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Silver Line Ridership Off To A Strong Start, Especially In Reston

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Federal estimates put Silver Line ridership at 24,000 after one year. During today's rush hour alone, 6,546 people boarded Silver Line trains.
Martin Austermuhle/WAMU
Federal estimates put Silver Line ridership at 24,000 after one year. During today's rush hour alone, 6,546 people boarded Silver Line trains.

The Silver Line saw impressive ridership during its first morning rush hour as thousands of commuters arrived at the Wiehle-Reston East station in Virginia via car, bus and bicycle.

The new station in Reston, with its 2,300-space underground park-and-ride and dozens of bus bays, saw the most riders by far of the five new Silver Line stops in Northern Virginia. The other four are in Tysons Corner—and only one of those has parking. The temporary lot at the McLean station was mostly empty deep into the morning commute.

From 5 to 10 a.m., more than 9,700 commuters either boarded or exited a train at the five Silver Line stations. The most boardings were at Wiehle-Reston East, where 4,727 commuters took trains east during morning rush hour. More than 1,000 commuters exited there.

The Tysons Corner station, with its shopping malls and other nearby development, served as an immediate magnet for reverse peak commuters, a key to reaching Metro's goal of running full trains in both directions—into and out of D.C.—during rush hour. Nearly double the number of commuters used Tysons Corner as their destination rather than their departure point.

Greensboro has the least amount of nearby development, so its relatively small number of entrances/exits (517) was not surprising.

The federal estimate of total daily boardings at the five Silver Line stations one year after opening is about 24,000. During the first rush hour alone, 6,546 people boarded Silver Line trains.

Because Fairfax Connector buses that had been dropping off commuters at West Falls Church are now ending their trips at the Silver Line's Reston station, there was a concomitant drop in Orange Line ridership along the line's last three stations.

Orange Line ridership fell about 30 percent: 6,729 fewer people boarded trains at Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church today than the average weekday two weeks ago.

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