VRE set ridership record Thursday
The Virginia Railway Express set an all-time ridership record Thursday with almost 20,000 trips, VRE officials said.
On Jan. 6, the commuter-rail service recorded 19,912 trips. The previous record was set on Nov. 16 with 19,540 trips. When VRE was created in 1992, its mission was to serve 10,000 riders daily.
This past year has been an eventful one for VRE. The commuter-rail welcomed the first of 20 new locomotives this summer and in July switched operators to Keolis Rail Services America. VRE, however, has also been plagued with some problems in the last few months. Trains are at capacity and many riders have to stand daily during their commute. There was also a series of seven significant delays as the year came to an end in which people were stranded for an hour or more.
This month, VRE is expected to add two more of an eventual 20 new locomotives to the fleet. The VRE Operations Board will also see a change in leadership at its Jan. 21 meeting. Current Chairman and Stafford County supervisor Paul Milde will step down after completing his allotted year and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova will take over.
Additionally, leadership moved the head of maintenance from his position and attempted to beef up care of its equipment.