Transitions and Transportation

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By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting

We’ve made it to summer – almost five months into our region’s battle with the coronavirus.  And while the virus is still active and worrisome, companies are looking to transition employees back to office work. For many people in Prince William County, that means heading to DC, into the Tysons and Route 7 tech corridor, as well as to local area businesses.

But how?

Will you feel comfortable joining a slug line as in years past?

Are you willing to restart your car pool?

With Metro shutting both the orange and silver lines, are there other means of transportation?

If so many people are heading back in their cars, what will that mean for traffic and your commute times?

All organizations, both corporate and government, must consider transportation options in the return to work transition. You should too.

Research your transportation plans to include the bus, VRE, carpool, and single occupant driving, and how these new or changed modes of transportation will affect your work day and potential exposure to COVID.

Teleworking may continue to be your best option if transportation is an issue or if you are juggling health, child care, or care-giving responsibilities. But until you look into your actual options, you won’t know what to tell your employer.

In May, three Northern Virginia Representatives wrote to the Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) asking for extended telework flexibility.

“Current Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance allows for implementation of telework to the maximum extent possible due to the COVID-19 crisis. We urge OPM to, at the very minimum, provide maximum telework flexibilities for those affected by the upcoming WMATA service interruptions regardless of COVID-19-related developments.”

It’s refreshing to see our elected representatives actively working on our behalf.

Metro has offered commuters these options:

Travel alternatives

Metro will provide three free shuttle bus options from the WMATA website:

  • Orange Line Local: Service between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and Ballston 
  • Orange Line Express: Direct service between Vienna and Ballston (no intermediate stops)
  • Silver Line Local: Service between Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner and Ballston 
  • Shuttles will run seven days a week, and operate during the same hours as the rail system, currently 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekends.

The shuttles will run approximately every 10 minutes on weekdays and approximately every 15 minutes on weekends.

Shuttles will not stop at stations closed due to Metro’s response to COVID-19.

Parking

Free parking at Vienna and Dunn Loring through the end of the summer shutdown.

No customer parking is available at East Falls Church Station due to construction activity.

No one knows what’s next for the coronavirus. But what we do know is that many of us who rely on the Orange and Silver lines as well as a full Metro schedule must make alternative plans until the fall.

When your employer asks you if you have a reason you can’t return to the office, make sure you’ve considered transportation. It’s a constant headache for us in the DMV and this year, pandemic or not, it’s no different.

 

 

Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at info@wisewaysconsulting.com or through wisewaysconsulting.com.

 

 

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