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Poll: How’s the Silver Line Working for You?

by Karen Goff August 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm 1,152 36 Comments

Silver Line Opening Day/Credit: Jennifer Heffner, Vita Images

Metro’s Silver Line has been open for nearly three weeks now. Have you taken it for a ride?

Maybe you are a daily commuter with thoughts on how your day has changed, for better or worse. Perhaps you have taken a train ride downtown or to Tysons Corner to see how rail in Reston can change your life.

Maybe you are reading this right now at the light at Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills and lamenting for the “time before transit.”

Whatever the case, take our poll and add your thoughts in the comments.

  • Jon

    I ride with Daily commuters and we have nicknamed this line “The Silver Long”. It’s awful for commuters. Thankfully they still run the Crystal City/Pentagon Express bus. It only takes 25 mins.

    • J

      Speaking of the Pentagon/Crystal City bus, those who ride the 599 can’t find free parking at the Sunset Hills lot after 7 a.m.

      • Jon

        I’ve heard that. I take the 5:45 am bus and the free lot is already a third full.

  • Jon

    The major difference for me is that it will cost an additional $800-900 a year.

  • lightcommuter

    I commute just 15 minutes to Tysons but still thought leaving the car at home would be nice. That short trip by metro took 1 hr (with bus) and cost $8, compared to my free parking at the office. I haven’t used the silver line since. But it does seem to be lightening traffic – will see if that continues after school starts back up.

    • Freeway1

      How has traffic lessened? If anything it has increased! They would be better served spending billions redoing Tyson’s hideous traffic grid and infrastructure.

  • Amy

    the time savings doesn’t seem so great when i have to consider taking a second job, just to pay for commuting costs for my 9 – 5.

    i’d prefer the longer commute that had a more reasonable price tag attached to it. if only bus lines weren’t cut to other stations so that we still had that option.

  • It adds 30 min one-way to my husband’s commute to North-East DC. So an hour longer each day! Wish it could be quicker somehow

  • Agnes Nutter

    It’s definitely more convenient, but the cost is hard to swallow. I don’t know why I’m paying the same fare to ride the connector 2 miles that I paid to ride it 10 miles (including the toll road), so now I just walk or bike. It has also added about 15 minutes to my commute (to SW DC) one way, but I’ll take the extra commuting time for the additional freedom of not being tied to a bus schedule where the bus only comes every 30 minutes and only during rush hour(s).

  • HP

    Bottom line for me…it’s costs me more and takes me longer to get to Clarendon.

  • TheTysonsCorner

    Its odd, the comments hate it, but the poll shows otherwise. How did the silverline add 30 minutes each way to your husbands commute is my biggest question? Is this compared to his old car commute? To me it sounds like he should not be taking transit if it takes that much longer than his car.

    • Restontonih

      It just means that people who love it are not leaving comments….taking metro adds my commute time because I have to walk 15 from my home to metro and 15 min from the metro to my office. But I take it as mandated exercise. It does not save me money either, but it is good for the environment now that there is one less car in rush hour traffic.

    • LesAnn620

      People who are happy or satisfied with something are less likely to write a review or complaint. I use review sites like Yelp with a grain of salt. Of an establishment’s thousands of customers, 23 of them felt the need to complain on Yelp. Does that mean it’s horrible? Likely not. Just some folks ending up with a bad experience every once in a while.

  • Freeway1

    Who rides FROM the Silver Line? Meaning who lives close enough to walk there? Not many really and not for years yet. What a waste of tax payer money. Also, why is it above ground? Its the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Steve

    The only complaint I have is with the Metro and Fairfax Connector employees who are parking their official vehicles in the Kiss&Ride lot instead of the main garage. By taking five or more spaces a day away from people dropping off and picking up commuters, these employees are creating needless traffic congestion in the Kiss&Ride lot.

