What Will Happen to the Buses with the Silver Line?

March 18th, 2013

Some bus routes will change when the Silver Line arrives late this year.

Some bus routes will change when the Silver Line arrives late this year.

When the Silver Line opens, many bus lines will be reorganized – to serve the five new Metrorail stations, change routes that will become redundant, and to ensure an integrated approach to the overall bus and rail network.

The Metro Board of Directors approved the Metrobus service changes in December (details). Exact schedules are not yet  finalized but will become available as we get closer to the Silver Line opening at the end of the year.

60 bus routes serve the areas affected by the Silver Line, 13 of which are Metrobus routes. Metro has been working closely with Fairfax Connector, Loudoun County, and other operators to be sure all the changes work together and make sense. Generally, here’s what to expect:

  • All 5 new Silver Line stations will have bus service
  • Many Metrobus routes will be re-routed to serve the Tysons Corner area. Affected routes include the 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2G, 2T, 3A-E, 3T, 15K, 15L, 15M, 23A, 23C, 24T, 28A, 28T, and 28X.  (See the more detailed Metrobus proposal).
  • A circulator bus system will serve the Tysons area, including the new Silver Line stations in Tysons
  • Many Fairfax Connector buses connecting Reston and Herndon to West Falls Church station will now serve the Wiehle Avenue Silver Line station
  • 7 Loudoun County buses will move from West Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue station
  • 3 Prince William County buses will move to Tysons Corner station
  • Going to Dulles Airport? Metrobus 5A will remain unchanged, and the express Washington Flyer buses will move from West Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue station.

When does all this happen? All bus changes will need to take effect by the first day of Silver Line operations!

For more information on Fairfax County bus changes in particular, visit their extensive website on the Silver Line changes.

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  1. Joe
    March 19th, 2013 at 09:33 | #1

    I take Loudoun’s bus service to WFC and don’t support these changes. Instead of direct access like they have at West Falls Church, busses will need to exit the toll road and make a series of left hand turns to get into the Wiehle Ave bus stops. Wiele Ave is already a complete cluster during rush hour which will be amplified once the Metro stop opens.

  2. Michael
    March 19th, 2013 at 09:41 | #2

    There is also this website I with the station informaiton http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/dullesmetro/transitplanning.htm. I spoke with a guy at Fairfax a few weeks ago. Good coverage on this.

  3. Matt Dickens
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:03 | #3

    PLEASE coordinate the schedules for the 5A WMATA bus and the Fairfax Connector 981 service so that we can have staggered departure times. Having the buses come at the same time or 5 minutes apart will be useless.

  4. Justin
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:16 | #4

    @Joe Thanks for the comment, Joe – we will pass it along to the Fairfax Connector folks.

  5. Rob
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:20 | #5

    So the 5A is going to blow by the Wiehle Avenue stop and instead pull off the highway two miles later at Herndon-Monroe? Is that some kind of joke?

    I had really hoped that by the end of this year, I could simply take Metro to Wiehle without worrying too much about bus times; between the Washington Flyer, the 981 and the 5A, I would have decent odds of getting to IAD quickly from there. Apparently not.

  6. Trey
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:49 | #6

    Rob, too bad you decided to be snide and rude instead of politely making a proposal because you make a good point. Nevertheless, I hope WMATA either changes the stop to Wiehle or informs us why staying at Herndon-Monroe is the better option.

  7. Rob
    March 19th, 2013 at 11:05 | #7

    @Trey Sorry, I’m a little… confused by the idea that we wouldn’t change a major bus route, at all, to work better with $2.7 billion in new rail infrastructure that parallels much of its path.

  8. G.Friday
    March 19th, 2013 at 12:27 | #8

    Darn! I use the Loudoun bus to get to Ashburn from WFC with my bike on the front rack. Now, with the mode change, I won’t be able to do that.

  9. Reuben
    March 20th, 2013 at 10:02 | #9

    Can I get more detailed information about the proposed changes to the WMATA 3A-E bus routes? Thank you

  10. Justin
    March 20th, 2013 at 16:18 | #10

    @Reuben Hi Reuben – we published some more details on the 3A-E changes as part of the docket here. Does this help?

  11. Reuben
    March 20th, 2013 at 19:52 | #11


    Yes, thank you. Glad to see it won’t affect me.

