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!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Adventures in Slugging!

It was a yet another day at the Staffordboro slug lot; Marcia was waiting in line for her turn. She was glad to hear a driver call for the Pentagon riders. She hopped in, followed by another rider who got in with her. They navigated the traffic to get on the HOT lanes.

Five minutes into the ride, the truck's transmission slipped causing a jerking action while accelerating. Driver alerted the riders that his vehicle may have transmission issue and didn't want to take the risk driving any further on the HOT lanes. Not only he feared the breakdown on the HOV lanes, he feared breaking down in a location where there is no shoulders. The rider in the passenger seat called his wife in case they needed to exit the freeway before Woodbridge. The Driver then exited the HOT lanes and pulled into the Horner road commuter lot to drop off the riders at the Pentagon slug pickup station.

Marcia being new to the area was not familiar with Horner Road; but was grateful for the help and guidance of the driver and the rider who guided her to the Pentagon slug pickup station. Marcia lost about 15 minutes because this unexpected mishap, but was quickly got back on her way to her destination. Excited Marcia couldn't wait to share her experience on Facebook.

Unexpected breakdowns happen, it is wonderful how drivers and slugs come together in harmony and help each other to get to their respective destination safely. Happy slugging!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

About 30 agencies in DC can issue ticket for parking or moving violation

Last week one of our slugs mentioned that Federal Protective Service showed up at the L’Enfant Plaza slug pickup location and asked drivers to move the vehicles and warned them they should not be picking up slugs anymore. So we took the issue to the DDoT today and found that there are several agencies that has authority to ticket vehicles. The DDoT representatives mentioned that they do not have jurisdictions over some curb spaces and they have to look into the DC Municipal Regulations and Register for the details. They also mentioned that there are about 30 organizations that can issue tickets for moving and parking violations. So we found that there are about 29 Federal and State organizations that can issue tickets.

Our research found the following:
As of  May 27, 2011, the following are empowered to issue Notices of Infraction for all MOVING AND PARKING infractions within their respective jurisdictions:
  1. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police
  2. Metro Transit Police
  3. National Zoological Park Police
  4. United States Capitol Police
  5. United States Park Police
  6. United States Secret Service, Uniformed Division
  7. Walter Reed Army Medical Center
  8. Bolling Air Force Base Security Police
  9. United States Federal Protective Service
  10. Commandant, Naval District Washington
  11. District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Force
  12. Library of Congress
  13. United States Mint Police
  14. District Department of Transportation.
The following are empowered to issue Notices of Infraction for PARKING violations within their respective jurisdictions:
  1. District of Columbia Protective Services
  2. District of Columbia Department of Human Services at D.C. General Hospital
  3. District of Columbia Department of Public Works
  4. Saint Elizabeth's Hospital Security Force
  5. United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  6. United States Government Printing Office
  7. United States Park Police Visitor Aides
  8. University of the District of Columbia Security Police
  9. Fort Lesley J. McNair
  10. District of Columbia Public Library
  11. United States Department of Commerce Special Agents
  12. United States Defense Intelligence Agency
  13. United States Central Intelligence Agency Security Protective Service
  14. Superior Court of the District of Columbia Security Police
  15. United States Supreme Court Police
  16. District of Columbia Housing Authority Special Police Officers: and
  17. United States Department of State Uniformed Protection Officers

Saturday, 27 October 2018

New Sluglines from Staffordboro Commuter Lot to Rosslyn and DC

More than 500 commuters slug form Staffordboro commuter lot between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM. It is time to split the line when we have more than 30 riders in the line and 10 cars waiting to load passengers at the same time, and the riders can't hear the driver's location. Similar changes were made at the Horner road in early 2000's, now we have 1500 commuters using 6 separate lines. At Staffordboro commuter lot, Slug lines are kept close enough for the riders to switch or drivers to call out riders from other lines, similar to the options commuters have at the Pentagon to switch between Mine and Staffordboro slug pickup stations .This may not happen as each line will have enough riders and drivers.
Based on commuters input from from the Stafford Facebook Group 2 new slug lines will be added to the existing line.
  1. Existing Pentaon Slug line: Existing line will serve the Pentagon, Mark Center, Crystal City, and other Northern Virginia destinations excluding Rosslyn
  2. New Rosslyn Slug line: Rosslyn slug line will serve Rosslyn, Ballston and Court House, return line in the afternoon forms at Rosslyn around the Continental bar
  3. New DC Slug Line: DC slug line will serve all DC locations L'Enfant, Navy Yard, 14th and 18th street are popular locations and afternoon lines are at L'Enfant Plaza, 14th and G Street, 14th and Independence (new), and 19th and I (new)
Since this conversation started, there were 18 riders waiting at the Rosslyn pickup location who usually go to the Pentagon for afternoon rides. When riders and drivers get know more about the Rosslyn and DC locations, they would avoid going to the Pentagon to get a ride back home. We can expect similar growth in DC afternoon pickup locations. Both drivers and riders can save about half-hour every day by avoiding the Pentagon traffic.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Long slug line at Staffordboro Park and Ride

