Fairfax Connector, Metro service changes

Metro and the Fairfax Connector are fully deploying resources in response to a significant winter storm that is forecast to impact the Metro service area on Wednesday.

Fairfax Connector

Due to expected winter weather, Fairfax Connector will be operating Saturday service tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019Routes that operate Saturday service are: 101109151152161162171310321322371401402423424463505551558559574605630,640650721937950981983RIBS 1RIBS 2RIBS 3RIBS 4 and RIBS 5. Routes not listed do not operate tomorrow, Feb. 20, 2019.

Passengers should expect significant delays and detours due to possibly heavy snowfall and deteriorating road conditions. Fairfax Connector officials appreciate passengers’ patience – your safety is our top priority! If road conditions become unsafe, service may be suspended on a route-by-route basis, or system-wide.

Stay Informed of Operating Status, Delays and Detours

Here are three things to know to stay informed of how your bus will operate during inclement weather:

To stay informed of any changes to Fairfax Connector system-wide operating status:

  • Sign-up for email and/or text alerts for your routes through Fairfax Connector BusTracker**Watch a :30 video on how to use Fairfax Connector BusTracker here.**
  • Call Fairfax Connector customer service at 703-339-7200cid:ec1b6b37-f22e-42d8-9307-d0c9abf18248, TTY 703-339-1608cid:3d33600d-fc80-4eaf-bf73-edd9b1ef9c2bMon – Fri 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sat – Sun 7 a.m. to 9 p.mSe habla Español.
  • Follow Fairfax Connector on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Monitor local news outlets and www.fairfaxconnector.com.

For information on route-specific service changes and detours before, during, and after a winter weather event:

  • Before you head out to your bus stop, check the status and any possible detours for your route on BusTracker or make sure you aresigned-up for email and/or text alerts for your routes.
  • You can also call Fairfax Connector customer service at 703-339-7200cid:8c99d636-2b8f-43b4-b7e0-c80a70e1d95b, TTY 703-339-1608cid:31a21bcb-c45f-4d09-8bd4-df7b1ce2ea06Mon – Fri 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sat – Sun 7 a.m. to 9 p.mSe habla Español.

Riders are reminded that during inclement weather, route-by-route estimated arrival information in 
BusTracker may not be accurate:

  • If your route is on detour, the information presented in BusTracker will not reflect real-time estimated arrival information but rather the schedule information.
  • While on detour, a bus will not show up in the BusTracker location map view.

Allow Extra Time and Stay Safe While Traveling During Winter Weather

Fairfax Connector passengers are reminded to plan ahead and take steps to stay safe while traveling during winter weather. For safer, more bearable travel during winter weather:

  • Plan ahead and decide on a route that keeps you waiting outside for the shortest time possible. It is important to arrive at your bus stop five minutes before the listed arrival time of your bus.
  • To minimize the wait time at your stop, check the estimated arrival time of your bus on your smart phone, tablet or a desktop throughFairfax Connector BusTracker. You can also sign-up for email and/or text alerts for your routes estimated arrival times for a specific stop.
  • Dress appropriately for the cold weather meaning you are not exposing any skin to the cold, so you are wearing a hat, mittens or gloves, a scarf, socks, warm boots or shoes, and a warm jacket. Thick, loose clothing and lots of layers are ideal.
  • Be on the lookout for frostbite, which typically affects smaller, more exposed body parts like the nose, earlobes, fingers, hands and toes, and get out of the cold if possible. Symptoms are a change in skin color, a slightly painful sensation, hard looking skin, numbness and a cold or burning feeling. Again, it’s important to keep those areas covered to avoid frostbite.
  • Doing cardio at the bus stop might look a little silly, but moving your body and jumping up and down helps generate some heat. Just keep moving to keep your body temperature at a steady level.


Metrorail service will operate every 12 minutes on each line Wednesday to allow deicing equipment to operate between passenger trains and to match significantly reduced ridership demand in the morning. Service levels may be increased during the day if conditions allow.

The system will operate regular hours from 5 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. All stations will be open.

To prepare for the storm, Metro will run special de-icing trains overnight and during the morning hours to prevent ice buildup on the third rail. Switch heaters will be activated to prevent snow and ice buildup at outdoor switch locations. Employee shifts are being extended to 12 hours, and additional crews are being called in to clear station platforms, walkways and parking areas.

For safety reasons, the top levels of all Metro parking garages will be closed due to expected snow/ice accumulation. Parking customers should use other garage levels.

Customers are encouraged to allow extra travel time and use extreme caution when walking on exposed surfaces, including parking lots, sidewalks, and station platforms.


Based on the current forecast, which calls for heavy snowfall during the morning rush hour, Metrobus will begin Wednesday under the Severe Snow Service Plan. Under the severe plan, buses provide limited service on major roadways only. Many bus routes do not operate when a severe plan is in effect.

Customers should travel only if necessary. Metro is advising customers of the possibility that bus service may be temporarily suspended with little or no notice if it becomes unsafe to operate due to ice accumulation. Please plan accordingly.

If you must travel, plan for the possibility of delays and increased wait times due to weather/road conditions.


To ensure that no customer is stranded away from home during the storm, MetroAccess service for customers with disabilities will be limited to “return home” trips only on Wednesday between 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. All other trips will be canceled.

MetroAccess service may be subject to significant delays due to weather/road conditions.

Due to the nature of MetroAccess service, where vehicles often travel on secondary or tertiary streets, customers may experience lengthier trip times due to road conditions. In some cases, “door-to-door” service may be unavailable where driveways or sidewalks have not been cleared of snow and ice. In such cases, the driver will provide “curb-to-curb service” instead.

Metro’s Rush Hour Promise 10-minute service guarantee will not be in effect Wednesday due to expected weather conditions.

Metro will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day. Service is subject to change as conditions warrant. Customers are encouraged to stay informed by signing up for MetroAlerts to receive text or email messages with up-to-date information on service changes or disruptions. Changes will also be announced through Metro’s Status and Alerts page on wmata.com and through Metro’s social media channels on Twitter @Metrorailinfo @Metrobusinfo.



About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.