What is SafeTrack?
SafeTrack is an initiative of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which operates the MetroRail, MetroBus, and MetroAccess system in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The focus of SafeTrack is a work plan to address safety recommendations and rehabilitate the Metrorail system to improve safety and reliability. While WMATA is solely responsible for the SafeTrack plan, the City of Alexandria and other localities in the region are working together to provide resources to help plan for and mitigate SafeTrack impacts.
What are the major impacts of the SafeTrack plan?
SafeTrack accelerates three years' worth of track work into less than a year, mostly from June 2016 through March 2017. As a result, the plan significantly expands maintenance time on weeknights, weekends and midday hours. A key element of SafeTrack is that the entire MetroRail system will close at midnight, seven days a week.
The plan also includes "Safety Surges" - long duration track outages for major projects in key parts of the system. Some Safety Surges will involve single-tracking (times during which the frequency of trains will be reduced so that trains in both directions can share the same track) and some will involve the complete closure of one part of the system.
Which Safety Surges will most affect Alexandria?
The nature of the system is such that any of the Safety Surges has the potential to cause delays throughout the region. However, the following Safety Surges will particularly impact Alexandria travelers:
Continuous single tracking will significantly reduce Yellow and Blue line service.
Metrorail Surge #13 will directly impact Alexandria. With significant crowding and delays expected, Alexandria riders are advised to use alternatives to Metrorail during this Surge. There will be continuous single tracking on the Yellow Line between Braddock Road and Huntington stations, and on the Blue Line between Braddock Road and Van Dorn stations, and both lines will run with reduced frequency at various times.
For more information, visit wmata.com/SafeTrack
What is the City of Alexandria doing to help?
- City and DASH officials have been actively working on alternatives to help commuters avoid SafeTrack impacts, including special bus shuttles and parking options. As additional details are confirmed, they will be posted on this page.
- City departments are developing telework and alternate work schedule plans for their staff, to reduce the number of employees who need to commute and to offset commuting times.
- The City is encouraging private employers in our community to proactively address commuting issues with their employees, including providing telework and alternate work schedule options when possible.
What can you do?
1. Stay Informed
- View WMATA's full SafeTrack Plan and the overview schedule of the Safety Surges, plus the Washington Post's infographics.
- Check this page and WMATA's
SafeTrack Home Page frequently to see the latest planned service changes
- Sign up for
WMATA MetroAlerts and
Alexandria eNews to get email or text alerts
- Check local traffic updates during Safety Surges to stay abreast of regional impacts, using the news media and our Travel Tools
- Visit the SafeTrack information prepared by VisitAlexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County
- View SafeTrack information for federal employees provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
2. Make a Plan
- Determine alternatives for your commutes during Safety Surges, using the information for each surge above, and the information below:
- Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) serve Alexandria Union Station ( 110 Callahan Dr.), which is adjacent to the King Street-Old Town Metro Station but does not use MetroRail tracks.
- Bike to work using Alexandria's extensive bike routes and paths. For more information, see CommuterConnections.
- If you don't have a bike, check out Capital Bikeshare. There are 29 stations in Alexandria, with three more coming soon! During SafeTrack, Capital Bikeshare is offering single rides of up to 30 minutes for $2, in addition to the existing membership options.
- DASH Bus provides service through Alexandria and to the Pentagon, and connects to MetroRail, MetroBus, and other regional bus partners.
- Rideshare with other commuters to create a carpool or vanpool.
- Use Carshare services to reduce demand on parking.
- New carsharing and taxi areas will be added at the Braddock Road Metro Station.
- In order to accommodate additional bus capacity, the City will temporarily prohibit street parking around Metro stations affected by surges, and will restrict some street sections to buses only. Please be alert for new traffic signs and patterns.
- The Alexandria Police Department will provide additional traffic control at key intersections impacted by the surges.
- The City's Traffic Management Center will be fully staffed and ready to assist and adjust traffic signal timing based on traffic needs.
- Take matters into your own, um feet, but check out some tips first from CommuterConnections.
- Practice using other ways to get to work before they're needed.
- Help your employees stay informed and make a plan, and encourage their travel alternatives. The City's GO Alex program offers Employer Services to help.
3. Keep Calm and Carry On
- This is going to be a difficult time for everyone who needs to get around, which is pretty much everyone.
- Let's all do our best to be patient and help each other out -- we're all in this together.