  • Bethany

    My friend said the ‘every 10 minutes’ busses to/from RTC are more like ‘maybe one an hour… just maybe’. She’s started biking instead.

  • Wiehle Ave driver

    I live near South Lakes High School and my 7-year-old goes to summer camp at Forest Edge Elem school in north Reston. Going up and down Wiehle Ave during evening drive time is TERRIBLE, and it is the lightest travel month of the year! I’m so glad we’ll be back to our local school once school starts and I won’t have to go near the Wiehle metro station!

  • jjski

    Pros: Previously drove to Vienna station from South Lakes, so I’ve shaved about 10 minutes off each way.
    Cons: Paying more to commute by bus/rail. 551 and RIBS2 are never on schedule in the afternoon.

  • reston commuter

    For me it has added time and money to my commute to downtown. I used to take the bus to west falls church then metro to foggy bottom. Now I pay the same bus fare to take me further west to get onto the reston station which extends the metro trip which adds time and money. Bummer, it probably helps people west of reston, but not for the residents who were already taking public transit.

    • laura

      I have the same problem.

  • silver line is very expensive

    The prices for parking and ticket for bus and train is not worth it for ordinary working class people like me . Why would someone pay $20 per day for gong to work when they make less than that per hour. Another govt. program that does not help the common man.God Bless America!

  • BenDover

    If the mafia had done this it would called criminal and considered price fixing or conspiracy. But when bunch of pantywaste bureaucrats get together and decides to screw us all over its labeled as change. One thing that is NOT is improvement. At least the mafia would have provided canopies for the buses/comuters like at west falls church.

  • Delsin Rowe

    I will continue to pay $7/day in tolls and $112 a month in parking to commute from North Reston in my fuel efficient car to Bailey’s Crossroads than to pay much more for a longer commute and hassle. I dread when they will eventually raise tolls again to subsidize public transportation commuters.
    I do not think it is helping the commute, especially with the increased traffic on Wiehle.
    I humored taking my family on it into DC, but roundtrip fares for three and parking with a longer travel time, it still makes more $ense to drive.

  • Antoine

    It has added at least 15 minutes to my commute to Clarendon. Nothing horrible, just a fact. I will still take that over driving any day. When I commute in from Loudoun, however, it is a nightmare. Not because of the metro so much, but rather the Loudoun transit buses that run to Wiehle don’t accept Smartrip, and it’s a solid hour and a half ride.

  • North Reston Commuter

    Mixed bag: it costs me 40% more and takes slightly longer to get from North Reston to McPherson, so in that sense it’s complicated my commute. While the increases for the toll road users got a lot of press, and it seems fair that the users of the SV pay their fair share for the project, no one anticipated such a sharp rise in commuting costs. I believe the extra time is due to the former express bus to WFC vs. the train’s four stops at Tysons and Mclean. On the other hand, it’s improved my life by offering more frequent rush hour Fairfax Connector trips plus all-day bus access to the Metro, and at least until completion of Phase 2, a seat on the train. The buses and trains have been pretty consistently on time during these first three weeks. I’m also concerned about the abandonment of the recently upgraded bus facility at WFC. Why did Metro spend that money wastefully? Overall, I’m happy that I can still complete a 20+ mile commute without using a car at all and looking forward to the region’s transformation.

  • DeeDee

    After 30 years in Reston not far from Wiehle I moved 50 miles awayI was eager to ride the Silver Line for occasional trips to downtown DC rather than driving to West or East Falls Church. I rode it the second weekend, scoped out its location vis a vis Tysons Corner Ctr, (wait some months for a bridge to be ready) and got back on and rode into downtown. IF I can find a parking space in the lot after 9 a.m. occasional weekdays it will be a help. Weekends should not be a problem. I was appalled at the condition of the cars, which I’d not really paid attention to before. A sunny Saturday afternoon maybe highlighted the dirty floors.

