TRANSIT: N. Va. Transportation Commission approves BRT plan

The BRT plan is estimated to cost significantly less than an alternative light-rail plan

July 13, 2016
The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission approves BRT plan

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission has bestowed its seal of approval on a proposal to run bus rapid transit (BRT) 11 miles between Tysons Corner and Alexandria, mostly along Route 7.

The commission—comprised of state legislators, local-government officials and business leaders—unanimously approved the proposal on July 7.

The BRT system is seen as a lower-cost alternative to light-rail transit, which also had been proposed. It is designed to run between the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons and the Mark Center in Alexandria, with a connection to the East Falls Church Metro station.

Planners estimate the new bus system would attract about 8,600 new transit riders per day. The BRT system would cost about $250 million to construct, according to most recent estimates, compared to nearly $1 billion for a light-rail system, while annual operating costs would be about 45% less than for light rail.