59°Rain

by Dave Emke — April 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Runners Marathon of Reston is Sunday — Some volunteers are still needed for the Runners Marathon of Reston, which will be held Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in South Reston. There are still a few slots available for runners as well. Drivers are reminded to be on the lookout for runners on roads including South Lakes Drive, Soapstone Drive, Lawyers Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. [Reston Now]

Brew House, Kiln & Co. Collaborating for Event — Kiln & Co. will officially open its pottery and custard shop at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday during Founder’s Day. Tonight, however, it will be part of a special event at Lake Anne Brew House. Special beer and custard combinations will be served. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]

Nats’ Opening Week Celebration at Reston Town Center — Fans are invited to get a picture with one of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents today from 3-6 p.m., and special Happy Hour deals will be available at American Tap Room when the game starts at 3. [Reston Town Center/Facebook]

Open House Set for Preschool — Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center (11400 Commerce Park Drive) will host an open house event April 17-20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Parents are invited to learn about what the school has to offer their children. [Bright Horizons]

Proposed Changes to South Lakes Fairfax Connector Schedule — The public is invited to give its feedback on a series of proposed changes to the Fairfax Connector schedule and routes in the county. One of the proposals is listed as “minor schedule adjustments to address crowding issues associated with ridership to and from South Lakes High School” on Route 551. [Fairfax County]

by Dave Emke — March 13, 2017 at 10:15 am 7 Comments

Snow plows/VDOT

After a snowless winter, it looks like Reston will finally be hit.

Forecasters are predicting several inches of snow for the area, with an outside chance of a foot or more, beginning tonight and continuing into Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has placed an area including Reston under a winter storm warning that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday and last through 2 p.m. Tuesday. According to the alert, their official predictions include the following:

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…Snow…possibly mixed with sleet at times
Monday night.

* ACCUMULATIONS…Snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches.

* TIMING…Snow will overspread the area Monday evening and
persist through Tuesday morning.

* IMPACTS…The heavy snow will create difficult travel
conditions and may produce scattered power outages.

* WINDS…Northeast 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* TEMPERATURES…In the lower 30s.

In preparation for the storm, the Virginia Department of Transportation began pre-treating roads Sunday. The department is encouraging drivers to adjust their schedules to be off roads before the evening rush hour Monday and overnight.

“This will help avoid being stuck on the roads when the storm begins, and to allow crews room to work more safely and efficiently,” VDOT said in a release.

In addition, VDOT asks that vehicles be parked in driveways, or that communities coordinate to all park on the same side of the road, to allow a larger path when plows begin to focus on neighborhood streets.

Such a significant snowfall would also have an impact on public transportation.

Metro will suspend its MetroAccess paratransit services at 4 p.m. today, and they will remain out of service through Tuesday. In addition, Metrobus service changes are possible and will be announced based on weather conditions and forecast.

Fairfax Connector is reminding users that service may be reduced, modified or suspended, on a route-by-route basis or systemwide. Riders are encouraged to monitor schedules online or call customer service (703-339-7200) for updates.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation on Twitter (@VaDOTNOVA)

by Dave Emke — February 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

Member Assessment is Due March 1 — In case you’ve forgotten, there is only a week and a half left to pay member assessments. Reston Association’s Member Services office will be open additional hours (Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m.-noon; and Wednesday, March 1, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) if you need to take advantage of them. Fees can also be paid online. [Reston Association]

South Lakes High Track & Field Stars Advance to States — Olivia Beckner, Sean Casey, Ronak Cuthill, Mary Gregory, Sophie Halkett, Devyn Jones, Alex Loukili, Timiebi Ogobri, Aly Rayle, Peter Sepulveda, Jack Watkins and Dont’a Whitley will all represent the Seahawks at the state Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend in Hampton. [Reston Patch]

Metro Call Center Hours Reduced Starting Next Month — Citing a five-year decline in call volume, Metro’s Customer Information Call Center will cut its hours of availability beginning March 1. Metro says fewer customers are using the call center as they rely more on sources of information including mobile apps and social media. [WMATA]

Washington’s Day Holiday Will Alter Public Transportation — Both Metro and Fairfax Connector schedules will be different Monday because of the federal holiday. [WMATA/Fairfax Connector]

by Karen Goff — April 4, 2016 at 10:00 am 3 Comments

Bus relocatiion 1

Due to station improvement work at the Reston Town Center Transit Station, bus stops will be temporarily relocated to Bluemont Way.

