Service Changes for Loudoun County Transit
Final Service Changes for FY 2019 (starting 07/01/18)
Every year, Loudoun’s Transit and Commuter Services staff evaluates all of the transit services that are provided by the county. Staff evaluates riders per revenue hour, riders per revenue mile, and net cost per rider for each bus route. Any transit route that operates at less than half of the average of the transit system as a whole is subject to an adjustment or elimination. Based on transit data from Fiscal Year 2017, and input from various stakeholders, including the public, the Board of Supervisors, the Transit Advisory Board, Loudoun’s transit service contractors, county staff and recommendations from the Transit Development Plan (TDP), transit service changes, additions and eliminations are published for public comment. Public comments on proposed changes are typically accepted for one month and then the comments are evaluated to see if they are a fit for both the transit operations and the budget. The proposed transit service changes for Fiscal Year 2019 were published for public comment from 02/26/2018 thru 03/26/2018 and the final changes are as follows:
Route 980 – New route providing a direct connection between Sterling Park and the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station
Currently, passengers wanting to connect to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station from the Sterling Park area must ride three miles in the opposite direction to Dulles Town Center where they must transfer to a different bus to continue to Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. County staff proposed a route that will provide direct connection to Wiehle from Sterling Park. The route will also improve circulation within Sterling Park by:
a) Connecting with Sterling routes 80 and 82 on Enterprise Street.
b) Adding stops along Church Rd. between Holly Ave. and Sterling Blvd.
c) Adding a stop near the entrance to the Newberry neighborhood and the Chase Heritage Apartments on Sterling Blvd
Based upon comments received at a public comment meeting, the starting point for the route was changed so that it now starts on Church Road in order to provide service from the neighborhoods along Church Road.
Also, due to Fairfax County having a route 980 serving the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, the new route will be re-numbered as the 985.
Route 990 – Combine and optimize Route 990 and Route 83 to better serve the area in and around Quantum Park/AOL/Pacific Blvd
Routes 990 and 83 are both experiencing very low ridership. 72% of the current Route 83 riders travel from Dulles Town Center to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station. Routes 87x and 84 already provide service from Dulles Town Center to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station. Staff recommended combining the 990 and 83. Route 83 stops on Pacific Boulevard, south of Waxpool Road will still be served by Route 990. Route 990 service to the Christian Fellowship Church and to the County Government Center will be eliminated. The County Government Center will now be served by Routes 921 and 922. The streamlined Route 990 will:
a) AM - Serve Quantum Park, Raytheon/Oath and Business Ct, with stops along Pacific Blvd near Raytheon
b) PM - Serve Pacific Blvd, Business Ct, Raytheon/Oath and Quantum Park
Based upon comments received from current riders of the 990, the timetable was adjusted to try and coordinate better with Metrorail service as well as employer start times. Additionally, Route 991 which served the Loudoun County Government Center in Leesburg was reinstated.
Routes 921/922 – Replace the connection between the Government Center and the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station that would be eliminated by the Route 990 changes
Route 921 presently provides service from the Harmony and Leesburg park and ride lots to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station in the AM and Route 922 provides service from the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station to the Leesburg and Harmony park and ride lots in the PM. Staff recommended adding an AM trip to the County Government Center from Wiehle-Reston East on Route 921 and a PM trip from the Government Center to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station on Route 922.
Significant feedback was received stating that adding the Government Center stop would be highly disruptive to the commuting patterns of riders on the 921 and 922. Based upon the low demand for service to the Government Center, as compared to the existing ridership on the 921 and 922, the decision was made to not add the Government Center to Routes 921 and 922. Additionally, based on that same feedback, the scheduled times of Routes 921 and 922 have been restored to the scheduled times that exist today.
Route 88x – Extend the Route to include stops at the Stone Ridge park & ride lot and the StoneSprings Hospital
Currently, Route 88x provides service between the East Gate park and ride lot and the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. County staff recommended extending the service west to both the Stone Ridge park and ride, located at the Stone Ridge Village Center and to the StoneSprings Hospital. This change will improve access to the Metrorail system for south county residents as well as provide hospital employees with a transit commuting option. With this change, the current service will be increased from two buses to three buses in order to keep the wait times between buses reasonable.
Public feedback indicated two primary needs for change. One was to keep the departure times as close to the existing schedule as possible, and another was to have a departure from the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station closer to 3:00pm. Staff reviewed the proposed timetable and made adjustments that minimized the changes to the existing departures. In addition, a departure time at 3:00pm from Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station was added.
Route 70 – Change routing around One Loudoun
In order to improve safety, the current One Loudoun bus stop that is located on westbound Russell Branch Parkway has been relocated onto Exchange Street.
There was no feedback received regarding this change.
Route 72 – Change routing around One Loudoun
In order to improve safety, the current One Loudoun bus stop that is located on westbound Russell Branch Parkway has been relocated onto Exchange Street. In addition, due to low usage, the Atwater Drive portion of Route 72 has been eliminated. It is important to note that when the new One Loudoun park and ride lot, located on Savin Hill Drive, opens in late summer of 2018, it will be served by the Route 72.
There was no feedback received regarding this change.
