If you work in Loudoun County, Virginia, but live elsewhere, there aren’t many commuting options.
That’s why the county’s Board of Supervisors wants to explore the feasibility of providing commuter bus service for people who live west and north of Loudoun.
Metro’s Silver Line will eventually help employees coming to Loudoun County from the east, including the District, and employees living in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.
However, with development and population spreading west of Loudoun County, the Board of Supervisors is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to conduct a feasibility study on offering commuter bus service into the county.
“There are a significant number of employees at Loudoun-based businesses and local government employees that commute from jurisdictions to the west and north of Loudoun County along Routes 7, 9 and 15,” according to the agenda item, suggested by Dulles Supervisor Matt Letourneau.
“Providing commuter bus options to access employment in Loudoun County could help economic development efforts, reduce vehicle trips and be a benefit to Loudoun-based businesses in their workforce recruitment efforts,” according to the document.
Loudoun County leaders have sought flexibility in utilizing commuter buses in light of COVID-19. With increased teleworking, modified work schedules and hesitancy to return to transit, Loudoun County commuter bus ridership has only returned to 9% of pre-pandemic levels, resulting in unused buses.
Loudoun-based businesses have expressed difficulties in recruiting and retaining employees as the cost of living within Loudoun and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions continues to increase: “While the Board of Supervisors has begun directing significant resources towards increasing the availability of affordable housing options in the County, those projects take time to develop and may not be of interest to many who choose to live in localities to the west and north for other reasons.”
The feasibility analysis would include a survey of Loudoun-based businesses and employees to gauge interest, and potential destinations within the county.