Metro Red Line Shutdown: Shuttle Bus Routes and Transportation Alternatives

Summer construction on Metro’s Red Line will begin on Saturday, June 1, and continue through August 31 after months of preparation and planning.

Five stations—Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring, and Takoma—will be temporarily closed; Metro advises customers to find alternative travel arrangements with less than one week until construction begins.

Metro will offer free local and limited-stop shuttle bus services to the affected stations, with express service also running between Silver Spring and downtown D.C. Metro, the Maryland State Highway Administration, Montgomery County Department of Transportation, and the District Department of Transportation are working together to create bus-only lanes, parking restrictions, and traffic signal prioritization to reduce potential congestion for the shuttle buses.

Seven miles of dedicated bus lanes have been implemented along Georgia Avenue, and rush-hour bus lanes and parking restrictions will provide additional capacity on 16th Street NW. Drivers are prohibited from bus-only lanes and may be ticketed and fined for non-compliance.

Bus lane markings are up on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring for Red Line shutdown
byu/eable2 inWMATA

From June 1 to August 31, free parking will be available at the Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring, and Takoma stations. However, the parking garage at Bonifant Street and Dixon Avenue, near the Silver Spring Kiss & Ride lot, is managed by Montgomery County; free parking will not be available at this garage.

The Bonfant-Dixon Garage was converted to a pay-by-plate system last year.

Short-term metered parking at the Fort Totten Kiss & Ride will be affected due to a portion of this lot being converted to bus stops.

Additionally, the MARC train will offer a promotional $3.00 one-way fare from Kensington and Silver Spring to Union Station on the Brunswick Line, with weekly and monthly tickets discounted to $22.50 and $81, respectively.

Summer construction on the Red Line will continue through August 31, with the Takoma Station reopening on June 30; after the reopening, limited-stop shuttles will still operate to and from Fort Totten for the duration of the construction period. Due to space constraints, only local shuttle buses will serve Takoma.

Metro said that the most efficient and fastest option for most customers would be to use the limited-stop shuttle via Fort Totten to access the Red Line.

This three-month closure will enable the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line project to build a new mezzanine at Silver Spring to connect the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center and the future Purple Line station with Metro’s Red Line. Metro said the outage would allow the agency to complete maintenance, repairs, and customer experience improvements on the Red Line, condensing eight months of weekend closures and disruptions into the summer months.

The Red Line summer construction is part of Metro’s plans for significant capital construction projects over the next three years, which aim to modernize the Metrorail system, enhance safety and reliability, and ensure proper maintenance.

Information regarding shuttle bus services and additional travel alternatives is provided below:

June 1 – June 29, 2024

  • Free shuttle buses replace trains between Glenmont and Fort Totten
  • Stations closed: Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring, and Takoma
  • Green Line service and Red Line service to/from Shady Grove are available at Fort Totten

June 30 – Aug. 31, 2024

  • Free shuttle buses replace trains between Glenmont and Takoma
  • Stations closed: Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, and Silver Spring
  • Green and Red Line service is available at Fort Totten
  • Takoma Station reopened. Customers traveling between the closed stations and Takoma should use the local shuttle bus or limited-stop shuttle bus to the Red Line via Fort Totten

Parking will be free at all five stations for the summer closure.

TRAVEL ALTERNATIVES: Free Shuttle Service

Free local, limited-stop, and express shuttles will be available during Metrorail operating hours. Shuttles will be available at all closed stations for customers with accessibility needs. To request an accessible shuttle, ask a Metro team member onsite.

Saturday, June 1 to Saturday, Aug. 31, 2024

Local: Local service stopping at all stations between Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Takoma, and Fort Totten

  • AM/PM Peak – approximately every 4 minutes
  • All other times, weekends, and holidays – approximately every 8 minutes
  • Estimated travel time: 61 minutes between Glenmont and Fort Totten during peak traffic

Limited 1: Limited-stop service between Glenmont, Wheaton, and Fort Totten

  • AM/PM Peak – approximately every 4 minutes
  • All other times, weekends, and holidays – approximately every 8 minutes
  • Estimated travel time: 37 minutes between Glenmont and Fort Totten during peak traffic

Limited 2: Limited-stop service between Forest Glen, Silver Spring, and Fort Totten

  • AM/PM Peak – approximately every 4 minutes
  • All other times, weekends, and holidays – approximately every 8 minutes
  • Estimated travel time: 25 minutes between Glenmont and Fort Totten during peak traffic

Express: Express service between Silver Spring and Metro Center (pick up location 12th & G streets NW)

  • Weekday only – approximately 4-8 minutes all-day
  • Estimated travel time: 39 minutes between Silver Spring and Metro Center during peak traffic

Shuttle Bus Locations (PDF):

Additional travel alternatives are available via Metrorail and Metrobus, as well as Ride On and MTA Commuter buses. Metro has provided a cheat sheet (PDF) of all available bus travel alternatives.

For a full list of alternative travel options and detailed project information, visit wmata.com/majorconstruction.

Photo: © MelissaMN – stock.adobe.com / Metro Graphic

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