Fairfax Co. reexamines changes to bus routes in Franconia-Springfield area

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Department of Transportation is shaping a new transit development plan and reviewing routes for the Fairfax Connector bus system as it looks for ways to improve service.

The county held a virtual community meeting Monday night to examine its preferred plan for possible changes on the routes that travel through the Franconia and Springfield areas.

Four areas of concern were identified, including connectivity, faster travel, a greater span of service and increased frequency.

“Are we matching up with the way people are traveling, where they want to go…we have to make sure that our routes are always getting people where they need to go,” said Planning Section Chief Michael Felschow. 

To improve service, the Connector can increase its hours or days of operation. Another idea was increasing the number of times a bus comes by a particular stop. 

Felschow said achieving faster travel times might mean re-directing buses from some neighborhoods. Nine bus routes in the Franconia-Springfield area are under consideration as part of the preferred plan.

Officials are asking the public to take part in these discussions in any way they can. 

“This is an opportunity for you to tell us what you need, so we can modify the plan so that it meets your needs in the community … get you to work, get you to school, get you to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, that’s what transit is all about,” Felschow said.

Residents can take part in an online survey to provide feedback on their transportation-related needs and issues. The survey closes on Oct. 16. They may also share their ideas via email at fairfaxconnector@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-339-7200.

There will also be another virtual meeting on the proposed changes on Wednesday at noon. Additional public meetings will happen in December. Felschow said there are multiple levels of review and approval before any bus routes are changed.

The preferred plan for bus routes in the Franconia-Springfield area will become part of the county’s overall transit development strategy. It will be presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in late 2021.

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