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Wiehle-Reston East Quickly Becomes a Busy Metro Station

by Karen Goff — July 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm 1,746 7 Comments

Metro passengers at the Wiehle-Reston East turnstiles Monday, July 28/Credit: Ken Plum With the first rush hour in the books, Metro officials can now get a clearer picture of how daily traffic will be at the five new stations, as well as the Silver Line’s impact on existing stations.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Wiehle-Reston East — which will be the end of the Silver Line until 2018 — was the 12th-busiest entry point to the system, says the transit agency. Metro says 4,727 riders boarded trains at Wiehle-Reston East, putting it on par with Columbia Heights and busier than Rosslyn or Ballston.

Reston is the only Silver Line station with parking, and riders made good use of the 3,300 available garage spots, as well as 300 free spots in the county-owned former Park and Ride lot on Sunset Hills Road. Wiehle-Reston East is also the new bus drop off for Fairfax and Loudoun connector buses that used to travel to Orange Line stations.

“We are off to a really good start at Wiehle,” said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

Stessel said there were no big surprises from the morning commute. Most commuters said their commute went smoothly once they understood new info such as where to park or where to pick up their connector bus. Read some of their stories in this Reston Now story.

“We spent a lot of time preparing for today,” said Stessel.

Metro says there were 9,715 total trips from or to a new Silver Line station Monday morning.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Greensboro: 185 entries, 332 exits
  • McLean: 568 entries, 442 exits
  • Spring Hill: 559 entries, 432 exits
  • Tysons Corner: 507 entries, 1,063 exits

Meanwhile, the drop in Orange Line riders was noticeable. Most Silver Line riders formerly took feeder buses or drove to Orange Line stations at Vienna and East and West Falls Church.

Metro said morning rush hour boardings were down 66 percent at West Falls Church.

“The last four stations of the Orange Line saw morning rush hour drop from 23,000 boardings two weeks ago to 15,000 today,” Stessel said. “Those boardings have shifted to the Silver Line.”

However, the total number of overall Metro riders did not grow much on Monday. Stessel said 240,000 rode the train in the morning, which is was within a few hundred of last Monday’s numbers.

Photo: Metro passengers at Wiehle-Reston East turnstiles Monday morning/Credit: Ken Plum

  • rwingace

    I question this. The silver line itself was smooth, but fairfax county connector has a lot of work to do. The buses to the Town Center are far too infrequent and were late all day. I waited over 30 minutes for the 505. They should have buses back and forth to the Town Center all day. As of now the schedule is every 20 mins and they were averaging close to every 30 mins. That’s far too long, especially if theh want metro riders to visit RTC.

  • Mike M

    I am surprised at the lack of traffic jamming Wiehle and Sunset Hills as a result of this station opening. I am a little alarmed at the huge rise in pedestrian traffic within a half mile of the station and the almost complete lack of infrastructure adjustment to facilitate it. It seems an unsafe situation to me – most especially at night.

  • Jon Benigno

    This is a #metroFAIL. I’m a seasoned commuter and WAS happy with the 950/980 Fairfax Connector bus service until now…we are FORCED to ride the Silver Line with no benefits. For riders of the 980 service the move to silver line is making commutes longer and more expensive! My commute to Ballston metro just got 15 minutes longer – that translates to 30 minutes a day longer once you add in the afternoon ride home. I’ve got a baby at home that I get to see less of now because of this. Here are today’s fails on my first official commute to/from Reston/Wiehle station:

    1) The bus has to waste time in the morning by making 2 left turns at lights just to get off from the DTR and on the overpass to make it into the Metro station. And then after that, we have to get off and walk back over the overpass (Which the bus just crossed) to waste more time! They should have designed it so buses can detour on the left of DTC and drop off right at the trains!

    2) In the afternoon, the signs for buses are confusing. The main sign says all buses on the south side..FAIL! every bus except the Fairfax connector and others…This wasted lots of time for many people today.

    3) Local buses to the Reston station all run less frequent – again adding more time to commute. Before the 980 bus ran every 6 minutes, now every 10. They really need to bring at least one bus service from Herndon Monroe park and ride to WFC metro..that would ease many peoples pocketbooks!!

    4) My commuting costs just doubled because of the Silver Line metro. I used to pay $2.60/way to go from WFC to Ballston. Now Reston to Ballston is a ridiculous $5.45 each way just for 6 stops. We are limited to $130/mo for pre-tax deductions for mass transit. Can they at least bring back the $260 pre-tax limit !?!?! That’s $120+/mo MORE that I’m spending to commute and NO tax benefit!!! Either that or lower the metro fare to $4.00??? This is how much the Orange Vienna metro charges to the same spot!

    5) Paying more (double for me) and spending more time on commuting…what are the pros??? There are absolutely ZERO benefits for riders of 950/980 going to Wiehle..unless your work compensates for your commute. PLEASE bring back the WFC metro bus routes!!!

    • janice

      i agree. I took the Fairfax Conector 552 or 554 to West Falls Church. My commute has gone up by over $85 per month and my ride is more than 10 minutes longer each way. Don’t see any benefit. Also buses in the p.m. have a hard time getting out of the station with no light or person directing traffic (as they had the first week). Big oversight there.

      • Jon Benigno

        I try to do things here and there to ease the pinch – like stay at work until 645pm, that way I save $1.85 coming home and pay the off-peak fare of $3.60, entering at 7pm. Today my wife got to see how bad the setup for the Wiehle station is when I had her drop me off at Reston station…too many left turns to get in from Sunrise Valley, and it’s ridiculous how there are even more turns just drop off at kiss and ride!!! What were these planners/architects thinking!!!???

  • DisqStew

    wmata maps for the station doesn’t show the parking elevator entrances on the plaza. You can’t tell which you parked in unless you took photos when you left for the train. There is no identifier that one is A elevator and the other B. The floors are numbered exactly the same. Once you enter the elevator the spots are lettered exactly the same in both elevators.

  • lmd

    The Reston-Whiele garage is an abominable confusion of a mess. No clear signs about where the Plaza level is if you want to take the stairs. The garage is enclosed so you can’t even tell if are going up or down as you are driving around totally lost and frustrated. I went today just to check it out and I STILL have no idea what floors I can park on, which exit to use, or how to get to the plaza if I want to take the stairs. I would have thought that with all the years of planning, including the months-long delays to open this, they would have thought about the “little details” that makes things go much more smoothly for already-lost and confused passengers. No one around to help this evening. I’m going with my husband next time and I feel absolutely stupid.

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