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Speak Out: How High is Too High for Metro Parking?

With new parking options at some Silver Line stations, commuters are finding out how much it'll cost.

McLean Metro Station on the Silver Line in Tysons Corner. Patch File Photo by William Callahan
McLean Metro Station on the Silver Line in Tysons Corner. Patch File Photo by William Callahan

Silver Line commuters found out this week that they’ll be able to park at certain stations when the trains start running next year, but it’s going to come at a price.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday that commuters will have to pay $4.75 a day to park in the garage at Wiehle-Reston East Station and $65 for monthly passes.

Supervisors have also given the green light to an interim parking lot next to the McLean Metro station on Route 123 in Tysons.

Developer CityLine Partners will construct, own and operate the private pay-lot.

The lot will come at no cost to the county – instead, CityLine will set a rate make their money back collecting fees.

Officials say the rates at the Wiehle-Reston East garage are consistent with Metro’s rates at the county’s other garages. Rates at the McLean station are currently unknown, as CityLine will be able to set them at their discretion, and there’s not yet word on whether they’ll be comparable.

The Reston garage, which is currently under construction, will have 2,300 parking spaces. CityLine’s lot, which they’ll start constructing soon, will have roughly 700 spaces.

Tell us: do you think Metro current rates are too much on top of rising train fares? How much do you think they should be?

Ray Wedell August 04, 2013 at 08:00 AM
My sense is that the actual ridership numbers will turn out to be very disappointing. When your base fare to park and go round trip to DC (which will still be a one hour+ sojourn) is roughly $20 and rising in the future, ridership won't take off.
The Convict August 04, 2013 at 08:07 AM
If it were up to me, Parking would be free for all county residents and $10 for non-county residents. Why should we subsidize LoCo commuters? If they really want to park cheaply, let them take commuter buses to the Wiehle Metro station.
stephen fehr August 04, 2013 at 09:56 AM
The $4.75 daily fee is reasonable since it is the same fee as that charged at other county Metro lots. However, the county needs to launch a publicity effort to notify commuters of the fee to avoid backlash the day that the garage opens. Right now I pay nothing to park at the Sunset Hills lot so the $4.75 fee is going to sock me with a big commuting cost. Folks won't be happy if they arrive at the garage on the day it opens and are surprised to learn about the fee. Thank you Patch for your efforts in publicizing the fee.
Rob Whitfield August 04, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Fairfax County Announcement 7/30/13: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2013/board-sets-fees-tysons-circulators-wiehle-garage.htm The fare for the three, new circulating bus routes in Tysons was set at 50 cents per trip. Metrorail commuters will effectively be able to ride these new buses for free because Metro offers an equivalent credit for bus transfers. Fairfax County supervisors say and do nothing about huge toll increases planned by MWAA for Dulles Toll Road users, up to $17 each way in years ahead but offer residents of DC, Alexandria, Arlington and Falls Church free rides on buses paid for by Fairfax County taxpayers. The County seems more concerned about giving their friends from inside the Capital Beltway free rides at our expense. Inside the Beltway jurisdictions have paid almost nothing towards the $6 billion+ Silver Line capital costs and projected $17 billion in financing costs. Given the willingness of the County to give free rides to those from other jurisdiction, the same fare benefit should be provided for local Reston bus service on the RIBS 1,2,3 and 4 routes to lessen traffic congestion in the vicinity of the Wiehle Avenue garage. For about a decade, Reston taxpayers who use the Dulles Toll Road have subsidized bus service for routes, including those from Loudoun County, using the Dulles Toll Road. When are Fairfax County supervisors going to provide similar travel benefits for residents of western Fairfax County rather than for their inside the Beltway friends?
Private Person August 04, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Since the elected idiots who planned for and "invested" billions of dollars for this hideous eyesore ignored the hundreds of thousands of motorists who may wish to drive to a metro station and park there (imagine that!), we suggest voting them out of office. It's harder to get rid of the unelected, overpaid technocrats these same idiots self-served by giving our prized cash-generating assets to, but keep the names in mind when it comes time to vote. After all, Dulles is, once again, turning into an underused white elephant (despite decades of construction and billions of dollars spent) for which the only solution now is yet another decade long construction effort resulting in yet another billion-dollar highway -- so say the airport "managers." But we digress. As to parking rates, let them fluctuate based on demand (just like they do on the billion-dollar Lexus lanes) and let the market do what it does best without government mismanagement.
mc6 August 04, 2013 at 11:53 AM
If you want drivers to take the Metro, make it free! Hello!
Glenn August 04, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Transportation is way too important to subsidize. Everyone should know how much the ride they are taking costs in terms of the resources used. How else can one make good decisions? Right now, the subsidies to public transportation are increasing the use of long distance travel! And encouraging people to drive more. Shouldn't we try to help people make the proper decision by letting us know what the true costs of METRO are? My quick cost analysis indicates the electric power consumption of a typical METRO subway rider is roughly equal to the power equivalent of a single rider in an automobile getting 35 mpg. Two riders in that car consume half the power used by Metro. In other words, Metro is terribly inefficient from a power use standpoint. Perhaps we have this new and very expensive rail line because our Fairfax County board never made the cost benefit analysis that used to be required.
Don M. Boileau August 05, 2013 at 09:46 AM
When I go into DC, parking is $20 to add to at least 50 cents a mile so that is another 9 dollars are more [conservative estimates]. Metro is expensive when I have the family to take into the city, but for me alone, it will be a deal.
Navid Roshan August 05, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Oh Rob Rob Rob, really free rides? Tysons residents pay a special tax for our transportation. How about Reston adds a 10% real estate tax addition, and then I will take you seriously. Secondly, why should those of us living in inner suburbs pay more for metro than you do? You are not paying any different amount of funds than we are, we all live in Fairfax. In fact Tysons residents again are paying higher because the private funds that went to fund phase 1 ultimately will be incorporated into the costs around Tysons. The Silver Line doesn't benefit us Tysons residents nearly as much as it does the outer commuters. Your beef is with the State of Virginia so stop scapegoating those of us that live closer in and don't have to complain about a toll road, and go talk to the state. You are a bully and a cheapskate.
Liz August 06, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Metro takes 2 or 3 times longer than driving, can be very unpleasant, is overpriced, and now the cost of parking is adding to that. Less and less incentive to take metro.
Ray Wedell August 06, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Liz, You just struck on a reality which so many people refuse to acknowledge.
BooBots August 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM
At least have low-cost busses going to the Wiehle Station, from ALL areas of Reston...at ALL times of day that the Metro runs. Unlike now, wherein busses in my area, going into town, cease at 8 am. And, first bus coming back is not until 5 pm. Mid-day, nothing. Makes me have to drive. Hopefully, that will change when Wiehle Station opens.

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