church: bus bay B for service toward Vienna
  • Vienna: bus bay Q for service toward New Carrollton
  • Dunn Loring-Merrifield: bus bay F for service in both directions

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911 or the Department of Human Services’ emergency services line at 703-228-5160. CrisisLink also has a 24-hour crisis hotline at 703-527-4077 or 800-SUICIDE, or text 703-940-0888.

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Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

Tysons Auto Group to Offer Luxury Hybrid Speedsters — “Tysons-based Exclusive Automotive Group has since updated its plans to include sales and service of both Karma Automotive and Koenigsegg vehicles. This will be the first presence for both in the D.C. area.” [Washington Business Journal]

Affordable Housing Spike Expected — “Fairfax County could soon more than double funding for its affordable housing loan program, with local leaders starting work on a new budget that would offer up more than $45.7 million to power affordable development.” [Washington Business Journal]

McLean Falls on Richest U.S. Places List — “The next Virginia town on the list was McLean at 30 with an average household income of $293,323. McLean fell from 25th place last year, although its average income rose from $283,992… Rounding out Virginia towns on the list was Wolf Trap at 47, down from 42 in last year’s ranking. The average household income increased from $261,610 to $265,175.” [Patch]

Falls Church Concerned About Upcoming Metro Parking Closure — “Falls Church’s Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester will be on an urgent conference call with WMATA officials and her counterparts in Arlington and Fairfax Friday in an effort to mitigate the impact on neighborhoods in the City of Falls Church of WMATA’s plans, announced less than two weeks ago, to close the parking lots at the East and West Falls Church Metro stations months ahead of the closing of the stations for platform repairs over the summer.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Metro is currently seeking input on its proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, which includes changes impacting hours and fares.

The ideas include:

  • keeping Metrorail open until midnight Monday-Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
  • adding more weekend service on Metro bus routes
  • increasing Metrorail fares during peak periods
    increasing bus fares for people loading their SmarTrip card with cash
  • creating a flat fare for Metrorail
  • eliminating low-ridership bus routes
  • eliminating transfer fares between Metro trains and buses

“Today, riders pay for Bus and Rail trips separately and get a $0.50 discount when transferring,” according to Metro. “Under this proposal, transfers between Metrorail and regular Metrobus services would be free.”

Before Metro’s budget year begins before July 1, people can submit comments via an online survey and provide feedback through March 2. Metro also plans to have open houses in Arlington, D.C. and New Carrollton.

What do you think of Metro’s ideas?

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To get ready for summer platform work, WMATA is closing several Orange Line stations this weekend, affecting riders in Vienna, Falls Church and Merrifield.

Riders can expect trains every 16 minutes between the West Falls Church and New Carrollton stations with additional trains between Ballston and New Carrollton from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 8), according to WMATA’s website.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains at the Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations.

The bus routes will be:

  • between East Falls Church and Ballston
  • between Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church
  • express bus between Vienna and West Falls Church

Riders can expect trains to single track through the East Falls Church station. The West Falls Church station will stay open.

“Customers on Ballston-bound Orange Line trains who are continuing on to West Falls Church should exit the train at Virginia Square for a same platform transfer,” according to the website.

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Fairfax County wants to give commuters another way to access the McLean Metro station in Tysons.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is set to vote on a funding application that seeks to add a new entrance to the Metro stop.

The county is looking for $1 million to add a new entrance on the north side of the station to make it easier for pedestrians coming from Scotts Crossing Road and the Capital One campus.

“The increase in the number of residential dwelling units in the area presents an opportunity to capture commuters that would otherwise drive single-occupancy vehicles on the Dulles Connector Road and 1-66 Inside the Beltway in efforts to reach Arlington and downtown D.C,” according to county documents.

Ridership at the McLean Metro station has continued to rise, according to stats from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC).

Compared to the four stations in Tysons, the McLean station saw the largest spike in ridership from April-June, rising 25% over the last year, followed by the Greensboro Metro station at 18%.

The Metro entrance proposal is one of three project submissions to NVTC that the board is set to consider endorsing tomorrow (Tuesday) for the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 I-66 Inside the Beltway Commuter Choice Program.

The two other proposed projects include:

  • $8.6 million for a new bus route from Reston to Arlington and bicycle and pedestrian improvements around Reston
  • $500,000 for fare buy down on Express Route 599, since the current $7.50 express fare is higher than the $4.25 fare on other Fairfax Connector express bus routes

In total, Fairfax County is requesting roughly 10 million from NVTC. County staff recommends that the McLean Metro station project be the top priority, according to county documents.

Map via Google Maps

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Two Orange Line Metro stations will be closed this weekend due to preparations for the upcoming summer shutdown, according to the WMATA website.

Both the Vienna and Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro stops will be closed on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 25-26) to let crews prepare for the Summer Platform Improvement Project, the website said.

The summer project will include the addition of slip-resistant tiles, updated LED lighting, charging ports and lit handrails.

This weekend, travelers can expect buses to replace trains between the Vienna and West Falls Church stops.

Besides those two stops, the Metro is scheduled to run trains every 12 to 15 minutes.

The Silver Line will not be affected by the work this weekend and will run on a normal schedule, according to WMATA.

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Monday (Jan. 20)  is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here’s where and when to expect closures or reduced schedules for government buildings and public transit options in the Tysons area.

Around Fairfax County, all governmental offices will be closed along with recycling centers,  the Department of Motor Vehicles and general district courts, according to the county website.

Fairfax County Public Schools will also be closed on Monday, giving kids a break from classes.

The Fairfax Connector will run on a holiday weekend schedule. Several routes will not run at all and route 980 will come every 12 to 15 minutes.

The Metro will start its service at 5 a.m. and close at 11:30 p.m., according to a press release, which added that off-peak fare will be in effect all day. Trains will operate on a Saturday schedule.

In Vienna, the Vienna Community Center (120 SE Cherry Street) will be open but running on a reduced schedule from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Town offices will be closed but waste collection will run on a regular schedule, according to Vienna’s website. 

In the City of Falls Church, the Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed and will reopen on Tuesday with normal hours from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m, according to the city’s website. The community center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., but all other government offices will be closed.

The planning commission meeting for Falls Church that was originally scheduled for Jan. 20 will be rescheduled to Tuesday (Jan. 21) at 7:30 p.m.

From 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. there will be road closures in the city due to a remembrance ceremony, according to a press release.

The press release said that this will include the temporary closures of several interactions including:

  • S. Washington Street and Tinner Hill Road
  • S. Washington Street and Hillwood Ave
  • S. Washington Street and Annandale Road
  • S. Washington Street and E Fairfax Street

Tysons Reporter will also be on a break Monday.

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