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Fairfax launches new express bus service

Saturday - 1/12/2013, 4:59pm  ET

burke_express_ribbon.jpg
Fairfax County officials cut a ribbon before boarding a new express bus in Burke, Va., Saturday. The Connector bus route will take commuters from the Burke VRE Station to stops in Tysons Corner. County board Chair Sharon Bulova joined Supervisors John Cook and Pat Herrity, plus Doug Allen, VRE chief, and Tom Biesiadny, Fairfax County transportation department director. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

This was the inaugural ride of the new express Connector bus service that will take commuters from Burke to Tysons Corner using the new 495 Express Lanes. The weekday limited-stop service includes four different routes through Tysons and includes stops at major employers, according to Connector, Fairfax County's public transit service.

The new bus was packed with Fairfax County leaders including Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova, supervisors John Cook and Pat Herrity. Doug Allen, the new VRE chief, and Mike McGurk, with Transurban - the company that operates the express lanes - were among the dignitaries who attended the inaugural ride Saturday.

Tom Biesiadny, Fairfax County transportation director, says the express route from Burke is the first in the county to use the express lanes. The route will serve as a pilot program as two other express Connector bus routes are scheduled to launch in March.

A route from the Lorton VRE station to Tysons and another from the Saratoga area in Springfield to Tysons are planned. Both will also travel along the 495 Express Lanes, which opened to traffic late last year.

"This is the first of what I hope are a whole series of express buses that are running on express lanes throughout the county," says Herrity, the Springfield District supervisor.

The Burke to Tysons service promises passengers a quick and convenient trip about 40 minutes in each direction, Biesiadny says.

And it is the first public transportation option for commuters between Burke and Tysons.

Weekday service is set to begin on Monday and the first two weeks are free in both directions. After Friday, Jan. 25, it'll cost riders $3.65 one-way with a SmarTrip card or $4 for cash transactions.

The schedule:

  • Mornings departing from Burke VRE station, 10399 Premier Court, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Midday from Tysons to Burke VRE station 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Afternoons from Tysons to Burke VRE station 4:15 p.m. To 7 p.m.

Biesiadny says the county is working on a transfer arrangement with VRE, which would reduce the cost for the express bus for commuters. He's hoping to have it worked out in the next few weeks and present it to the county board of supervisors and the VRE board.

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