  12. Madeline
    May 3rd, 2013 at 12:09 | #12

    The link to the page detailing the Tysons Corner circulator route is broken. Is there an updated link? Thank you.

  13. Quail
    October 29th, 2013 at 16:15 | #13

    I use the Loudoun County commuter bus to get to the WFC Metro and feel that Reston already has major bottlenecks and traffic challenges. With so many buses being redirected to the Wiehle Ave Metro station, the traffic situation will get worse. Also, Reston does not have the logistics to support the spill of people from the buses and the trains.

    It would be better to continue with the buses from Loudoun to WFC until the metro stations at Loudoun are ready. The traffic will be eased. Also, currently we pay only $2 one way to WFC from anywhere in Loudoun. I’m not sure what the charges will be from Loudoun to Wiehle Ave Metro station. Also, the Loudoun County runs commuter buses to Tyson’s Corner. I’m not sure if there will be any changes to those bus schedules.

    Currently it costs me $2 to get to WFC Metro and another $4.50 to Jud Sq Metro in DC. If I were to beard the Metro at Wiehle Ave; it will cost me $5.75 to Metro Center and another $2.10 to Jud Sq.Even if the Bus fare to Wiehle Ave is $1; the total cost to get to DC is almost $9 one way as opposed to $6.50 cents that I pay today. I’m not sure if the time saved will be commensurate with the money spent commuting ie. almost $5 per day.

    I would make a sincere appeal to continue the runs to WFC Metro from Loudoun. In my opinion, it will benefit everybody to keep the buses operating as is from Loudoun.

  14. Justin
    October 30th, 2013 at 16:43 | #14

    @Quail Although our bus planners have been working closely with Loudoun about how bus service will change, the decision about where Loudoun County buses will stop is a decision made by Loudoun County, not WMATA. If you’d like, I can refer you to a bus planner there?

    I’m confused by your question about fare for the rail portion of your trip, but the current peak rail fare from West Falls Church to Judiciary Square is $4.15, and the proposed peak fare from Wiehle Avenue to Judiciary Square will be $5.75. If you transfer from bus, it’s 50 cents less. Does this help?

  15. Quail
    November 10th, 2013 at 00:05 | #15

    Thank you for the response, Justin. I certainly would be happy to get in touch with a Loudoun County Bus planner.
    The proposed peak fare for the rail portion of my trip would be $5.75 from Wiehle Avenue to Metro Center as per the website. Since I will be traveling to Judiciary Square, it will be another $2.10 cents at least. Will the 50 cents credit apply for transfers from Loudoun County buses as well?

    Today I pay $4.15 to travel from WFC to Judiciary Square. Although I transferred from the Loudoun County bus or the VRT shuttle every day, I never got the 50 cents credit.

    The entire one way trip to Judiciary Sq from Leesburg costs me $6.15 today. With the changes in the schedules, I will be paying close to $9 one way, assuming that the rail fare will be $5.75 + $2.10 and the bus fare another $1.00.

    I’m not sure if the time saved will be commensurate with the additional money spent commuting ie. almost $5 per day. Honestly , I think it will take longer than the 80 minute commute I have today.

  16. Justin
    November 13th, 2013 at 11:10 | #16

    @Quail The proposed peak fare from Wiehle Avenue to Judiciary Square will be $5.75 – there will be no additional fare to continue from Metro Center to Judiciary Square, since $5.75 is the maximum rail fare. So from Leesburg to Judiciary Sq. will cost you: your Loudoun County bus fare, plus $5.75 from Weihle to Judiciary Square, minus your 50c transfer discount, applied to the rail fare when using SmarTrip. (Not sure why you don’t get the transfer discount today?)

    I’ll email you with some clarifying information, as well as contact info for someone in Loudoun County. I hope this helps!

  17. sas
    July 29th, 2014 at 08:39 | #17

    Actually this individual and the rest of us loudoun commuters are more negatively impacted than this individual thought. The bus fare to WFC metro has increased from 2.00 to 3.15 & the bus was not the usual comfortable greyhound version. I didn’t discover this change until i got on the bus this morning. I still have not discovered the cost to Weihle station. I know all are decisions made by Loudoun county officials so will complain to them. More than a dollar increase for a worse bus is not cool.

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