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.