Due to low ridership, service on the 87x will be reduced from two buses to one bus. This change will cause the wait time between buses to increase from 20 minutes to 40 minutes.
There was no feedback that indicated a need to adjust the proposed service.
One Loudoun Park & Ride Lot is scheduled to open in July of 2018
A new 500 space park and ride lot in One Loudoun is planned to open in late Summer 2018. The lot will be located on Savin Hill Drive, adjacent to the new Sheriff’s office. When the lot opens, it will be served by commuter bus, local fixed route, and metro connection transit services. This park and ride lot is tentatively scheduled to open in August 2018; however, the completion of this lot is subject to weather delays.
Purcellville Park and Ride
The new Purcellville park and ride lot will open on July 2, 2018. The lot will be located on Browning Ct. and will initially provide 80 parking spaces with the ability to expand to 250. When the lot opens, commuter bus services will shift from the St. Andrew park and ride lot. The new lot will also provide the opportunity to relieve overcrowding at the Harmony park and ride lot.
There were multiple public comments requesting later trips from the Purcellville park and ride lot. Currently the last trip departs Purcellville at 5:25am. The plan to relieve over crowding at the Harmony Park and Ride lot by adding stops in Purcellville to the 407 and the 415 runs will add departures from Purcellville at 5:43am and 6:25am.
Route 802 – Relieve Overcrowding
Currently, route 802 has experienced standee loads on 62% of the service days since the start of the fiscal year on July 1, 2017. In an effort to relieve that crowding, staff proposed adding a bus to the schedule starting at 3:40pm at the Washington Navy Yard which will pick up the western stops in Washington DC. The new bus would mirror the 802 route and then travel directly to the Harmony and Purcellville Park and Ride Lots. The existing Route 802 would continue to serve the same pick-ups in Washington DC but would now serve only the Leesburg Park and Ride Lot.
Multiple comments were received supporting the addition of the new route. The positive comments focused on both relieving the overcrowding on the 802, as well as reducing the time to get to Purcellville and Harmony. Going forward the new route will be named the 823 and will operate as it was originally proposed.
Route 815 – Address Underperformance
Currently, route 815 has shown significantly lower ridership than other routes in the commuter bus system. In an effort to help meet the mandated financial performance of the entire system, staff recommended deleting route 815. In order to still provide service between Rosslyn, and the Dulles North Transit Center, Leesburg, Harmony and Purcellville Park and Ride lots, staff further proposed to add a stop in Rosslyn to route 818. The 818 would serve Rosslyn at 5:34pm, seven minutes later than the current 815 stop time. The current average ridership on the 815 can be accommodated with the current average available seats on route 818.
Concern was expressed that the additional riders on the 818 would cause the 818 to become overcrowded and that adding the Rosslyn stop to the 818 would significantly lengthen the trip time for riders from Crystal City. Currently the 818 has been averaging slightly over 33 passengers per trip on the peak days of Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays. During the same period, the route 815 has been averaging slightly over 11 passengers per trip. In addition, since the beginning of the year, there have been only 8 occasions on which the combined 818 and 815 ridership exceeded 55 passengers. The second concern raised was the time that would be added to the 818 by adding the Rosslyn stop. A time study of our routes that travel from the Pentagon to Rosslyn shows that they typically take 8 minutes to do so.
Harmony Park and Ride Lot – Relieve Overcrowding
In recent months, the Harmony Park and Ride lot has frequently reached capacity. In an effort to relieve the crowding, the county has made arrangements for a new park and ride lot to be located in Purcellville on Browning Ct. This new lot will immediately provide an increase in park and ride capacity in Purcellville as well as have the ability to be expanded if needed. In order to better serve all passengers in western Loudoun County, as well as relieve crowding at the Harmony Park and Ride lot, staff proposed adding the Purcellville park & ride lot to routes 407 and 415 in the morning. Route 407 will pick up from the Purcellville park and ride lot at 5:43 AM and continue to pick up from the Harmony Park and Ride lot at 5:58 AM. Route 415 will pick up from the Purcellville park and ride lot at 6:25 AM and continue to pick up from the Harmony Park and Ride lot at 6:40 AM. Staff are also reviewing the route from the new Purcellville park and ride lot to the Harmony park and ride lot to see if we can shorten the commute.
The feedback that was received indicated a concern that adding the Purcellville Park and Ride Lot to the 407 and 415 would cause overcrowding on those two routes. Staff believes that adding the Purcellville Park and Ride lot to the 407 and 415 will result in existing riders moving from the Harmony Park and Ride lot to the Purcellville Park and Ride lot. There is little evidence to suggest that this move will generate a significant number of new riders on those two routes. Once the change has been implemented, staff will continue to monitor the ridership for overcrowding and will make adjustments where possible.
Staff would like to thank everyone who submitted comments regarding the recommended changes to the transit services. Your input matters and is greatly appreciated!!
Send Your Comments
Comments regarding any suggested route, stop or schedule changes are welcomed and should be emailed to . Commuters may also contact us by phone at 1-877-465-2287 or 703-771-5665. A customer service representative is available to speak to callers Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Visit www.loudoun.gov/transit for complete information about commuting options in Loudoun County.