Sunday, 7 April 2019

Herndon – Monroe Sluglines Moved to the New Garage

Effective April 8, 2019, sluglines at the existing Herndon - Monroe parking garage will be relocated to the new garage. See the map for traffic pattern. All vehicles entering the garage to pickup slugs should be exiting the garage and muse use Sunrise Valley Drive to access eastbound Dulles Toll Road. Later this month direct access from the garage to Dulles toll road near the sluglines will be opened for traffic. It is not clear when sluglines will have a permanent pickup location along the bus loop. Pay attention to signs, cones, barricades and pavement markings to navigate the new layout.

Drivers: Drive pass the collection booth, turn right and immediate left. Drive all the way to the end and turn left to pickup riders lined up behind the yellow bollards next to the stairs. (refer picture)

Riders: Turn right to the new garage, riders will be lining behind the yellow bollards nest to the stairs.

Friday, 5 April 2019

OmniRide Testing a Double Deck Bus

OmniRide will test a double deck commuter bus for the next few weeks, and passengers who climb aboard will be asked to fill out a survey instead of paying a fare. This is no sight-seeing bus, but riders taking in the views from the panoramic second deck windows might disagree. The bus has a staircase toward the front interior and a video monitor at the staircase so passengers can get an indication of how full the second deck is before climbing the stairs.

The seating configuration on double deck buses varies but this model, which is manufactured by Alexander Dennis Inc., has 81 seats, including 53 seats on the second deck. The bus has a low floor and can accommodate up to two passengers in wheelchairs at a time on the lower deck. OmniRide’s current commuter bus fleet is comprised of 57-seat buses manufactured by Motor Coach Industries.

“OmniRide’s staff is constantly looking for ways to better utilize resources,” said PRTC Chair Ruth Anderson. “While no decision has been made about whether or not to add double deck buses to OmniRide’s fleet, it’s clear that operating higher-capacity vehicles would reduce the number of buses needed and the amount of fuel used every day.”

OmniRide staff currently are examining all Express routes to ensure the bus can operate safely within the existing infrastructure, i.e. passing under bridges, making tight turns, and other maneuvers required when serving top destinations including the Pentagon, Metro Stations and downtown Washington, D.C.

While routes are selected for testing, a handful of operators will be trained to drive the 42-foot vehicle, which is 12-feet, 10-inches tall. Then, starting the week of April 8, the double deck bus will be placed into service for about eight days, said OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider.

Passengers who have the opportunity to ride the bus won’t have to pay a fare; instead they’ll be asked to fill out a survey to help OmniRide evaluate the vehicle. OmniRide bus operators and mechanics also will provide input to help determine if double deck buses should be added to OmniRide’s fleet.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Traffic Impact on I-395 HOV Lanes and at the Pentagon Due to Metro Shutdown

Starting May 25, 2019 to September 2, 2019, six of Blue and Yellow line stations south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will be closed for maintenance. As an alternative Metro plans to provide free express and local shuttle bus services to help customers get around the region.

About 17,000 metro riders will be affected by this shutdown between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. Free express and local bus service will be provided while the stations are closed. Riders should plan additional 30 minutes of travel time to their commutes.

From Franconia-Springfield Metro Station:
• Pentagon Express Shuttle between Franconia-Springfield and Pentagon stations will be running every 10 minutes
• Blue Line Shuttle between Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn St, King St-Old Town, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations (No stop at Braddock Rd Station)
• Non-Metro rider fee of $8.95 that was introduced last year at Franconia-Springfield Metro Station will be waived during the shutdown. All vehicles parking at FS Metro Station will have to pay the regular fee of $4.95

From Huntington Metro Station:
• Pentagon Express Shuttle between Huntington and Pentagon stations will be running every 10 minutes
• Yellow Line Shuttle between Huntington, Eisenhower Ave, King St-Old Town, Braddock Rd, and Crystal City stations (No stop at National Airport Station)

Traffic on I-395 HOV and at the Pentagon South Parking:

Two Pentagon Express shuttles from Franconia-Springfield Metro to the Pentagon and Huntington Metro to the Pentagon will be a great service. It may even have a good ridership like the new express routes such as 698, and 699 introduced along I-66 corridor. Challenge is the construction on I-395 express lanes and the Pentagon South Parking that may cause traffic backups that may impact commuters using HOV lanes. Telework option and lower summer traffic may washout the traffic due to metro shutdown. Hope Metro and PRTC  considers to route few free express buses directly to Washington DC and Virginia State Police enforce HOV on 14th street bridge to elevate congestion at the Pentagon.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Can residents help snow removal any quicker...

  • Plan to travel before or after the snow, if you have to be on the road give enough room for the VDoT crew
  • Park your vehicles in driveways or on odd-numbered side of the street

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDoT) removes most snow from roads from about 13,942 lane miles in Northern Virginia. About 2150 miles are interstates and major roads, rest are neighborhood roads. That is about 85% of their maintenance area are local roads with slow moving traffic and cars parked on the road side. VDoT's crew with 3000 vehicle fleet, begins plowing once 2 inches of snow has accumulated on the road surface. Their goal is to plow about 2-4 inches in 24 hours starting with interstates, followed by major roads and then local roads. With about 85% of the roads being local and neighborhood roads, it will help if residents park their vehicles in driveways or on odd-numbered side of the street. This will help the crew to plow quicker and stay within the $55.6 Million budged.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

New Traffic Pattern at the Pentagon South Parking Starting January 22nd 2019

On or about Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and subject to weather events, the Eads Street traffic pattern will return to one lane on both sides of Eads Street, inbound and outbound, while construction continues.  If inclement weather is encountered this weekend, the traffic pattern change will occur the following Monday, January 28, 2019.

The current traffic restrictions and detours during the AM Peak between 6:00am to 9:00am, the off-peak period from 9:00am to 3:00pm, and the PM Peak from 3:00pm to 8:00pm will continue to be in effect.  Please see attached diagrams for complete details.

The temporary relocation of Route 610 Stafford and Mine Road slug stations will remain at the Kiss and Ride area on N. Rotary Road during the Eads Street construction.  Please pay close attention to traffic control direction, signage and traffic signals as they will change to align with the new traffic patterns. Download flyers for Morning and Afternoon traffic patterns. Visit for more information.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

2019 commuter benefits monthly limit increased from $260 to $265

For tax year 2019, the monthly limitation for the qualified transportation fringe benefit is $265, as is the monthly limitation for qualified parking, up from $260 for tax year 2018.

Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits includes transit passes and vanpooling expenses. Qualified parking is parking employers provide to its employees on or near your business premises. It includes parking on or near the location from which your employees commute to work using mass transit, commuter highway vehicles, or carpools. It doesn't include parking at or near your employee's home.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Pre and Post Federal Holiday Slug Lines

For the past few long weekends and this holiday season, we keep getting the same question over and over again! Will slugs be there at the pickup location? Will drivers stop to pick up slugs? What is the backup for riders who get stranded?

Aggregation and volume are key for successful sluglines. Commuters doubt slugging during pre and post federal holiday due to the low number of drivers and riders spread across all pickup locations. To achieve the optimal number of commuters for slugging we could reduce the number of pickup locations. Knowing almost all riders drive to the park and ride lots, and riders have access to public transportation in the afternoon, reducing the number of pickup lots during low traffic days will add a bit more commute time, but would help slugging operate as other days.

If slugging works on pre and post holidays, we would need backup.

Morning Pick Up Sluglines:
  1. Bobs
  2. Horner
  3. Rt. 610 Staffordboro
Afternoon Sluglines:
  1. 14th and Independence
  2. The Pentagon

Share your thoughts!