Riders at Staffordboro Park and Ride form a single line to slug to the Pentagon, Rosslyn, Crystal City and other DC locations. As the line gets longer during morning peak hours, loading time also gets longer, resulting in frustrated riders and drivers. In addition, when the driver calls the location it is not communicated well to the riders in the line. To find commuters destination, we conducted a survey in our Stafford Slug Lines Facebook group. About 130 commuters participated in the poll. Based on the poll, commuters can be categorized into 3 groups:

1) About 30% commute to the Pentagon and Mark Center, and other locations around Springfield
2) About 30% commute to Rosslyn and Crystal City
3) About 30% commute to DC to include 14th, L'Enfant, 18th, Foggy Bottom, Navy Yard, Union Station, Freddy Mac

If acceptable we can split the line into three as in the image:

1) Pentagon and Mark Center stays in the current location
2) Crystal City and Rosslyn moves to the next Aisle to the east
3) DC moves next to the bus shelter

The other options is to have split by 6 separate lines as to mirror afternoon lines, Rosslyn, Pentagon, Crystal City, L'Enfant Plaza, 14th Street, and 18th Street.

Poll may represent only about 10% of the commuters, and does not break down by drivers and riders. If we can split the line we expect afternoon lines in DC, Crystal City and Rosslyn will grow to have a steady flow of riders and drivers during the peak hours saving time for both drivers and riders. Riders also can avoid transfers at the Pentagon and drivers can avoid detour to the Pentagon to drop off riders.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

How much can a driver save in tolls by picking up slugs?

Since HOV started Luis lost his clean fuel exemption. He switched between regular lanes, express lanes and local roads spending lot of time and money. Though he was familiar with slugging at the Horner Rd. he was hesitant to pick up riders.

After chatting up with us on the Facebook messenger for about a month; Luis joined the slugging community. Luis said, “The first day was a bit tricky even with the directions in the sluglines mobile app, but was able to navigate through the loop with guidance from riders in the line”. He then said, “Riders were very helpful, they showed me the L’Enfant Plaza afternoon pickup location and provide some insights about slugging”. He said, “He will not have it any other way”. He was excited to share his EZ-pass statement and asked us to share it with the slugging community.

There are still lot of drivers contemplating on picking up slugs, they may not know the process, don’t know where to pick up or drop off. It could be overwhelming the first few times. If there are drivers out there who are still on the fence about picking up slugs, this EZ-pass statement should convince you to make a change in the way you commute. Slugging is not only cost effective; it is quick, flexible, and efficient but most importantly helps you put a smile on fellow commuters face. This cannot be done by one person, we should work together to open up more slugging location and encourage people to slug.

Keep Slugging! Slugging Rocks!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Arlington Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project Oct 2018 - 2021

Starting Monday, October 15, 2018 the National Park Service (NPS) will begin a new long-term change to the traffic pattern on Arlington Memorial Bridge. This change will reduce the bridge’s capacity from six to three lanes and one sidewalk until the rehabilitation is finished in 2021.

Slug-drivers and carpools commuting to destinations north of Constitution Avenue use the Arlington Memorial Bridge to avoid 14th street bridge traffic. With the reversible lanes, peak hour traffic will loose only one third of the capacity, but reduced speed at the construction zone may cause delays. In addition, the Pentagon Pork Chop, Eads road and 395 express lanes construction commuters should expect traffic backups inside beltway. VDoT and VA State Police should consider enforcing HOV restrictions north of Eads road to help I-395 HOV and Bus traffic going into DC.