During Phase 1 (Monday, April 4 – Wednesday, April 27), Route 605, 950, RIBS 1, and RIBS 4 will be relocated.

During Phase 2 (Thursday, April 28 – Friday, May 20), Route 505, RIBS 2, RIBS 3, and RIBS 5 will be relocated.

The Connector Store will remain open during construction.

 

Visit Fairfax County Connector online to see more information about the Reston Transit Center and bus routes.

by Karen Goff — September 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments

South Lakes High School is one of five Fairfax County Public High Schools that is taking part in a pilot program that allows students to ride Fairfax Connector buses for free as an option for getting to and from school and from school to afterschool jobs.

Students can get a special pass from the school system if their parent or guardian signs an agreement/permission form.

The ID cards will allow students to ride the Fairfax Connector (not Metro) buses for free from 6 a.m . to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The buses can accommodate bicycles.

by Karen Goff — January 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

Fairfax Connector Fairfax Connector is proposing changes to Reston Internal Bus System (RIBS) service, routes 928 and 937 in Herndon, and Tysons circulator and Express Lanes routes.

The changes are in response to changing travel patterns and ridership since the start of Silver Line Metrorail service last summer, county officials said.

The proposed changes, to take place in Spring 2015, “aim to improve on-time performance, enhance connectivity, and provide more direct service for the majority of passengers.”

Fairfax Connector will host a public meeting Wednesday, Jan. 28 in Reston to explain the proposed changes and gather feedback from the public. The meeting is at Reston Community Center Lake Anne from 6 to 8 p.m., with the formal presentation at 7 p.m.

Highlights of the proposed changes include:

  • Schedule adjustments to RIBS 1 and RIBS 3 service to improve on-time performance;
  • Route and schedule adjustments to RIBS 2, RIBS 4, RIBS 5, and routes 928 and 937 to provide new and more direct connections in Herndon and Reston;
  • Route and schedule adjustments to Tysons Circulator routes 422, 423, and 424 to provide more direct connections and bi-directional service to the majority of passengers connecting with the Silver Line Metrorail; and
  • Combining routes 493 and 494, with service proposed to operate between Lorton, Saratoga, Springfield, and Tysons via the 95 and 495 Express Lanes.

Routes affected by the proposed changes are 422, 423, 424, 493, 494, 495, 551, 928, 937, RIBS 1, RIBS 2, RIBS 3, RIBS 4, and RIBS 5.

View details by route on the Connector website.

by Karen Goff — December 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm 1,012 4 Comments

Fairfax Connector The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved changes to 31 Fairfax Connector routes, many of them that serve Reston-area riders who are now using the buses to get to and from Metro’s Wiehle-Reston East station.

“Fairfax County overhauled its Connector service last year in anticipation of the Silver Line and in response to changing needs of our commuters,” said Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova.

“Demand for on time, reliable bus service is rising in Fairfax County. This shift will help meet that demand and we will continue to monitor service and reach out to our residents in order to provide them a safe and reliable trip to Metro, work and home.”

Since the launch of Metro’s Silver Line service in July, Fairfax Connector has been monitoring traffic conditions, schedule adherence, and ridership on routes serving the Dulles Corridor, said Bulova.

The county says that over the past two months, ridership has increased approximately 2 percent on weekdays and 7  percent on weekends. One of the strongest areas of growth are routes connecting Wiehle-Reston East with Reston Town Center, as well as with Dulles International Airport, and the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.

Here are changes that affect Reston-area riders:

Route 505 – Reston Town Center

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • Departures on routes 505, 981, and 983 will be timed to provide an even spacing of buses between Reston Town Center and the Wiehle Metro station.

 Routes 551,557,559 – Reston South

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • An additional morning rush hour trip will be added on Route 557 departing Reston South Park and Ride at approximately 5:40 a.m.

