Opinion

Poll: What’s your planned Metro replacement during the shutdown?

Alexandria Metro riders will be cut off from the rest of the system starting next Saturday (Sept. 10), the start of a series of Metro closures planned through early next year.

The worst of it for Alexandrians will be the stretch from Sept. 10 through Oct. 22 as WMATA works to bring the new Potomac Yard Metro station in line with the rest of the system. After that, the Yellow Line Tunnel connecting the Pentagon station to L’Enfant Plaza will be closed for repairs until spring 2023.

While city staff have said Metro ridership is still only around 30% of what it was pre-pandemic, those who do make use of the Metro will have to find other ways of getting around.

The most obvious replacement is the bus. WMATA has said that multiple shuttle buses will be running along the Yellow and Blue Line routes through Alexandria, with additional shuttles connecting into D.C.

The next closest replacement is the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), a train system that stops at King Street adjacent to the Metro station and continues up to Union Station in D.C. The VRE will be offering free rides all along the route in September and free passage between the Alexandria and D.C. locations in October.

But the city has also been looking at other alternatives to boost to help get commuters to and from Alexandria.

Capital Bikeshare will be offering free rides to anyone going to or from Alexandria, or riding inside of Alexandria, with use of a special code at checkout.

City staff also said in a recent meeting that they are working with the Potomac Water Taxi to get earlier service in Alexandria, shifting the boat’s role from tourism to a commuter focus.