The summer shutdown of six Metro stations in Northern Virginia, now in its 12th week of a scheduled 15, has impacted retail businesses in Alexandria, but not all for the worse…
Metro riders looking for new ways to commute have turned to alternative transportation options from bicycles to water taxis. Todd Ketch, the owner of Old Town Alexandria’s Pedego Electric Bikes store, said the Metro shutdown has generated additional interest in electric bikes. “We have had a fair number of customers come in with the idea that they could use an electric bike to commute into D.C. or wherever they used to go on the Metro,” Ketch said. “Certainly the shutdown of Metro has brought in customers that we wouldn’t necessarily have seen come in otherwise.”
Average bicycle volume during peak commuting periods on the Potomac Yard Trail this summer has been nearly double last year’s numbers, according to Alexandria’s July 23 Mid-Summer Report. Ketch said electric bikes are particularly appealing for longer commutes because they don’t require the rider to expend as much energy.
Potomac Riverboat Co. offers $10 one-way water taxi trips connecting Old Town Alexandria with The Wharf, Georgetown and National Harbor. Alexandria’s July report found the water taxi has averaged 819 daily riders during the shutdown, and ridership has increased as the summer has dragged on. During the first week of the shutdown, 2,274 riders rode the water taxi, but by the fifth week ridership had increased to nearly 5,000. “The water taxi has definitely seen an increase in traffic from commuters and visitors, so they’re a beneficiary,” Kaiden said.
Read Full Story on BisNow: A Summer Of Winners And Losers In Alexandria Amid 3-Month Metro Shutdown