The College Park Metro Station will close April 15 through April 29 to continue the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's long-standing SafeTrack Surge 14 construction plan.
During this two-week closure, the University of Maryland's Department of Transportation Services will be offering the following services to this university's students, staff and faculty:
DOTS will offer a special shuttle during the weekdays that will run from Prince George's Plaza Metro Station to nine different bus stops on the campus, including Stamp Student Union. Buses are expected to run between the locations every six to 12 minutes, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The shuttle will not run on the weekends.
"Hopefully that'll minimize some of the inconvenience," DOTS Senior Associate Director Armand Scala said. "This is something we normally don't do."
This service isn't something DOTS had planned for financially, Scala noted, adding that the department will have to "figure that out" in the coming days.
"With all of this happening so quickly, our focus was mostly on making sure we came up with a solution for the university community, and the rest of the details will work themselves out," he said.
Senior communication major Breion Goodson said he isn't too concerned with the closure because of this accommodation.
"As long as there's some sort of transportation from PG Plaza to campus … I don't think [the closure] should be too much of a big deal," Goodson said. "I think it'll end up being cheaper for me as well."
Metrogoers who decide to commute by car will be offered a discounted parking permit for the campus, valid throughout the station's closure.
Students, staff and faculty will be able to park on the campus for $5 a day or $50 for the entire two-week period, compared to the usual cost of $15 per day for visitors. These permits will be available for purchase beginning April 10.
Junior government and politics major Ashwin Suryavanshi said he believes the plan is generally good given the circumstances, but does not think the parking option would be of much help.
"If people had cars at their disposal, they would be taking the metro less often," Suryavanshi said. "Parking on campus doesn't help as much either, because driving in D.C. is often hectic, and paying for parking there is expensive."
Students with these permits will be allowed to park in Lots 4 or 6, and faculty and staff will be assigned to several others, including Z or any numbered lot, according to an official statement released by DOTS.
The bike-sharing program between this university and the city, mBike, will offer a free month-long membership for commuters who need a ride from the Greenbelt Metro Station to College Park. Though the College Park Metro Station opens April 30, Greenbelt will remain closed until May 14. The ride from Greenbelt to campus takes 15 to 20 minutes, said Anna McLaughlin, DOTS Assistant Director for Communications and Public Relations.
"We also have a bicycle coordinator who will be doing individualized route trip planning for anyone who needs help planning a trip, or trying to connect people if they want to have a bike buddy," McLaughlin said.
There are 120 cruiser bikes and five accessible bikes at 14 stations through the university campus and the city, such as Regents Drive Garage, McKeldin Mall, Guilford Drive and the College Park Metro station. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org to become an mBike member or request help for creating a route.