Dulles Airport Will Be Connected To Washington's Metro System Today – Simple Flying

The $3 billion metro extension finally opens after years of delays.
Dulles International Airport's long-awaited Washington Metro connection will launch today with the official opening of the Silver Line's Phase 2 extension. The new line will allow Dulles travelers to connect to central Washington in less than an hour.
The 18.5km Silver Line extension is a big deal for Dulles International Airport (IAD), offering passengers and employees easy access to the Washington metropolitan area. The first train is set to depart Downtown Largo at 12:51 local time on Tuesday, passing through IAD and Washington D.C. on its way to Ashburn. The inaugural eastbound service from Ashburn will depart at 14:00 on the same day.
Jack Potter, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said,
"This has been a vision for Dulles Airport for 70 years. We know it’s going to be great for the airport, for our employees, for all of our passengers."
Six new stations have been added to the line – Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn. The full length of the line – between Ashburn and Downtown Largo – will take over 90 minutes to travel, while the journey from Dulles Airport to Metro Center in downtown Washington D.C. will take 53 minutes.
The new metro station is connected to IAD's baggage claim area via an underground walkway which will be around a five-minute walk to complete. The majority of the airport's bus connections will stop once the Metro line is up and running, including the 5A and Washington Flyer Silver Line Express, although the Fairfax bus system will still operate two services.
As Jack Potter noted, passengers have grown to expect convenient transit connections from major international airports, something IAD has not been able to offer until now. This will also play a key role in attracting service from airlines, particularly low-cost carriers.
Potter said,

"We’re now able to reach out to airlines that wouldn’t look at us before, like the low-cost international carriers. They have an expectation that they’re going to have transit to downtown and transit to the Metro area. Keep in mind, low-cost, those people want to travel as reasonably as possible. They’re excited about it, and you’re going to see some new service coming our way in the coming months and years."
The United Airlines hub has seen a lot of its domestic traffic ceded to nearby Reagan National Airport over the years. With its new metro line, it could entice some of this traffic back.
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The Silver Line's Phase 2 extension has been riddled with problems over the years, setting back its opening by over four years. The project was approved way back in 2004 but has suffered several complications over the years, including cracks discovered in concrete panels.
The final cost of the extension is estimated at $3 billion, which is $250 million over budget. Some aspects of the project are still being tweaked, particularly the passenger experience, including a proposal to allow bag check-ins at the station.
Are you happy to see Washington Dulles International Airport's new metro connection launch? How important do you think it will be for the airport? Let us know your insights in the comments.
Journalist – With 10 years of experience as a travel writer and aviation analyst, Luke has worked with industry-leaders including Skyscanner, KLM and HotelsCombined throughout his career. As a passionate traveler based across the Middle East and East Asia, Luke offers strong insights into the travel and aviation industry. Based in the United Kingdom


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