Arlington beefs up bus service as big business moves in

Ground is broken on a Transitway extension Monday in Arlington.
Ground is broken Monday on a Transitway extension in Arlington. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

As big businesses like Amazon and Boeing move to Arlington, Virginia, the county is breaking ground on a project to beef up public transportation.

The project will extend the Transitway by a little over a mile to Pentagon City. The service currently runs from the Braddock Road Metro Station in Alexandria, Virginia, to 15th Street in Crystal City.

“This is a really attractive transit alternative for people commuting throughout the (U.S.) Route 1 corridor into destinations like Crystal City, now Pentagon City, or places like Potomac Yard,” Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol told WTOP.

The extension will install dedicated bus-only lanes on 12th Street between South Hayes Street and Army Navy Drive. Bus lanes will also be added on Crystal Drive and Clark Street. Mixed traffic lanes will run on South Hayes to the future WMATA Pentagon City Bus Bay Project.

“The Transitway extension to Pentagon City will only improve things with additional dedicated lanes providing frequent and reliable service,” said WMATA Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader.

With Amazon’s second headquarters coming in 2026 and the recent announcement of Boeing bringing its headquarters to the county, Cristol said public transportation is a must.

“As this area becomes an internationally recognized economic-development destination, it’s even more clear that our business sector cannot thrive unless it can draw in talented workers from around the region,” said Cristol during the groundbreaking ceremony.

“And our neighborhoods can’t thrive unless those same workers have convenient and quality modes of getting here without adding to air quality, degrading emissions and traffic congestion.”

Five new Metroway stations also will be added between Pentagon and Crystal City.

“It’s more like a rail system. It’s just not on tracks, as opposed to operating in mixed traffic,” said Cristol.

The project has an approved budget of $27.7 million and is funded primarily by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and state funds.

The project is expected to wrap in 2024.

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Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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