Saturday, 17 August 2019

Slugging gets nimble!

Traffic backups are not new to slugs, but slugs and drivers worked together to handle this a bit different this time. On August 15th, 2019 around 4:00 PM an accident on the I-395 south bound HOV lanes near Glebe Rd started slowing down HOV traffic. One of the Stafford Sluglines Facebook Group members, Tessa who was riding, posted a picture of the accident at 4:01 PM. Looking at the severity of the accident some decided to stay at work, some took regular lanes and hopped on the HOT lanes at Duke Street, while others exited from I-395 regular lanes to Seminary Rd. and took the HOV lanes.
It is not uncommon to check Waze or listen to traffic news on the radio and change their departure time or take alternate routes. But, when the information came from a fellow slug there was discussion and real time updates from other commuters who passed the accident. While the drivers were focused on driving, riders provided updates to other slugs who helped with navigation and communication.
Slugging brings the flexibility, that helps commuters pick their time and mode of transportation depending on the challenges they face at home, work or on the road. There were some Stafford slugs who took the VRE just that evening to get home without getting stuck in the traffic. Some joined to take Uber to the parking lot and others called their family to get a ride to their car.
Timely sharing of the incident and coordination with drivers and riders on the road helps slugs avoid traffic and get home faster. Yes, the no talking rule is out the window in such instances.
Photo credit: Tessa

Monday, 5 August 2019

OmniRide Service Plan for August 6, 2019

DATE August 5, 2019
WOODBRIDGE, VA – In response to comments we’ve received from passengers, OmniRide is offering a few suggestions for commuters impacted by an on-going work stoppage by some of our bus drivers.
On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, OmniRide will again operate on a modified service plan.
  • OmniRide Express buses in the I-95 corridor will take riders to and from the Pentagon Metro Station approximately every 30 minutes between 4:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
  • OmniRide Express buses in the I-66 corridor will take riders to and from the Tysons Corner Metro Station approximately every 30 minutes between 4:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
  • Fares on OmniRide Express buses will be free.
  • OmniRide Local buses will not make off-route trips.
  • VRE Shuttle Service will not operate, allowing OmniRide to divert those resources to other trips.
Passengers should be aware that OmniRide’s real-time mobile app will not accurately track buses that are not running their regular routes. Based on feedback from customers, OmniRide has a few suggestion for those using our services during the work stoppage:
  • The most important tip is to sign up for Rider Express, which is OmniRide’s email and text message alert system. Subscribers can select the routes they use and be notified of changes and delays impacting their commutes.
  • Passengers should allow for extra time for their commutes because Express buses are running less frequently than they normally do, and most passengers are making connections to reach their final destinations.
  • Passengers who find long lines at the Horner Road Commuter Lot may want to board at the Lake Ridge Commuter Lot, located at Old Bridge and Minnieville roads.
  • Passengers should know their alternatives to driving alone. Options include: Joining acarpool or vanpool, riding with Virginia Railway Express, and slugging (visit
Some OmniRide bus drivers began participating in a work stoppage on August 1, 2019, after their contract expired with OmniRide’s service contractor, First Transit. First Transit has been negotiating with the union that represents its bus operators at OmniRide, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) since March 2019.
The AFSCME Union and First Transit reached a tentative agreement for a new contract in late June 2019, however the union later rejected that offer. AFSCME also later rejected an offer to extend the contract through September 30, 2019 to allow the parties to continue negotiations.
OmniRide has a contract with First Transit, which hires the bus operators and mechanics who work on OmniRide buses, but OmniRide is not involved in First Transit’s negotiations with AFSCME.
During this work stoppage, OmniRide passengers are encouraged to sign up for Rider Express alerts and frequently monitor our website for updates.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

About 6,450 slugs along I-95 corridor – 2006, VDoT

A 2006 study by VDOT estimated that AM slugs along the I-95 corridor numbered about 6,450, which was about twice the number estimated in 1999 for this corridor. The 2006 estimates were based on morning peak counts at 15 slug line pickup locations along the Virginia I‐95 corridor. This includes sluglines in Fairfax and Prince William counties in the VDOT Northern Virginia District as well as locations in Stafford County and Fredericksburg in the VDOT Fredericksburg District. Source

