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.