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Commuting Primer for New Silver Line Riders

by Karen Goff July 28, 2014 at 6:55 am 1,505 6 Comments

Wiehle-Reston East parking garage

Monday morning, we will see how if Reston is ready to be a transportation hub.

Metro’s Silver Line opened on Saturday to much fanfare, with state, local and national stakeholders thanking each other for a long (20+ years including a six-month opening delay) and expensive ($2.9 billion, not including a $150 million overage) job well done.

In case you missed Reston Now’s weekend coverage:

Silver Line Opens New Era For Reston

You Said It: Social Media Roundup of Silver Line Opening Day

Now the real work begins, as commuters who previously drove downtown or to the Vienna Metro Station or boarded Fairfax Connector buses to the Orange Line Station at East Falls Church will instead flock to Wiehle-Reston East to board the train.

Will Reston’s roads be able to handle more drivers? Will newbies to Wiehle-Reston East be able to swiftly enter and exit the parking garage? These are some of the many questions that will be answered as weekdays unfold.

The good news is that late July and into August are generally light traffic days, with many commuters on vacation or working a more flexible schedule. The real impact may not be known until September.

If you are planning to take the Silver Line to Tysons Corner, Arlington, D.C. or other points Monday, here are some things to know:

  • Metro opens at 5 a.m. Monday.
  • Allow extra time. You haven’t figured out your routine yet and neither have the other commuters.
  • If you are taking a Fairfax Connector bus to the station, double check your route on the Connector website.

Fares:

  • Peak SmarTrip fares (weekdays from opening to 9:30 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. and weekends midnight to closing):
  • $2.15 minimum, plus a $1 surcharge if a paper Farecard is used; $5.90 maximum, plus a $1 surcharge if a paper Farecard is used.
  • Off-peak SmarTrip fares (all other times): $1.75 minimum, plus a $1 surcharge if a paper Farecard is used; $3.60 maximum, plus a $1 surcharge if a paper Farecard is used.
  • It is easier to buy a plastic SmarTrip card. You will need to reload it less often and will save the surcharge.

Parking: Wiehle-Reston East’s garage has 3,300 parking spots. The majority are owned by Fairfax County. About 1,000 or so are ParkX, owned by developer Comstock.

If you are coming down Reston Station Avenue from Wiehle Avenue, the first left into the garage will take you to two places: private ParkX and public Fairfax County parking.

ParkX

There are 1,000 spots. Daily rates are $4.85 (or $4.75 if you use Colonial’s prepaid debit card. ParkX also offers monthly reserved parking: Gold, $105 (will be $155 after Oct. 1 ); Platinum, $145 ($195 after Oct. 1). Both include daily rate.

Platinum parking features assigned spots. Gold features assigned spots if you get there prior to 10 a.m.

The ParkX lot does not feature free weekend parking. Payment is cash, credit or debit card.

Fairfax County Parking

The 2,300-space county lot is the second left off of Reston Station Boulevard. There are several entrance/exit gates, so entry here may go quicker during rush hour.

Parking is $4.85 a day weekdays; free on weekends. Payment is by credit card or SmarTrip card.

Monthly reserved parking is $65. This does not include daily parking fee. There is no assigned parking.

This lot is also where Kiss-and-Ride and bus drop-off will be located.

Park and Ride Lot 

The 270-space, VDOT-owned Park-and-Ride lot on Sunset Hills Road near the station will remain open. That lot is free, but is likely to fill up quickly.

Walking and Biking

There is pedestrian access to the station from both the South and North sides of the Dulles Toll Road. There is a secure bicycle parking area for 200 bicycles.

Ready to commute by Silver Line? Share your strategy with your neighbors in the comments below. And be sure to send (n[email protected]), Facebook or Tweet your Monday Silver Line experiences to us.

  • kcowing

    Of course Wiehle Ave will also be a parking lot 😉

  • bikeit

    Covered bike parking secure, and accessible, is also available and will be the best bet for quite a while!

    • Agnes Nutter

      bikeit, do you know what kind of facilities they have for just locking up bikes if you don’t want to pay for the bike locker?

      • jhiggins

        They have about 10-20 u-shaped bike racks, but it fills up super quickly in the morning.

        • Agnes Nutter

          Thanks for the info.
          That seems like a ridiculously small amount for the 4,700+ people they say are riding the line.

  • RestonMan

    I honestly could not figure out where the metro parking was vs. the parkx parking. The parking at the station was not very mapped out. I’m hopeful it’ll be resolved once they clean up some of the construction but if anyone has a map that explains where metro vs parkx parking is, it would be much appreciated.

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