  • It’s About Time

    Leave it to Reston Now to attract all the complainers. I’ll be honest – commuting with the Silver Line adds a few minutes to my commute. Not much – maybe 10 minutes each way. But I’m thrilled. Now, instead of being stuck in traffic breathing someone else’s exhaust, I can actually get some reading done, or catch some shut-eye on my way to work. It feels like I’ve taken my time back. I arrive at work more relaxed, and on the way home I can wind down a bit instead of walking through the front door all stressed because some fool cut me off on the toll road, or because someone decided to come to a full stop in the E-ZPass lane.

    And as for bureaucrats and subsidies, what do you call our highways? Or all those nice bridges down in the southern counties of our state that get built with our tax dollars? At least here it’s our money paying for our infrastructure, and I for one am glad the Metro has finally arrived in Reston.

  • RestonResident

    Sometimes I feel that Reston is just filled with people who complain nonstop. I have been commuting via bus/metro to Arlington for a decade and the Silver Line is a phenomenal improvement. Sure it costs more money, but it is still a ton cheaper than driving to DC or Arlington. Last night I went to dinner after work and instead of needing to drive in because I would have been going home too late for buses, I was as able to just jump on the metro. It was so fast and so convenient. Everyone needs to recognise that traffic is just getting worse and worse. Something needed to be done. Finally we had a major public works project that came to fruition and can help address the population growth that is happening in our area. If you don’t like the new line, don’t take it. Sit in traffic all morning instead. Or better yet, move closer to where you work and make room for someone who may be appreciative all the hard work that was completed to make our lives better.

    • Tom

      Yes but, most people are comparing the Silver line with the previous transit service not driving. Can you imagine how much better an enhance bus transit system would be if they spent $5 billion on it like we are going to do with the train.

      Since we are building strawmen, the silver line is mega tons cheaper than taking a helicopter. See how that works.

      • laura

        It must be added that it’s only cheaper if you don’t drive a fuel efficient car, or are inclined to take the toll road. I spend much less in gas driving than I do in metro fares. If I biked to the metro I would brake even, but it still takes longer than driving. Worse than the old system.

        • laura

          Even taking into account wear on my car, metro costs a little bit more.

  • Bobby Love

    I was going to take it on day two to have brunch with a friend in Ballston and check it out. $8 or 9 one way? Not touching it.

  • TJoshi

    I agree with @reston commuter. Silver Line has increased my commute time at least by 15-20 minutes one way. I think it will be helpful if Fairfax Connector 950 and 980 can drop us off on the south side (this will save the time bus spends in taking 3 left turns).

  • CarFreeTodd

    It’s true the time it takes to get from Wiehle to downtown can be lengthy, but hopefully for a good portion of downtown commuters, this has removed at least one transfer (WFC) and means you can sit down (hopefully) and read or just close your eyes. I used to take advantage of the time to do a little work email, though I understand that’s not an option for all.

    I think one thing that will greatly contribute to the ease is if Fairfax Connector will hurry up and get real time bus tracking available. This will allow commuters to time leaving the house to catch a bus to the station instead of standing there and wondering if they’ve just missed it or if it’s late. Fairfax Connector told me earlier this year that they had sent out RFP’s to get real time tracking installed – but it’s a shame this wasn’t planned and completed in time for the Silver Line’s opening.

  • Happy trails

    Adds 15 minutes one way to my commute which I was not expecting. Train seems to start and stop more times in between stations for “schedule adjustments” and due to sharing track with orange line. Seems to be an odyssey to get to the city. I’m considering buying a horse and heading into DC that way– it may be quicker.

  • ryanscomment

    I live in Herndon and commute to Ballston, and the Silver Line cut my commute by 1/2 an hour. It’s seriously a fantastic resource.

    The biggest con, coming home, people (non-commuters or tourists) don’t know how to operate the line gates and very few riders seem to know how to stand right so that others can pass on the escalators or stairs. Annoying. Buy a smartrip metrocard people!


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