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Suburban Buses Announce Jan. 20 Plans

Metro and the suburban bus systems have been working to coordinate their services on Inauguration Day, and the burbs are now announcing plans to get passengers to and from rail stations.

Here are a few of those announcements, but we expect more. As soon as we compile a complete list, we'll post it here and put it in the newspaper.

Fairfax Connector
Fairfax Connector will provide free rides for all passengers on Jan. 20. It's a good way to avoid a parking hassle at one of the Metrorail stations, which are likely to be really crowded. Park at one of the designated Park and Ride lots and board the Connector, or pick ukp the bus at a stop along the route.

The Connector will operate an enhanced Saturday schedule with more trips and additional routes. Routes serving Metrorail stations in Fairfax County will operate with more trips. Bus service will operate from 4 a.m. to midnight.

These are the Metrorail stations that will be served by enhanced Connector service.
Huntington: Routes 101, 109, 151, 152, 161, 162, 171
Franconia-Springfield: Routes 171, 310, 321, 322, 401
Van Dorn Street: Routes 109, 321, 322
Dunn Loring: Route 401
West Falls Church: Routes 425, 427, 505, 551, 585, 950 and 980

In addition, Connector Routes 574, 605 and RIBS 1, 2, 3, and 4 will operate on Jan. 20. These routes do not go to Metrorail stations but provide transfer opportunities to buses that do serve Metrorail stations. No other routes will operate on Jan. 20.

These 11 free Park and Rides have service to Metrorail stations.

Backlick North: Take Route 310 to Metrorail
Herndon Monroe Park and Ride: Take Routes 551, 950, 980
Lorton Market Street: Take Route 171
Michael's, Richmond Highway: Take Route 171
Reston East: Take Routes 505, 551
Reston North: Take Routes 505
Reston South: Take Routes 585
Rolling Valley: Take Route 310
Springfield Mall: Take Routes 321, 322, 401
VRE Backlick Road Station: Take Routes 321, 322, 401
VRE Lorton Station: Take Route 171

Montgomery County Ride On
All weekday routes will operate on a weekday schedule on Jan. 20. Hours for the 42 routes that serve Metro stations will be extended to operate until 10 p.m. Routes that normally do run later than 10 p.m. will continue to operate as late as their usual weekday schedule.

Extra service will be available for six Park and Ride lots:
* Ride On Route 21 at Briggs Chaney Park and Ride Lot with parking for about 200 cars, providing service to the Silver Spring Metrorail Station. The lot is off Briggs Chaney Road at Gateshead Manor Way.
* Ride On Route 51 at Norbeck Park and Ride Lot with parking for about 200 cars, providing service to the Glenmont Metrorail station. The lot is on Norbeck Road, a quarter mile east of Georgia Avenue.
* Ride On Route 70 at Milestone Park and Ride Lot with parking for about 200 cars, providing service to the Bethesda Station. The lot is in the Milestone Shopping Center in Germantown along Shakespeare Boulevard.
* Ride On Route 55 at Lakeforest Park and Ride Lot with parking for about 200 cars, providing service to the Shady Grove Station. The lot is in Gaithersburg at Lost Knife Road and Odendhal Avenue.
* Ride On Route 90 at Damascus Park and Ride Lot with parking for about 150 cars, providing service to the Shady Grove Station. The lot is at Route 108 and Woodfield Road.
* Ride On Route 100 at the Germantown Transit Center Park and Ride Lot with parking for about 200 cars, providing service to the Shady Grove Station. The lot is at Route 118 and Aircraft Drive.

Shuttle Services From Ride On
Shuttle service will be provided from 4 a.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. on Wednesday from the Route 117 Park and Ride Lot at I-270, with parking for about 350 cars. The lot is at I-270 and West Diamond Avenue (Route 117). Service to and from Shady Grove Station.

Shuttles also will be available from the Route 124 Park and Ride Lot at I-270, with parking for about 500 cars. The lot is on Route 118 and Bowman Mill Drive. Service to and from Shady Grove Station. 

These are different from the regular buses. The shuttle fare is $3, payable in cash only, for Ride On's regional all-day pass. Buy it on the bus. No SmarTrip cards will be accepted on these special shuttles.

Prince William's PRTC
PRTC will offer free bus service from three commuter parking areas to Metrorail stations on Jan. 20.

