TRANSIT: Bus rapid transit has arrived in northern Virginia

Aug. 25, 2014

Metroway service will feature dedicated bus lanes, stops every 6-20 minutes

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) has launched the first bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the northern Virginia-Washington, D.C., region, focusing on Arlington and Alexandria, Va.

Metroway, as the service is known, will initially cover a 5-mile route; only the first mile was built at press time. Ten buses will comprise the initial fleet, operating both in dedicated BRT lanes and in mixed traffic. Stops will be made every 12 minutes on weekdays—including every six minutes during rush hours—and every 20 minutes on weekends. Once the entire 5-mile line is finished, there will be a total of 22 stops between the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metro stations.

Fares for BRT rides will reportedly be the same as for regular bus service.

Metro has implemented a number of BRT enhancements throughout Alexandria, which could serve as the model for future BRT implementations throughout the region. Among the enhancements are special signage marking the bus-only lanes; lighter-colored pavement to further identify the dedicated BRT lanes; and new boarding platforms with distinctive blue glass shelters.

Within the next year, Metro also plans to implement a pre-boarding payment system and electronic screens at each station displaying the arrival time of the next bus.

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