 Routes 552,554,558 – Reston North

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • An additional morning rush hour trip will be added on Routes 552 and 554.
  • The schedule will be revised to improve connections with Route 599.

Route 574 – Reston-Tysons

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • Buses will serve the Tysons Westpark transit station via Spring Hill Road providing connections to Route 401/402, making a trip between Springfield, Tysons, Merrifield, Annandale, and Reston possible by bus.

 Route 585 – Franklin Farm-Reston South

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.

Route 605 – Fair Oaks-Reston

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • The time between buses will change from every 60 minutes to every 45 minutes on weekdays and from every 60 minutes to every 70 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Buses will travel to and from Fair Oaks Mall via West Ox Road, Post Forest Drive, Government Center Parkway, the Fairfax County Government Center, and Monument Drive.
  • Buses will serve Fair Lakes Promenade and Pender Creek via bus stops on Monument Drive at Fair Lakes Parkway.

 Route 950 – Herndon-Reston

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions and to improve Silver Line connections.
  • Departures on routes 950 and 980 will be timed to provide an even spacing of buses between Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride and the Wiehle Metro station.
  • An additional evening trip will be added in both directions to improve connectivity between Herndon and Reston.

 Routes 951,952 – Sunrise Valley Drive-Sunset Hills Road

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • Route 951 buses will serve the US Geological Survey campus on all morning rush hour, midday, and afternoon rush hour trips via Sunrise Valley Drive.

To see exact schedule changes, visit the Fairfax Connector website.

Photo: Fairfax Connector bus/file photo

by Karen Goff — September 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Bus bay at Wiehle-Reston EastThe Fairfax County Department of Transportation is working on a new Comprehensive Transit Plan (CTP), a 10-year aspirational plan for Fairfax Connector and Metrobus service within the County. The CTP builds on the County’s 2009 Transit Development Plan (TDP) and will extend its 10-year plan’s horizon year from 2020 to 2025.

The county hopes to have the next draft organized in 2015, but is reaching out to the community now to get input on bus service.

From the county:

This plan will be supported by information collected through an extensive outreach effort, Connections 2015. We want you to help us develop the next 10-year plan through participation in Connections 2015. Your ideas and suggestions will help us develop bus service recommendations and an implementation plan.

We will be collecting feedback from County residents, workers, and visitors from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14. We will use your input to help us develop draft recommendations that will be released to the public for comment in the spring of 2015. Your input is an important element in crafting the recommendations for improving bus service so that the plan can better reflect your needs.

Take the Connections 2015 Survey

There will also be a community workshop in Reston on Monday, Sept. 22. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Southgate Community Center, 2125 Pinecrest Rd.

For more info on the Connections 2015 project:

by Karen Goff — August 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm 2 Comments

Bus bay at Wiehle-Reston EastFairfax Connector says a few changes will go into effect beginning Monday in order to better serve bus passengers heading to the Weihle-Reston East Silver Line station.

From Fairfax Connector:

Routes 553 and 557

• Morning northbound buses will drop-off passengers on the NORTH side of Wiehle-Reston East Station. Afternoon southbound buses will continue to board passengers at Bus Bay Q on the SOUTH side of the station (no change to the afternoon boarding location).

Routes 951

• Buses will serve U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) campus via Sunrise Valley Drive both eastbound and westbound due to the conclusion of construction on the USGS entrance road.
• Buses will serve stops along Sunrise Valley Drive between Reston Parkway and USGS on all trips.

Route 980

• Morning eastbound buses will drop-off passengers on the SOUTH side of Wiehle-Reston East Station.
• Afternoon westbound buses will continue to board passengers at Bus Bay G on the NORTH side of the station (no change to the afternoon boarding location).
• The 5 a.m. departure from Herndon-Monroe will drop passengers at Wiehle north side due to a connection with Route 952 service. This bus continues westbound as Route 952 after arriving at Wiehle.

by Karen Goff — July 24, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,378 1 Comment

Wiehle-Reston East Station/Credit: JDAntos via Twitter

Reston Now put out the call for your Silver Line questions on Monday. We have some answers for you. We regret we could not answer every question, but here are some basics to get you ready for Saturday’s Wiehle-Reston East Station opening.

