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LARGO, MD – Prince George’s County urges all commuters on the Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines to utilize transit alternatives during WMATA’s SafeTrack Surge #2 period from June 18, 2016 – July 3, 2016. Surge #2 will close Orange, Blue and Silver Line stations in the District of Columbia between Benning Road, Minnesota Avenue and Eastern Market. Passengers on these trains will have to depart Metrorail and catch a Metrobus “bus bridge” to and through the closed stations before getting back on the train at Eastern Market Station when traveling inbound from the County or at Benning Road (Orange Line) or Minnesota Avenue (Blue/Silver) when travelling outbound. Passengers can expect delays of 1-2 hours from their normal commute time.
WMATA is calling for a 60-70% reduction in riders on these lines over the Surge #2 period from June 18th-July 3rd, especially during peak rush hour times. The Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) implores commuters to telework or use an alternate work schedule that will not require them to use Metrorail. If residents must travel in and around the impacted corridors during this period, they should do so by carpooling, vanpooling, or biking.
“This is an unprecedented shutdown of our Metrorail system and we need to make sure all Prince George’s County commuters understand the full scope and gravity Surge #2 will have on their commute,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “We need all commuters who use the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines to begin immediately considering alternative travel times, plans and routes. The Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation has created a plan, coordinated with regional and state partners, and is utilizing all means necessary to communicate to commuters, businesses, and communities impacted. I urge all residents to utilize both WMATA and County resources and to call 3-1-1 if they need any additional assistance or have questions.”
The Prince George’s County SafeTrack Plan: County is Providing the Following to Commuters:• County will increase capacity on the15x Bus route that travels between Greenbelt and New Carrollton (Express will reduce wait time between stations from 40 mins to 20 mins) This will also encourage commuters who normally park at New Carrollton or Greenbelt to continue, but still be able to get in the city on the Green line.• County is waving the bus fare for the 15x Express Buses (normally $1.25)• County will have additional buses on standby to assist WMATA if needed.County is Coordinating the Following with Partners: • MTA will provide additional train capacity along the Camden line• SHA will provide messaging on electronic displays leading into the Greenbelt and New Carrollton stations• SHA will secure additional enforcement of HOV restrictions on Route 50 so that people who choose to rideshare can commute quicker• County and State will monitor and adjust signal light time in order to move traffic faster on primary roadsCounty is Communicating in the Following Ways to Community and Commuters Impacted:• Utilizing the County’s text alert system to remind commuters about the Surge • Created a hashtag #PGCSafetrack so people can locate updates and information on activity related to the surge as well as communicate to the County through their social media under that hashtag • County Website has been updated with information to assist residents• Street teams will be out at key Metro sites in the County passing out information and talking with commuters about the Surge• Prince George’s County will supplement with roadside signs reminding residents about the Surge and how to get information• We will be working with our business community (particularly those near metro stations) to take measures that will ease the commute for their employees who are coming into the County.Links to WMATA, the Prince George’s County SafeTrack Action Plan, and all regional partner SafeTrack efforts can be accessed directly from the County Website, www.princegeorgescountymd.gov. Riders can also view alternative transportation options at http://wmata.com/rider_tools/tripplanner/tripplanner_form_solo.cfm or https://tdm.commuterconnections.org/mwcog/ or http://www.ridesmartsolutions.com/