For the next two years, there will be one constant eastbound and one constant westbound lane with a reversible third lane to accommodate rush hour traffic. Monday through Friday, the reversible lane will run eastbound (into D.C.) from 4 a.m. to noon and westbound (toward Va.) from noon through the overnight hours until 4 a.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and federal government holidays, two lanes will always run eastbound and one lane will always run westbound. Drivers should watch the overhead signals on the bridge to know which lanes are open for travel in their direction.

NPS information video:


Thursday, 11 October 2018

New Traffic Pattern at the Pentagon October 15, 2018

395 Express Lanes construction work continues at the Pentagon Slug Pickup location and along Eads Street between the Pentagon Reservation and Army Navy Drive. New Eads Street Construction Updates – Starting Monday, October 15, 2018

  • Ongoing construction activity at I-395 HOV on- and off-ramps on Eads St. at the Pentagon Reservation will lead to a lane shift in traffic patterns and delays. These new traffic patterns begin Monday, October 15, 2018 and continue into January 2019.
  • Drivers should follow updated signs and the direction of traffic control officers, and review the new traffic patterns shown. Note that drivers dropping off passengers at the Pentagon in the AM rush hour and continuing to DC or Crystal City will need to detour to Army Navy Drive to reach the I-395 North HOV on-ramp.
  • There is no change to current locations for AM drop-offs or PM pick-ups.
  • In the event of significant congestion during the PM rush hour, drivers should be prepared to take alternate routes to I-395 South HOV lanes.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Need for more parking spaces at Sydenstricker Park and Ride

Sydenstricker Park and Ride ( is a popular slug pickup location for commuters heading to the Pentagon. For years, the Sydenstricker parking lot with 170 spaces gets full by 7:00 AM. When the parking lot gets full, commuters park along the Hooes road as a overflow parking. The Fairfax county is proposing parking restrictions to protect the residential area along 8530 Hooes road and 8556 Hooes road on the north and along 8521 Hooes road and 8547 Hooes road on the south. In the survey conducted by the county in Feb, 2018 there were about 30 cars parked on the north side of which 29 were commuter cars, and 13 cars were parked along the southern side of which 10 were commuter cars. Survey doesn't not include the cars that were parked along the island. Parking in this area along the residents will be restricted to residents with parking permit. Commuters are advised not to park along the island, and recommended to park at the Rolling Valley ( or Saratoga ( Park and ride lots that are underutilized.

There will be a hearing on September 25, 2018 at 4:00 PM at the Fairfax County Government Center to establish the Sydenstricker Residential Permit Parking District (RPPD).

Thursday, 6 September 2018

I-66 tolls hit another high

September 5, 2018, I-66 Tolls hit another high of $46.75 today at about 8.20 AM for 20 minutes and dropped to $45.00 at 8.40AM. This is just 75 cents short of the current record of $47.50 on February 28, 2018. Around 40 drivers paid more than $40 toll on that day. This is probably the highest toll in the world at about $5 a mile for 9 miles.

There were no known accidents or breakdowns this morning, just volume. On top of that, to the most part all metro and buses were functioning without a hitch. Traffic was light during the summer, with the schools opening this week, looks like the entire Northern Virginia workforce along the I-66 corridor decided to drive to work today. Commuters say this may be due to lack of enforcement, not necessary all of them paid the hefty toll.

(Photo Credit: Stephen L)

Saturday, 18 August 2018

How commuters lookout for each other!

There are many drivers who find a slugs belonging left in their vehicle, post them on lost and found or social media sites in an attempt to reunite the items with their owners. But, we find drivers who go even further! For example, going around the parking lot pressing the panic button to identify the car to leave a note, or even going as far as to take the keys to the dealership in hopes of reuniting the keys with their owners.

But today, we came across a driver who dropped off slugs and continued to pickup her kids from the daycare. Her kid's sharp eyes found some keys in the backseat of the car and told their mom. She immediately messaged us on FaceBook and asked how she can return the keys back to the slug. We spread her message on social media and slug lines lost and found forum. We also asked her to leave a note in the lot where she picked her. Still, she didn't stop there, she was worried about the slug who may have issues finding a ride home.

An hour later we checked with her if she was able to reach the rider, and let her know we can post it on social media again. She said she found the driver! We always follow up to find out if the missing items found their way home. Driver responded, "I got the kids situated and went back up to the Rt.234 parking lot and at first I didn’t see anyone so I waited because the key fob was older and you couldn’t tell what kind of car it was. So the. I kept driving around because I knew the person would look distraught or be looking in their bags. And sure enough I pulled around again and I saw a young lady looking through her purse at her car and I asked her if she lost keys. And she said yeah and was so relieved. So that was amazing. I’m glad I found her."

