Metro's new Silver Line increases system size, expands service options

RESTON, Va. (WJLA) - Monday was the brand-new Silver Line's first true test - a weekday morning rush-hour.

This past weekend was fairly busy as well, with more than 50,000 riders taking the Silver Line to their destinations over the two days, beginning at noon on Saturday.

Metro officials said the new Silver Line makes the region's transit system 10 percent larger with the addition of five new stations.

Many passengers who spoke with ABC 7 News Monday morning said they appreciated how shiny and new everything for the Silver Line is, from the pedestrian bridges to even the bathrooms, which are now visible to the public.

"Everything is brand new," said rider Jeremy Ratner. "I'm excited."

Ratner did say, though, that he worries the addition of the Silver Line could mean more traffic.

"I think Reston is going to get more choked up with traffic," he said. "That could be a con."

While some riders said the threat of overcrowding worries them, most on Monday told ABC 7 News how impressed they were.

"It's faster than taking the bus to Rosslyn, which is what I used to do," said another commuter.

Del. Ken Plum (D-36th), the Reston area's state representative who has been a big advocate of transportation issues, said about 25,000 riders are expected each day on the 11 new miles of Metro track.

He said, especially with the addition of the link from Dulles Airport, "This is going to make a whole lot of difference in our community."

Some riders did notice a few snags, however, and some rough edges that still need to be ironed out.

"The parking garage was pretty disorganized," said rider Eli Lehrer. "There was no sign on my space."

Silver Line trains will run every six minutes during rush hour, and every 12 minutes during midday, evenings and weekends.

The next phase will reportedly take Metro all the way out to Dulles Airport. In the meantime, the Silver Line Express bus service connecting the airport to the Wiehle-Reston East station also debuted on Saturday.

See WJLA's guide 'What You Need to Know About the New Silver Line' here.

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