News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

41 Minutes in Heaven: The Silver Line Trip Downtown

Reston Metro.jpgWe're still not sure exactly when our new E-Ticket ride to the wonders of Tysons and D.C. will open next year, but we now know how long it will supposedly take to ride the Metro Silver Line downtown:

The four new stations in Tysons — Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons Corner and McLean — will be two minutes apart by train. The station at the end of the line’s first phase is in the middle of the Dulles Toll Road about eight minutes west of Tysons.

A trip from Wiehle-Reston East station to Metro Center in downtown Washington will take 41 minutes.... It will be a 70-minute trip from one end of the Silver Line to the other. This might provide an opportunity for a football fan living in the Reston area to take a one-seat transit ride to the Morgan Boulevard station just south of FedEx Field. A Prince George’s resident could take a 58-minute train ride to shop in Tysons, although an off-peak drive on the Capital Beltway would almost always be faster.
We're somewhat skeptical of the 41-minute estimate, given the sheer number of stops in Tysons and Metro's recent--wait for it--track record (get it?). But if it's true, the Silver Line could actually be the fastest way downtown during rush hour. That is, unless you arrive at the station just as a train chugs out, or if people at the four Tysons stations are constantly blocking the doors and stopping the trains from moving because they're too busy gawking, jaws agape, at the stunning Parisian streetscapes.

But we digress. Forty-one minutes isn't bad. But if you added just one minute more, you could theoretically travel through a hole in the earth to the other side of the planet. Unfortunately, the Wiehle Avenue parking garage only goes part of the way, and you'd never make it past the Sleestaks on the bottom level.

Officials believe 16,400 riders will take the Metro from the new Wiehle station during its first year of operation. The fares have not been officially set, but some estimates were kicked around this summer:
A ride to Metro Center using a SmarTrip card at rush hour could cost $5.75 from Wiehle-Reston East, $5.05 from Spring Hill, $4.90 from Greensboro, $4.70 from Tysons Corner and $4.50 from McLean.

By comparison, an Orange Line ride to Metro Center from Vienna costs $5.30, and from West Falls Church, $3.95.
Not cheap, but a round-trip by car to Tysons costs almost as much already, and those tolls are only expected to increase. We think we'll take our chances with the Sleestaks instead, the end.


  1. There was a massive change to the Silver line website you wrote about earlier. now has more info and is easier to understand.

  2. I still can't believe that the breezeways to the stations crossing over VA-267 or VA-7 actually live up to their name and are wide open to the frigid gusts we are about to have. With all the money collected and spent they could not enclose the damn things?

    1. If they couldn't build a tunnel under Tyson's or won't even consider running the train all the way into the airport, why would you think that they would enclose the breezeways?

      Cheap is as cheap does.

    2. Just so they could say, "Wiehle-Reston East blows me away!"

  3. Even worse with the "breezeways" is the danger to traffic below...loose debris, etc. I expect to read about that one day...


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