Monday, July 28, 2014

Mount Pleasant to Tysons Now a 2-Seat Trip

The real Silver Line payoff for most of us in DC will be the rail link to Dulles Airport. As part of Phase 2, it won't be operational until 2018-2019. But, with the opening of Phase 1 of the Metrorail project last Saturday, we did get a major upgrade regarding transit access to Northern Virginia. 

So, how long does it actually take? Since it was Saturday I took a bus to the closest Silver Line station, McPherson Sq vs walking to Columbia Heights Station and transferring at L'Enfant Plaza.

12:09 PM - Board S4 bus towards downtown DC at the corner of 16th and Irving NW.

12:26 PM - Hop off of bus, walk to McPherson Square Metrorail station.

12:38 PM - Board Silver Line train to Wiehle-Reston East

1:15 PM - Train arrives at Wiehle-Reston East Station

Total trip time from Mount Pleasant to Wiehle-Reston East = 1 hour 6 minutes
Total cost = $4.85 using SmarTrip 

At this point I disembarked, roamed around the station, talked up some Metro employees, pondered the new Metrorail map, wondered why there wasn't a stop at Wolf Trap, took more photos, ET CETERA; transit junkie stuff. I took the next train three stops to the Tysons Corner Station where I joined almost everyone else getting off in walking to Tysons Corner Center. I had lunch there and picked up a much needed new pair of shoes. But, I digress. Headed back towards the city...

2:57 PM - Board Largo bound Silver Line train at Tysons Corner station.

3:24 PM - Disembark train at McPherson Square station and transfer to S4 bus.

3:47 PM - S4 bus arrives at 16th and Irving NW.

Total trip time from Tysons Corner station to Mount Pleasant = 50 minutes
Total cost = $4.85 using SmarTrip

Not sure how often I'll be taking a trip of this nature. However, there are now two new options for getting to Dulles Airport. This could entice me to fly out of IAD more often:

1) Washington Flyer Bus: Departs from Wiehle Station every 15-20 minutes during the weekday. It costs $5 and will get you to the airport in about 10 minutes.

2) 981/983 Fairfax Connector Bus: Departs from Wiehle Station every 20 minutes during the weekday (PDF). This bus makes intermediate stops with a travel time of 30 minutes to the airport. It costs $1.75.
Waiting for Silver Line train at McPherson Sq station.
End of the line: Wiehle-Reston East station.
Shiny new fair gates at Wiehle station.
Pedestrian walkway over Route 7 towards Tysons Corner Center mall.
The awkward pedestrian path to the mall. This experience will be improved soon.
New hotel and office towers next to Silver Line station.