Recent Blog Posts
VRE is committed to social distancing to the extent possible. The decals we are using on our trains and platforms support six feet of separation. Under our current plan, roughly a third of our seats are available to passengers. While we have three different railcar configurations, the average car holds 130 passengers. With our social distancing measures, only 45 of those seats are available.
As ridership grows, we can lengthen and add trains. Before increasing service we might, for example, take our six-car train sets to eight cars. We estimate that when daily ridership exceeds 3,000 riders, additional trains may be needed, though ridership patterns could affect that calculation. We also are exploring ways to notify passengers when trains are near or at capacity.
We expect in the near term that our trains can provide socially-distanced transportation to those returning to their places of employment. We are monitoring ridership and announcements from the region’s major employers as to their reopening plans and using the information to guide our decision-making. While very little about this pandemic is predictable, one thing our riders can count on in these challenging times is our commitment to their health and safety.
Q: Will CSX and Norfolk Southern allow VRE to run more trains to promote social distancing?
A: We still are limited on the number of cars we have, and the number of trains we can run. Right now, we are operating at an "S" schedule level with some eight and six car trains. As we scale back up to full service, we could do it in phases, possibly adding cars to the six car sets, or adding a round trip on each line.
Q: How full are the trains currently?
A: As of mid-June, we're averaging a small percentage of typical ridership. Social distancing is easy to accomplish now, and again, we're actively preparing for the return of more riders as they start returning to their offices. We're looking into various tools riders may be able to use for crowding alerts as soon as the fall, but for now, we recommend checking average ridership by train on our website.
- Enhanced Cleaning Procedures
VRE railcars are disinfected twice a day, after morning and evening service, with special attention given to frequently touched surfaces.
- More on Social Distancing
VRE is committed to social distancing to the extent possible. Under our current plan, roughly a third of our seats are available to passengers.
- What to Expect in the Coming Weeks
Throughout June, we'll be installing graphics to make social distancing on our trains and at our stations as simple as possible. Plus, we will make hand sanitizer available to our riders.
- Seasonal Schedule
The seasonal schedule will be effective the first service day after Memorial Day through the last service day prior to Labor Day. The schedule on our website will be updated prior to when service resumes after Memorial Day. Look for updated pocket schedules onboard the trains and posters at the stations.