This is a great example of the amazing slug community we have created together!

Sunday, 12 August 2018

More challenges to NoVA Commuters and the Pentagon Slugs

If your normal commute in NoVA isn't stressful enough, Metro is throwing another challenge to Silver, Orange, and Blue line riders. Commuters who slug to the Pentagon and transfer to the Metro have to take the bus instead. 

Starting August 11, 2018, WMATA will be performing maintenance work along the Silver, Orange, and Blue lines for the next 2 weeks. Silver and Orange lines will be single-tracking between McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations, with trains running every 20 minutes, with 50-60% REDUCED service. The bigger impact on slugs is the Blue line shutdown between Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery from August 11 to August 26.

WMATA is encouraging Metro riders to use other modes of transportation during this shutdown to avoid long delays and overcrowding on platforms. Below are some options that may work for those traveling on the affected Metro lines.

I-95 Commuters:
I-66 Commuters:
For more information on Metro rail disruptions and alternatives check

If you planning to drive to avoid all these changes, pickup slugs and cruise on Express lanes for free.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Another challenge to an afternoon slug pickup location - This time it is 15th and NY

Since the beginning of this year, afternoon sluglines have faced several challenges. It started with the DC officers forcing drivers to move away from the 14th street and L'Enfant pickup locations, construction at the Pentagon, and followed by Arlington police officers forcing drivers to move away from the Crystal Drive pickup locations. As some of them are being addressed by respective authorities, there comes another challenge to 15th and NY pickup location. We already have issues with the vehicles parked past 3:30 PM at 15th & NY. Last week DC Motor Coach parking posted a new sign saying 15th and NY slug pickup location will be converted to a tourist bus stop...

(Photo Credit: Kristina T)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Temporary Relocation of Rt. 610 Staffordboro Blvd. and Mine Road Slug Stations at the Pentagon

Effective Monday, July 23, Rt 610 Staffordboro Blvd. and Rt 610 Mine Road PM Pick-Up locations will be relocated to the Kiss and Ride areas on North Rotary Road between Corridor 2 and 3 entrances.

Due to the current 395 Express Lanes/Eads Street construction project and increased traffic volume observed on surrounding roadways, two slug stations for PM pick-up along Fern Street will be temporarily relocated to North Rotary Road as a traffic mitigation strategy.

Beginning Monday, July 23,

• Rt. 610 Staffordboro Blvd. and Rt. 610 Mine Road slug stations will be temporarily relocated from Fern Street to N. Rotary Road Kiss & Ride areas on North Rotary Road for afternoon slugging pick-ups.
• Rt. 3 Fredericksburg and Rt. 17 Stafford will remain in the same location near Fern St. and the Motorcycle Lot.

Signage will be in placed in the Pentagon South Parking areas to direct slugs and vehicles to the temporary locations. Please see attached map for the temporary locations and vehicle/pedestrian navigation on the Pentagon Reservation. Please follow signage and traffic control direction. If you have any questions, please contact the WHS TMPO at 571-372-7124 or

Monday, 1 January 2018

New sluglines along I-66 corridor to assist drivers to avoid the outrageous I-66 tolls

Happy New Year! 
It is evident that people living outside beltway are outraged by the new I-66 tolls. More than 14,000 clean fuel vehicle drivers lost their HOV exemption who were allowed to use I-66 during HOV hours. With tolling in effect, many residents in the region are now considering slugging, the nation’s most efficient transportation system, organized and manged by the commuters, for the commuters.
Organizing sluglines is not an easy task, it is a major change in the way people commute. It requires commitment and flexibility from the commuters. To identify pickup and drop off locations, commuters are coordinating via I66sluglines, a facebook group. We have about 500 commuters interested in slugging and expected to grow organically by number of locations and commuters as it did along I-95 corridor. Commuters are encouraged to join the group to share their preferred locations and time.  
After a month of coordination and communication with I-66 commuters there are five morning pickup locations along  I-66 and five afternoon pickup locations inside beltway and DC. We still have to run it through the local government.  Most of the afternoon sluglines are co-located with the existing sluglines in DC. Depending on the demand locations may be added or modified by the commuters.