How long until the first escalator is out of service?

Haha. Don’t know.

Will RIBS4 run directly to the Metro?

Yes, RIBS 4 will go to the station Mondays through Fridays. See additional Silver Line bus info on the Fairfax Connector website.

How will parking be on weekends?

Parking will be free on weekends and lots of spaces will likely be available.

How much is a round trip to the Smithsonian and Wheaton stops?

From Wiehle-Reston East to Smithsonian, it would be $11.80 peak/$7.20 non peak. To Wheaton, it will be the same fare. Calculate all fares on Silver Line Metro’s fare calculator.

Why the Sunday evening cutbacks on the 505? Currently you can catch a 505 to RTC as late as 11 pm. In the new schedule, your last bus will be at 9ish. Am I missing another option to get from Wiehle to RTC on a Sunday late night. 

That’s a good question for Fairfax Connector, which will be holding an online chat Friday from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Will both pedestrian overpasses be open Saturday?

Yes, you will be able to access the station from the South and North sides of the Dulles Toll Road.

Where is the entrance to the parking structure?

There are two entrances, both off of Reston Station Boulevard. The first left (if coming from Wiehle Avenue) into the structure is the premium parking, which will eventually become parking just for Reston Station tenants. Go a few feet farther on Reston Station Boulevard and turn into the main garage entrance.

Will there be Zipcars?

At this time, no. Though at some point in the future there may be.

Is parking at the Wiehle Avenue station free on weekends just like other Metro stations?

Yes.

What will be the cheapest (non-work commuter) return fare to central Washington, and from what time would that be available?

It would cost $3.60 one-way to get to or from most D.C. stations during non-peak hours, which are weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m.; weekends until midnight.

Photo of Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station by JDAntos via Twitter

by Karen Goff — July 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm 0

Fairfax ConnectorMetro and the Fairfax Connector will run special shuttle buses on July 26 to ensure first-day Silver Line riders get where they need to go.

After an opening ceremony at Wiehle-Reston East, the first Silver Line train will leave that station at noon. From the county:

WIEHLE — WEST FALLS CHURCH: Shuttle buses will operate non-stop between the West Falls Church and Wiehle stations.  The first shuttle buses will depart Wiehle for West Falls Church at 7:20 and 7:40 a.m. to meet the first Route 505 and Route 950 bus arrivals at Wiehle.  The first shuttle bus will depart West Falls Church for Wiehle at 7:45 a.m. to transport passengers from the Orange Line to Reston and Herndon buses.  Wiehle – West Falls Church shuttle buses will operate every 30 minutes from the start of service until approximately 10:45 a.m. and then operate every 10 to 20 minutes until 12:30 p.m.

TYSONS AREA — WEST FALLS CHURCH: Shuttle buses will operate between West Falls Church and the McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill stations, stopping at each location.  The first shuttle bus will depart Spring Hill Station for West Falls Church at 6:35 a.m. to meet the first Route 574 bus arrival at Spring Hill.  The first shuttle bus will depart West Falls Church to McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill stations at 7 a.m. to transport passengers from the Orange Line to the Tysons area.  Buses will operate approximately every 20 minutes until 12:30 p.m.

The special shuttle buses will operate on Saturday, July 26 only.

More Silver Line opening news:

Silver Line, Connector Buses Will Link Air and Space Museums

Metro Has Silver Line Opening Day Plans

Bus Lines Are Changing For Silver Line Service

by Karen Goff — July 9, 2014 at 9:30 am 0

Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport/Credit: Smithsonian

Visitors to the Smithsonian’s Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport now have a public transportation option: taking the Metro.

After the Silver Line opens on July 26, Fairfax County Connector Route 983 will run every 20 minutes from the Wiehle-Reston East Station to the Udvar-Hazy Center.

That means Air and Space enthusiasts will be linked to both museums by public transportation. The Silver Line stop closest to the museum’s Washington location is L’Enfant Plaza, two blocks from its Independence Avenue entrance.

