The Crystal City-Potomac Yard transitway—the first network of bus-only lanes to be built in the Washington, D.C. region—will debut in spring 2014, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The transitway will ultimately connect Braddock Road and Crystal City Metro stations, with a future extension to Pentagon City. Construction began in July. Alexandria officials initially suggested line would open at the end of 2013.
“We see this as the poster child for what transit service should be,” Jack Requa, Metro’s bus chief, told the Post. “This will be the first time that the buses will own the street and be able to move freely without interruptions from cars and taxis.”
The MetroBus 9S route will utilize the transitway, as will a new 9X route.
In June 2012, Alexandria and Arlington County reached an agreement to potentially bring streetcars to the Arlington section of the transitway by 2019 and the Alexandria section by 2021.
The busway project is receiving local, state and federal funding. Alexandria’s segment is expected to cost $20 million, while the Arlington portion is estimated to run $17.5 million, according to the report.
In his budget presentation last month, Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young proposed a transit funging increase of $4.6 million for DASH and WMATA, a portion of which will go toward operating needs in the new transitway.
The Washington Post article offers an account of ticketing operations and how customers will board the buses:
The pre-boarding payment system planned for the transitway would be new to the region. Modeled on similar systems in other cities, the system would make boarding far quicker. Riders would be able to pay at bus station ticket vending machines that issue a time-stamped ticket. Then they would enter the bus through either door, and tickets would be checked only at random by roaming Metro personnel, not the driver.
Buses would stop at stations that would have platforms to allow level boarding and would be equipped with shelters and displays showing bus arrival information.
With quicker boarding and dedicated lanes, Metro believes the transitway could transport more people quicker, boost ridership and potentially reduce the number of cars on Route 1 and other portions of the cooridor.
Metro has posted an online survey seeking input on two branding concepts for the transitway—Metrobeat and Metroway—as well as the colors and designs of the buses and signs and the name of the corridor. The final choices will be used not just in the Crystal City-Potomac Yard transitway but also in future Metro transit corridors.
More on the transitway:
- The Mystery of the Missing Sod
- Route 1 Transitway Construction to Begin Soon
- Alexandria, Arlington Reach Streetcar Agreement
- Council Approves Route 1 Transitway, Calls for Parking Districts
- Transitway to Alter Route 1 Intersections
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