The Impact of the Silver Line Extension in Washington DC

The Impact of the Silver Line Extension in Washington DC
Washington Metro

The Impact of the Silver Line Extension in Washington DC

The second phase of the Silver Line Metro connecting the city of D.C. with Dulles International Airport is set to be completed in July 2022. This has been in the works since the US Government built road access in the 1960s with enough terrain reserves to fit a rail transit network. After almost 8 years since the Phase One opening, and an extra 2 billion USD thrown at the project, 28 existing stations will be able to connect to Ashburn, Loudoun Gateway, Dulles International Airport, Innovation Center, Herndon and Reston Town Center.

Originally planned to be underground however deemed over budget, the station will be built on terminal building-level with moving sidewalks and accessibility ramps.

By using local census data we have illustrated the travel time access inside TRACC with the new Phase 2 stations. Focusing on the access to Washington Dulles International Airport, only just under 6,000 people could access Dulles Airport by Metro. Making it fairly inaccessible for those wanting to get to the Main Hub for international flights.

Silver Line TRACC Washington DC

With the federal government introducing an extension on the Silver Line Metro which includes a new network to Dulles Intl Airport, more than 24,000 people can now get to the airport within one hour, an improvement in access by over 309%.

After Silver Line TRACC Washington DC

This result was achieved by using Local Demographic Data from the USA Census 2020 and loaded onto an OpenStreetMap. Visualised in TRACC with the legend breakdown.

Questions from different authorities and stakeholders remain about whether the project has been worth the investment. With the Phase II line in application testing that could last up to 90 days, any delays could impact the proposed July launch. The need is getting the project to be completed but also at a high standard adhering to health and safety is a fine balance with the ROI to be judged over time.