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.