City Reveals Recommended Route for Trolley Service in Del Ray

Proposed route will connect King Street and Braddock Road Metro stations before heading up Mt. Vernon Avenue.

With more than a half-dozen routes on the drawing board, Alexandriaʼs Department of Transportation and Environmental Services announced Wednesday that it has selected a recommended route for trolley service in Del Ray.

The preferred routing for the trolley, revealed at a community meeting Wednesday night at , will start at King Street Metro station, head east on King Street, then north on West Street, stopping at the Braddock Road Metro station.

From there, the trolley will hop on Braddock Road and head up Mt. Vernon Avenue. The trolley will cross over West Glebe Road, then head east on West Reed Avenue, passing . Then the trolley will go down Commonwealth Avenue, turning right on West Glebe, and another left on Mt. Vernon Avenue, completing the loop. 

“We wanted to keep the route as simple as possible,” said Pierre Holloman, T&ES transit planner. “We found this particular route to be the safest, and the easiest, for the vehicles to maneuver.”

Holloman also noted that the trolley route will likely use existing transit stops.

However, Holloman stressed that everything is proposed and that the route and stops have not been finalized.

That finalization is contingent on the responses the city receives from contractors on the request for proposal (RFP), to be issued next month. The city hopes to lease six trolleys, running four trolleys on the 3.2-mile loop with 20-minute headways. Two trolleys will be used as spares, in case of a breakdown.

According to Rich Baier, T&ES director, the city needs to review the RFPs to determine which vendor is the best fit for the city’s needs and falls within the parameters of the budget. Baier said he anticipates the RFPs will be back in late June or early July.

“Once we get those in, we can reassess routes and stops,” said Baier.

Baier added that the city will reconvene with the public in August once a vendor is selected.

A few members of the Arlandria-Chirilagua Business Association raised concerns about the trolleyʼs exclusion of the Arlandria neighborhood, both in regards to the proposed trolley route and the name of the trolley itself.

With the proposed route stopping short of the mainstays and popular destinations in the community, some felt the trolley would not benefit Arlandria at all.

Baier assured the group that the city will take this all into consideration during its internal review, noting that the funding that is allocated for the trolley service may restrict the ability for the route to stretch further north to Arlandria.

Sandy Modell, DASH general manager, echoed Baier saying that the city can start with a small area, and with increased time and funding, can evolve the route to be more encompassing.

Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association President Stephanie Pace Brown reassured the Arlandria community members that a trolley logo will be designed that “capitalizes on the equity that Del Ray has.”

With recommended trolley service hours running 3:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday and from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, it is the cityʼs hope that the trolley will serve as a vital link to disperse tourist and visitor spending dollars into the Del Ray and Arlandria communities.

“We are truly excited about the opportunity the trolley presents to the Del Ray community,” said Brown. “Del Ray is ready to benefit from the greater influx of visitor spending—shopping, dining, and celebrating on main street.”

Joseph M. March 31, 2012 at 06:06 PM
The whole decision-making process seems broken. The money was put into the budget before a ridership projection was done. The King Street Trolley costs $700,000 so the Del Ray Trolley received the same. It was only after the budget was decided that route and ridership analysis was done. The trolley can't go to Arlandria not only because there's not a good place to turn around, but because there isn't enough money. There's only enough money to run the trolley buses every 20 minutes IF it doesn't go to Arlandria. Either more money should have been allocated or the route should have been analyzed first, then a cost-benefit consideration could have been run to determine whether to go to Arlandria. Also, were the numbers ever run to see what it would have cost to upgrade the existing 10A/E WMATA bus service? What would it cost to increase buses to every 10 minutes?
KingBraddock April 01, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I hope Jim Mathews actually said "manana". I love the idea of the trolley passing through Arlandria.
Jacob Cuomo April 04, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Ridiculous statement from Ms. Moshenberg. All of the citizens groups in Arlandria were consulted/briefed/solicited for comments on numerous occasions months before this plan going to P&Z and City Council. Ms. Moshenberg is trying to use the upcoming Mt. Vernon Village Center to her policical advantage as if replacing a "parking lot" to use Councilman Smedberg's words, is something horrible for the community. Ms. Moshenberg is not a Hume Springs resident. She is a Del Ray resident trying to masquerade as a HS resident. This won't work.
GThomas April 06, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I would bet the reason the route goes through Del Ray only is because of a higher percentage of residents that are more involved with the city. Not that Arlandria is not involved but I bet less than Del Ray. Also, the trolly is close enough for now and if it works out, then it should be expanded. From Cora Kelly you can walk to the Birchmere, RT's, etc.
JD Valk May 26, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Decisions like this are made by bureaucrats with scant regard for public input at such a regular basis that it's no wonder the first local glance at the plan after the fact reveals many flaws and issues that could've been ironed out with a modicum of public input prior to an official city recommendation. "The route starts at the King St. Metro and stops at the Braddock Metro. When I asked why it did not just start at the Braddock Metro, outgoing ACVA President Stephanie Brown said because it is for Tourists and Visitors so needs to be at the the King St. Metro where there are 5 hotels." Then why connect to Braddock Metro at all, as any Metro patrons can be encouraged via signage that this limited-run shuttle can be accessed by continuing to King Street Station? I echo the sentiment that Commonwealth Avenue can most certainly handle a Del Ray-centric shuttle/trolley better than West Street, especially since the swing through there from King Street Metro to Breaddock Road serves no purpose given the above stated reasoning.


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