WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Metro riders were thrown another commuter curveball on Friday when they found out that the six stations south of Reagan National Airport would remain closed for two weeks longer than expected.

The stations — all on the blue and yellow lines — closed on September 10th so that crews could begin connecting tracks to the future Potomac Yard stop. The closures were supposed to last six weeks. They’ve now been extended to eight weeks after workers ran into “unexpected” construction hiccups that forced them to backtrack on all the progress made, fix the issues, and then restart the project.

All of this has meant a headache for thousands of passengers who, without access to trains at the six stations, have relied on free Metro shuttle buses instead. But the shuttles aren’t the only option.

How to use Virginia Railway Express, for free, while Metro closures continue

The Virginia Railway Express, or “VRE” for short, is a commuter rail service that connects the Northern Virginia suburbs with D.C.’s L’Enfant and Union Station transportation hubs. VRE has two lines: Manassas and Fredericksburg. For the entire month of October, VRE is offering free service at the stations that are most impacted by Metro’s closures.

Passengers don’t have to pay fares if they’re traveling to or from any of the following stations: Backlick Road, Franconia-Springfield, Alexandria, Crystal City, L’Enfant, and Union Station.

System map. (VRE)