- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2014

Metro riders made their first morning commute on the system’s long-awaited new Silver Line on Monday, and many passengers said they were pleased with the new service.

A slew of riders filed into the Wiele-Reston East station at the end of the Silver Line at around 8 a.m. with SmarTrip cards in hand.

Pranjali Desai, who lives close by the new Greensboro station, was starting her first day of work as a federal employee and said the new station couldn’t have been more convenient.

“I live two minutes away so this will be my new station,” Ms. Desai, 31, said.

For many riders like Jay Sutay, a federal employee who works in downtown Washington, the new stations will dramatically reduce their lengthy commuting times by more than an hour.

“I used to commute from Herndon to West Falls Church and then from West Falls to D.C.,” Mr. Sutay said. “My new commute is only going to take 40 minutes when it usually took an hour and 30 minutes on a good day.”

Aleksandra Sandstrom, who normally boards at the Vienna station and then travels to Metro Center and on to Farragut West, said the commute will also make things easier for her husband, who can now drop her off at the new Tysons Corner station closer to his work.

Metro officials said that as of 10 a.m., ridership at the five new stations totaled 9,715 “passenger trips,” which include entries and exits. Wiehle-Reston East had 4,727 riders enter and 1,063 exit the station, making it the 12th busiest station on the system. The Tysons station recorded 507 people entering and 900 people exiting.

Volume on the cars looked to be light for the first day, with seats available on most cars. Riders came in surges every few minutes, with many coming on buses. The stations quickly emptied after mid-morning.

For Raghu Raddy, a software engineer, the new station will shave a few minutes off of his normal commute time.

“I used to take West Falls Church,” Mr. Raddy, 46, said. “My commute was a little longer before, but now I plan on using this station.”