Along Columbia Pike
The premium bus service is planned to start in summer 2018, with 23 transit stations and other amenities implemented in phases through 2021.
Read the project update given to the County Board on June 27, 2017.
WMATA, in partnership with Arlington and Fairfax Counties, is developing an implementation plan for Columbia Pike bus service improvements. This study is evaluating ridership patterns, examining corridor brands (express, limited stop, local connector, other feeder routes), and developing day/night/weekend service plans.
On Jan. 16, representatives from WMATA gave a presentation to Arlington's Transit Advisory Committee on the Columbia Pike Service Evaluation and plans for phasing in bus service improvements.
Premium transit amenities
Transit stations – Staff will issue a Request for Proposals in winter 2018 to manufacture the above ground structures for the stations. Next steps will include issuing an Invitation to Bid for construction of the first 5 stations. Visit the project page for more information.
Off-vehicle fare collection – Several jurisdictions in the region are coordinating on a study to identify the technology for this feature, and the study is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Implementation on Columbia Pike is expected within 18 months after study completion.
Transit signal priority – Technical work was completed for Columbia Pike in fall 2016. Staff are coordinating with WMATA, Alexandria and DC to learn from their experiences using this technology.
About the Project
A major feature of the County’s 10-year plan for transit improvements is creation of a Premium Transit Network connecting Columbia Pike, Pentagon City and Crystal City. The premium network will offer bus service that is fast, frequent, reliable and easy to use, with features including simplified routes, increased weekday and weekend service, and a new one-seat bus ride from Skyline to Pentagon City-Crystal City.
The Premium Transit Network will feature three different types of service to meet the needs of different riders in the Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Pentagon City corridors:
- Local connector service – A new, branded Metrobus route (replacing the 16G/H/K) will connect Skyline and Crystal City, serving every transit station on Columbia Pike and offering a direct connection to office and retail in each corridor.
- Limited-stop service – Simplified limited-stop Metrobus service will provide commuters with frequent, faster trips along Columbia Pike from Fairfax to the Pentagon and points in DC.
- Neighborhood connections – Enhanced service on ART 41, 45 and 74 will link nearby neighborhoods to Columbia Pike and Crystal City and improve connections to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
All of the transit service along the Premium Transit Network will benefit from passenger amenities aimed at creating a system that is fast, frequent and easy to understand. These amenities will be phased in and include:
- Transit stations - These stations will provide a comfortable passenger experience, with near-level boarding and real-time passenger information to make the system easier to use.
- Off-vehicle fare collection – paying your bus fare at the station before you board, instead of on the bus as you board – will speed service by reducing dwell times at stops.
- Transit signal priority, a way to reduce delays for buses at signalized intersections, will help reduce travel times for transit users.
- Branded vehicles and information will make transit easy to identify and understand.