Thursday, 18 July 2019

OmniRide Launches Real-Time Bus Tracker App

WOODBRIDGE, VA – OmniRide now has its own mobile app to provide passengers with real-time bus arrival information and updates. The OmniRide app, which was developed by Ride Systems, is free and can be found by searching for OmniRide in your mobile device’s app store.
The app has a bus tracker that enables riders to see a map with an icon showing the exact location of their bus and predicting the actual arrival time of the bus at all but the first bus stop along the route. This fall the app will be updated so that all OmniRide buses – including those that are not yet picking up passengers – will be tracked.
“Everyone who has ever used public transportation knows there’s an element of uncertainty about when the bus will arrive. People waiting at a bus stop are constantly looking down the road to see the first sign of their bus, but this new app takes away that uncertainty,” said Prince William County Supervisor Ruth Anderson, who also serves as chair of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), which oversees OmniRide.
Riders can select the routes and bus stops they use most often and receive one-time or regular reminders to leave for the bus stop based on the bus’s real-time predicted arrival.
Having an alert feature is a great convenience for riders traveling after the sun sets or during extreme weather, Anderson said, noting that riders can stay in their offices in the afternoons until receiving the alert and have peace of mind that they won’t miss the bus or wait for a long time at the bus stop.
Another feature enables riders to receive notifications about changes affecting their favorite routes, such as road construction that has temporarily closed a bus stop.
The app is expected to reduce the waiting time to speak with OmniRide customer service agents. For user convenience, the app also has a direct link to OmniRide’s website and to the OmniRide Trip Planner.
Real-time OmniRide bus information also is available on Google Transit.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

About 3400 commuters slug out off the Pentagon

May 21, 2019, Officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services and Transurban, gathered today to open the newly reconfigured and improved Pentagon South Parking Lot. Currently, more than 1,800 buses and about 3,400 “sluggers” (2010 Survery) on average pass through the South Parking Lot each day. The Pentagon South Parking Lot improvements cost approximately $10 million, and are funded by a federal “Fast Lane” grant, as well as a combination of VDOT and federal funds.
The Pentagon is the heart of slugging, it is said that the uniformed officers started slugging in the mid seventies when I-395 bus only Shirley Highway was changed to reversible bus and HOV lanes. Since then the Pentagon leadership have been a big supporter of sluggers. The Pentagon, leadership continues to support the slugging community knowing that less than 50% of sluggers work at the Pentagon. Slugging also helps the Pentagon lead the region in reducing single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips with just 34% of the population commuting via SOV compared to 54% for federal and 73% for the region.
The Pentagon has 8 slug pickup stations all going to destinations along I-95 corridor. Four of the slug pickup stations to Staffford are located at the intersection of North Rotary Rd. and Fern St. that serves Route 17 Stafford, Route 3 Gordan Road, Route 610 Mine Road, and Route 610 Stafford. The other four are located along the north end of the southeast parking lot also known as pork chop that serves Burke/Springfield, Tackett’s Mill/Lorton/VRE, Montclair/Route 234, and Horner Road/Potomac Mills. Based on the 2010 Survey, the following is the break down of the number of vehicles and riders who slugged from the Pentagon.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Relocation plan for Springfield-Bobs sluglines parking lot

Bob’s Sluglines Parking Lot tentatively to be closed in November 2019 for garage construction. slugs will lose about 278 spaces and slug pickup stations during construction for about 2 years. Fairfax County is working with the commuters to find alternative space for parking and pickup locations.
Below is the update from Caijun L, Senior Transportation Planner, Fairfax County.
Thanks for your patience while Fairfax County Department of Transportation develops the commuter parking relocation plan. The county is still in negotiations with property owners and nothing is final until the leases are signed, but we are confident the agreements will be completed soon.
Here is the relocation plan:
1) Relocate one slug line to the Springfield United Methodist Church parking lot ( The church currently provides 54 commuter parking spaces within their lot. In addition to those spaces, the church slug line would also serve the commuter parking located across the street at Springfield Plaza as well as the commuter parking at the American Legion.
2) Relocate one slug line and provide an additional 300 commuter parking spaces at the Springfield Town Center Frontier Garage ( ). In total, 800 commuter parking spaces would be located at the Frontier Garage on levels 2, 4, and 6.
The VDOT Saratoga Park-and-Ride Lot will serve as a back-up option in case something falls through with the church or town center.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Highway Breakdown? Call #77

If you ever run out of gas or have a flat tire immediately note your mile marker and call #77 they will dispatch a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDoT) truck to give you gas or change a tire all for free. It’s about your safety so stay in the car and be safe. This goes for any major highway in Virginia.
List of service from VDOT (All services are FREE)
Tire  change if you have a good spare and you must know where the lug lock is if you have one. 
💧 Water for over heated car but only water no coolant. 
⛽️ Gas if you run out 
Jumpstart for dead battery 
Traffic control for accident scenes. 
If you happen to have a cool driver they may have a cellphone cable you can use but that goes by the discretion of the VDOT driver. Put your hazards on VDOT is suppose to stop out with all vehicles they see but sometime they miss them. They are just making loops and will return.
Link to page for verification: