SafeTrack Shifting Many Arlington Commuters from Rails to Trails

Published on June 14, 2016

The first surge of Metrorail's SafeTrack repairs has moved a significant number of Arlingtonians from rail riding to pedal pushing.

After a week of single tracking along the Orange/Silver Line between Ballston and East Falls Church, automated counters in the County's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor show an increase of between 70 and 90 percent in bike ridership from the same period last commute

Capital BikeShare use in Arlington is up between 20 and 50 percent.

Heaviest use of bike trails and BikeShare has been concentrated closer to the District -- from Ballston eastward.

To promote biking during the first SafeTrack surge, Arlington added a new Bikeshare station at the East Falls Church Metro station, added capacity to Bikeshare stations in Ballston and Rosslyn, improved signage along bike commuter routes and organized "bike trains" aimed at less experienced riders.

While some of the enhancements — like the bike trains — didn't find many takers, the general trend of increased ridership bodes well for coping with the disruptions of future SafeTrack work.

County efforts to provide as many transportation alternatives as possible will continue through the end of SafeTrack, expected next March.