Changes coming to Fairfax Connector bus service

Max Smith,

WASHINGTON – Some big changes are coming to Fairfax Connector bus service.

Testing on a new route using the 495 Express Lanes “went very well,” Fairfax Connector’s Christy Wegener says. The Burke VRE to Tysons line is on schedule to start running January 14, and the schedules are being finalized now.

Routes from Lorton and Saratoga are set to start in March, but the biggest changes coming to Fairfax Connector will come late next year, when the Silver Line gets up and running.

“It changes everything. All the service that’s in the Dulles Corridor that currently terminates at West Falls Church will be realigned to serve the Reston East-Wiehle Station,” Wegener says.

“We will be implementing a circulator system in Tysons Corner to support the Silver Line, and implementing new feeder routes in McLean,” she adds.

Forty-three percent of Fairfax Connector routes are slated to change. There will be public hearings on the changes this winter and spring, with the final plans presented to the County Board in May.

The system carries more than 38,000 passenger trips a day right now, a number that could rise based on the new service around the Dulles Rail stations and plans to make Tysons a more urban environment.

Another change in the pipeline is the addition of a service like Metro’s NextBus.

“The realtime passenger information, that’s something we have been working on for years … that will help improve the information available to passengers and it will help more accurately plan a transit trip,” Wegener says.

“That is some time away, but we do understand that knowing when your bus will be there — not when it’s scheduled to be there, but when it will actually be there – – it’s a huge bonus, a huge positive in whether a transit rider will take the bus,” she adds.

The request for contractors proposals on the system is just going out now.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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