COMMUTE

Fairfax County's new transportation hub debuts before Silver Line opening

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CHANTILLY, Va. (WJLA/AP) – With next week's opening of the Silver Line Metrorail extension in northern Virginia, commuters got an early look at one of Metro's new transportation hubs Saturday morning.

It's located at the Wiehle-Reston East stop.

“This is a major parking garage but it's also a transportation hub where pretty much all modes of transportation come together," says Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board chairman.

Planners did not forget about bicyclists. One room holds more than 200 bikes including a fix-it station.

"We can reconfigure it if we have to. We can probably go up to 325 to 350 bikes," says Charlie Strunk, Fairfax County bicycle coordinator.

The hub is really a new pattern for Fairfax County in the way it does development. They want to create more walkable residential and commercial retail areas.

"Someone can walk out of their door and do anything and get anywhere without having to get behind the wheel of a car," Bulova says.

And a major change in bus service to Dulles International Airport is coming, too.

The Washington Flyer bus service that currently operates between the West Falls Church Metro station and Dulles will follow a new route after the Silver Line opens July 26.

At that point, the bus will run instead from the Reston station to Dulles. The new route will be shorter and cheaper - $5 for a one-way trip instead of the current $10.

Eventually, the Silver Line will run directly to the airport. But that won't happen until Phase II of the Silver Line is completed. That's not expected until 2018.

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