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Metro has an ambitious plan to overhaul its rail system during 2016-17, called “SafeTrack.” It promises to remedy safety and reliability problems in the long term. But in the short-term, it will mean major disruptions to mass transit, with ripple effects across the DC metro area.
Have you tried to board an inbound Orange or Blue Line train during the morning rush? Do you commute on I-95 or I-66? Ever searched for street parking in the Golden Triangle? Then you know the Washington region’s transportation network is ready to burst, even on a good day. 
Now imagine a not-so-good day. Close a segment of – say – the Blue and Orange/Silver Lines for two weeks (which is just what will happen on June 18), and watch as 61,000 daily commuters scramble to find another way to work. SafeTrack will create similar challenges on every line between now and next March.
In response, the Greater Washington Board of Trade has partnered with the business continuity and emergency management experts at Witt O’Brien’s to provide resources for employers and employees. 
Companies and organizations with a plan to manage SafeTrack will be able to provide better service and win and retain business. Now is the time to prepare your business to meet these challenges. 
Is your business ready? Are you? Here’s what you need to do:
  • GET INFORMED: Do you have all the information about SafeTrack – when which lines, segments, and stations will experience reduced or suspended service? Different service changes will have varied impacts across the region. You and your employees can start by getting familiar with the SafeTrack plan: http://www.wmata.com/safetrack
  • KNOW THE IMPACT: Have you thought about the direct impacts of these service reductions? Interruptions close to you will impact employees’ and customers’ ability to get to you, and interruptions far away may affect employees and customers at the origins of their trips or at transfer points. 

    But that’s not all. Have you thought about indirect transportation impacts from SafeTrack? As commuters’ regular routes are impacted by SafeTrack, they will find other ways of getting to work, which may cause cascading delays and disruptions throughout the region’s transportation network, including overcrowding on other Metrorail lines, increased road congestion on parallel routes, and increased demand for parking in places that are heavily served by Metro, like College Park, Crystal City, Downtown DC, and Rosslyn. 
  • UNDERSTAND THE EFFECTS ON YOUR BUSINESS: Do you know how your employees get to work? Where do they live? Who relies on Metrorail? Are they making their own plans for dealing with SafeTrack? Do they have the information they need to make good decisions? 

    We have developed a survey that employers can use to find out about all this and an Employee Tool Kit for employees to use as they plan to keep working during SafeTrack.

    What about your customers or clients? Where do they come from and how do they get to you – or you to them? What is the best way to communicate to them, “We are open during construction!”
  • MAKE A PLAN: Got all that? Now it’s time to do something about it. Get prepared, offer alternatives, communicate with employees and customers – and keep on doing what your organization does. 

    You don’t have to do it alone. We have developed an Employer Tool Kit to assist companies and organizations as they plan to continue doing business during SafeTrack. We have compiled informational resources and helpful apps to manage transportation challenges, and we surveyed area business for ideas and helpful initiatives.
SafeTrack will create challenges, but with planning and communication, we will get through. Businesses and organizations that plan and execute solutions will keep the region running and their own operations functioning smoothly.
Use the tools that the Board of Trade and Witt O’Brien’s have developed: Employee Survey, Tool Kit for Businesses, transit mitigation best practices, and Tool Kit for Employees.  





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