“Bridging the 28-mile distance between our two buildings will help us serve more people,” J.R. “Jack” Dailey, director of the museum, said in a release. “Those who depend on public transportation, including many tourists, will now be able to experience the full breadth and scope of our collection, spanning more than a century of flight. We are grateful to Fairfax County for helping to make this service possible.”

This is also good news for local residents. While admission to the Smithsonian’s museums is free, parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center is $15. Taking the bus from Wiehle-Reston East will save money.

Route 983 will also stop at the Reston Town Center Transit Station, Herndon-Monroe and Dulles International Airport. See more details on the Fairfax Connector website.

by Karen Goff — July 7, 2014 at 9:30 am 0

Fairfax ConnectorThe first day of Silver Line service on July 26 will be the last day for the Sunset Hills Interim Park and Ride Lot, Metro officials said.

The lot at 12050 Sunset Hills Road has been a parking lot for commuters who took the Fairfax Connector Bus to the West Falls Church Metro.

Commuter parking will now be replaced by the 3,300-space parking garage adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue.

Fairfax Connector’s Route 505 will continue to operate, taking passengers from Reston Town Center to Wiehle-Reston East.

Many other bus routes will take people from Reston stops to Wiehle-Reston East. To see the full route schedule, visit Fairfax Connector’s Reston page.

Riders can also learn more in an online chat Fairfax Connector is hosting on Wednesday, July 9. For more information, visit Ask Fairfax!

Other Silver Line news to know:

Fairfax County will hold a ribbon cutting and open house for the Wiehle-Reston East garage at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19. The ribbon cutting will take place in the Kiss-and-Ride lot.

The Silver Line grand opening will take place Saturday, July 26 at 10 a.m. The first trains will leave the station at noon. Parking in the garage will be free, as it will all weekends.

Metro is running a sweepstakes to pick some of the first riders. There are also commemorative SmarTrip cards available for $10 (with $8 of fares loaded).

by Karen Goff — June 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm 1,235 4 Comments

Fairfax ConnectorNow that the Silver Line is in the final stretch towards opening, Metro and Fairfax Connector want to familiarize residents with bus routes that will serve the stations.

The opening of Phase 1 Metro’s $2.9 billion rail extension that will run from East Falls Church to Reston’ Wiehle Avenue is more than six months behind schedule.

However, Metro officials said on Monday that fewer of 10 punch list items need to be completed. If that gets done promptly they will set an opening date early next week. That means the first Silver Line riders may be boarding as soon as July.

Wiehle-Reston East will be the end of the line until at least 2018, when Phase 2 is slated to be completed. In Phase 2, the rail will go to Reston Parkway, Herndon, Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County.

Until that happens, Wiehle will be a busy hub. It is the only Phase 1 station with parking. More than 3,000 spaces are in the parking garage at the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue. Parking will cost $4.75 a day. There is also parking for more than 200 bicycles.

Despite the parking, Metro and Fairfax County transportation officials are encouraging Metro users to take a bus to the station.

Things to know:

The Silver Line will be serviced by several bus providers. Metro bus will provide service to and from the McLean and Tysons Corner stations; Fairfax Connector will take riders to all five stations; Potomac and Rappahannocok Transportation Commission will provide service to the Tysons Corner station;  and Loudoun County Transit will provide service to Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East stations.

Fairfax Connector has added new routes, made changes to existing routes and eliminated some routes in preparation for the Silver Line’s opening. To see if your route is affected and to see which bus route is most convenient for you, visit www.silverlinemetro.com.

Buses will also play a critical role in connecting riders to Dulles, said Jack Requa, Metro’s assistant general manager of bus services. Options to Dulles include the 5A bus from L’Enfant Plaza in D.C. (with stops at Roslyn and Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride);  Fairfax Connector buses 981 and 983 will depart Wiehle-Reston East with stops at Herndon Park and Ride and the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Museum; and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority will run the Washington Flyer Silver Line Express from Weihle-Reston East to Dulles.

Fairfax Connector routes 505, 981 and 983 will also go from Wiehle-Reston East to Reston Town Center. Buses that formerly carried passengers from Reston stops to Blue and Orange line stations will now go to Wiehle-Reston East. Visit Fairfax Connector’s website to see all area routes.

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