The much-touted Metro Silver Line, extending public transit service from Falls Church to Reston, enjoyed a grand opening with tons of dignitaries and a few small souvenirs on Saturday, and was flawless in its run through its first business commuter day yesterday. Mayor David Tarter and other dignitaries from the City of Falls Church were among those on board for the line’s maiden voyage Saturday.
Smooth as silk, the train took eight minutes from the East Falls Church Metro station to get to the new McLean station at the west end of Tysons Corner, then it was only a minute to the Tysons Corner stop proper, and a minute and a half to get to the Greensboro stop, and yet another 90 seconds to get to the Spring Hill stop at the west end of Tysons. Then it was a 10 minutes ride to make it out to Reston for the Wiehle Road stop, the current end of the line.
Already under construction is the extension of the line to Dulles Airport, which is now the only large U.S. airport without access by public mass transit
Last weekend’s kick-off of the Silver Line, which runs east of Falls Church to Largo, Maryland, came many years ahead of original plans, as the system was a huge beneficiary of the economic stimulus that President Obama launched when he first took office in 2009 with the economy mired in the Great Recession. Original plans had the system opening this first phase another 10 years off.
For the City of Falls Church, the main benefit of the line is that it has the potential to bring many thousands of new riders to Falls Church from points west. It marks the first extension of the Metro system in this area since the Orange Line was extended from Ballston to Vienna, with two Falls Church stops in between, in 1988