Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí.
University of Maryland students are frustratedly searching for alternative transportation options given the College Park Metro Station’s upcoming closures this summer.
The College Park station, just a brief walk from campus, provides an essential service to students at this university, namely fast and affordable transportation to the larger Washington, D.C., area. The station is part of the Green Line, which will be closed between Greenbelt and Fort Totten from July 22 through Sept. 4 due to construction that involves updates to the communication network through installing new fiber-optic cable.
“It’s definitely something I wish I knew. I don’t know if it actually changed my decision or not, but it would have been an important factor to consider when looking for internships,” said junior mechanical engineering major Rachel Fitz.
Fitz has an internship designing HVAC systems in Washington, D.C. this summer. She had planned to walk from her South Campus Commons apartment to the Metro station to get to work this summer. Due to the closures, Fitz said she plans to drive to the nearest open stop instead, which will add to her already long morning commute.
[College Park looks to invest in safer, more extensive bike lanes]
The Metro’s Yellow Line has been closed since September 2022 and recently announced it will reopen at select stations, excluding College Park, on May 7. Under changes to Metro’s fiscal year 2024 budget that prioritize the line’s service in downtown Washington, D.C., the stations beyond Mount Vernon Square, including the College Park station, will only receive service from the Green Line from now on.
Jack Landsiedel, a senior government and politics major, plans to start a job in McLean, Virginia after graduating from this university. Landsiedel had planned to take the Yellow Line to work this summer, and was frustrated to learn the Yellow Line is no longer servicing the College Park station. He suspects commuting by car will be costly and take longer.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will provide “frequent and free” shuttle services to transport riders from the College Park station to Fort Totten, the closest station in operation this summer, according to an email statement. But some students are concerned that traffic will make the shuttles unreliable and dramatically increase the length of their commute.
[College Park City Council aims to increase student engagement in city affairs]
“I don’t think that they’d be very trustworthy at all, especially with traffic being so unpredictable with all the construction,” Landsiedel said.
Others are frustrated they won’t be able to visit College Park from Washington D.C.
Lucy Kuchma, who graduated from this university in 2022, lives in Rockville and attends graduate school in Washington, D.C. The Metro system is Kuchma’s primary mode of transportation. She often takes the Red Line to the Capitol for work and takes the Green Line to College Park when she gets off work to visit her sister and boyfriend throughout the week.
Kuchma said she appreciates that the Metro will provide shuttles, but she believes that shuttles are not as reliable as trains since commuting by road comes with added traffic.
“It’s an adjustment anytime you have to take a shuttle instead of the Metro,” Kuchma said. “In general, I mean, the Metro has been pretty good to me. This will be an interesting setback for sure.”