Shuttle buses lined up outside the Silver Spring Transit Center Monday that were contracted by Metro to transport riders around track work in the Silver Spring area Credit: Andrew Metcalf

This story was updated at 11 a.m. Nov. 28.

Metro commuters returned from Thanksgiving weekend Monday morning to find lengthy shuttle bus lines at the Silver Spring Metro station due to a planned track closure between Silver Spring and Fort Totten.

The lines to board the shuttle buses stretched around the block near the Silver Spring Transit Center Monday morning.

Metro is using the buses for the next two weeks to transport riders around the track closure and the Takoma station, where crews are repairing an interlocking system. Metro is using 40 chartered shuttle buses to transport riders around the track closure.

Metro spokesman Ron Holzer said Tuesday morning that the problem on Monday was related to a crash that caused traffic delays and kept buses from reaching the station. The traffic flow was back to normal on Tuesday, he said.

Riders on Twitter said the system on Monday wasn’t efficient.


“‘Express’ shuttle from Silver Spring to Fort Totten took almost 1hr!! Driver got lost thru streets of Takoma Park! Ridiculous!” Michelle Murray tweeted.

Erin Reynolds wrote that it took her 54 minutes to board a bus in Silver Spring, then travel to Fort Totten to board a train at that station.

“So this is my life for two weeks,” Reynolds wrote.



A Metro statement on Monday said Red Line shuttle buses were caught in traffic during the morning due to a vehicle crash at Eastern and Georgia Avenues. Metro reported that it added several buses to help clear lines forming at the Silver Spring station.

Metro has been publicizing the track work and shutdowns for several months. The work is scheduled to continue through Dec. 10. During the work period, Red Line trains will not travel between the Silver Spring and Fort Totten stations.

This weekend, Metro also plans to close the Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations to install new communication cables. The transit operator will provide free shuttles between those stations during the weekend work.



Metro is suggesting that riders take the following alternatives to avoid riding the shuttle buses:

  • Consider traveling to the other side of the Red Line and taking trains from the Shady Grove, White Flint, Twinbrook or Grosvenor stations
  • Use the MARC train line to travel to Union Station from Silver Spring
  • Take one of the following Metro bus lines from Silver Spring:

S2, S4 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center (Silver Spring Station) – McPherson Square – Metro Center – Federal Triangle 
S9 16th Street Limited Line Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center (Silver Spring Station) – Columbia Heights – McPherson Sq 
70 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center (Silver Spring Station) – Georgia Ave-Petworth – Mt Vernon Square – Gallery Place – Archives 
79 Georgia Ave Limited Line – Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center (Silver Spring Station) – Georgia Ave-Petworth – Shaw-Howard U – Gallery Place – Archives