Instead of traveling into Washington, PRTC's commuter buses will shuttle between some commuter parking lots and nearby Metro stations. Service starts at 4 a.m. at these locations:

Northern Virginia Community College, Sudley Road, to and from West Falls Church Station. There, passengers have the option of transferring to Metrorail or taking a free Metrobus shuttle to Constitution and 23rd Street NW, just north of the Mall.
Dale City
Horner Road Commuter Lot, Prince William Parkway and I-95, to and from Franconia-Springfield Station.
Lake Ridge
Old Bridge Road and Gordon Boulevard (Route 123) Commuter Lot and the Route 123 and I-95 Commuter Lot to and from Franconia-Springfield Station.

Between 4 and 9 a.m., PRTC buses will shuttle between the designated commuter lots and Metro stations. One bus per route will be in service between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when passenger demand is likely to be lightest. At 3 p.m., PRTC will increase the number of buses picking up passengers at Metro stations for return trips to the commuter lots. Bus service will end at 9 p.m.

PRTC also will run its Prince William Metro Direct bus service, which offers local connections between eastern Prince William County and the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station. However, because of traffic congestion, it may be difficult for the bus to stay on schedule. Fares on the Prince William Metro Direct bus will be free that day.

PRTC is able to offer free fares to and from the Metro stations on Inauguration Day thanks to funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

PRTC's local bus services will run as scheduled on Inauguration Day, although congestion may delay some buses. Normal bus fares will be charged for those using the OmniLink local bus services and the Cross County Connector bus.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 14, 2009; 6:27 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Inauguration Update: Metro Adds Late Night Service Monday
Next: Two Bridges Restricted on Sunday


Here's a question I keep asking: I live in NW DC and have to commute to my job at Fairfax Hospital on Jan 20. I usually use Chain Bridge. I have heard that Bridges from VA are all closed that day--but is that only to INBOUND traffic? Will I be able to go OUTBOUND over Chain Bridge? If not, what is the recommended route? I could use the AM legion bridge but I don't relish the beltway with 2-4 million people all descending on the city. Any suggestions?

Posted by: BRANTONPA | January 14, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Outbound bridges from DC to VA will be OPEN to all. But with the absolute nightmare that downtown will be, expect just about everyone who needs to get from NW to Fairfax to be using Chain Bridge along with otherwords, there will be traffic delays. least Chain Bridge and Canal Road will not be one-way during rush hours, because it is a holiday, so the nasty reverse-commute delays at Chain Bridge won't be an issue that day. But do expect heavy police activity on the Arlington side of Chain Bridge to enforce the inbound restrictions, which might delay outbound traffic.

If you approach the Legion Bridge from Clara Barton Parkway, that might work too. CLara Barton Parkway is like the "secret back way" onto the Legion Bridge that not many people from outside the area would be using.

Posted by: thetan | January 14, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Gridlock (or anyone), have you heard anything on how traffic will be this weekend getting into the area? I am traveling from Richmond to Fairfax for a basketball game (tickets bought LONG before this whole mess happened) on Saturday and I am wondering how early I should leave... or if I should abandon it altogether. 95 is always a mess, and if it is expected to be worse than usual I might cancel.


Posted by: gmusicchic | January 14, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yep, try MacArthur Blvd to Clara Barton Pkwy which would avoid any of the delays on Chain Bridge/Canal Road.

Posted by: blafhhhh | January 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"I am traveling from Richmond to Fairfax for a basketball game (tickets bought LONG before this whole mess happened) on Saturday and I am wondering how early I should leave"

LEAVE NOW! J/k :-) I think the closer we get to the inauguration, the worse traffic will be. I would expect Saturday to not be too bad, but I would probably plan an extra 1-2 hours into your drive to be on the safeside. I don't really know VA roads, but take a look at google maps and see if there are any alternate routes that would get you off of 95 if it's a parking lot.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | January 14, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I will be arriving at BWI at 9 a.m. on Tues., Jan. 20. How do you suggest that I return to my home in Tenleytown without being tied up in traffic all day: assuming there is still space on the train to Union Station, take that and then metro to tenleytown? metrobus to greenbelt and then metro to tenleytown? drive on rte. 29 and then cut through rock creek park to Nebraska Ave.? Any other suggestions?

Posted by: slk32123 | January 14, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Richmond to Fairfax: If I-95 backs up, take US-1, which basically parallels I-95 all the way from Richmond to Woodbridge. I assume if you're going to Fairfax you're probably headed to a GMU game at the Patriot Center. If you want to avoid the Beltway, you can take VA-123 from Woodbridge to the GMU area. The road construction is done and it's a full dual-carriageway 55-mph road for much of the way.

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 14, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

slk, the trains from BWI to Union Station are all sold out. You should probably take the B-30 bus to Greenbelt, but transfer between Green and Red lines at Fort Totten, *NOT* Gallery Place.

Posted by: thetan | January 14, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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