Express Bus Service Starts on Richmond Highway
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Aug. 16, 2004
Express Bus Service Starts on Richmond Highway
Implementation Scheduled for Fall 2004
Fairfax County is teaming up with the Washington Metropolitan Area
Transit Authority and the City of Alexandria this fall to operate
limited-stop, express bus service along the Richmond Highway corridor. A
multi-year project, the Richmond Highway Express, will be launched Sept.
26. This bus service, to be named “REX,” will shorten the time it takes
to travel from Fort Belvoir to the Huntington and King Street Metrorail
Stations by stopping at a limited number of bus stops, taking advantage
of bus priority traffic signals, and using low-floor buses and SmartCard
fare technology for quicker boarding.
The new express service will feature many of the components of “bus rapid transit,” or BRT, which typically operates in dedicated bus lanes next to regular traffic lanes. While REX bus service will operate in regular traffic along Richmond Highway, it will feature special technology enabling REX buses to sustain green traffic lights in order to move more quickly up and down the Route 1 corridor.
In addition to the bus priority traffic signal technology, REX will stop only at 12 specifically designated bus stops along Richmond Highway, instead of the 40-plus bus stops which currently are served by FAIRFAX CONNECTOR and Metrobus 9A service. By skipping stops, this express service will save time for passengers who are traveling between Fort Belvoir on the southern end and the Huntington Metrorail Station or King Street Metrorail Station on the northern end. The bus stops designated for September implementation of REX include:
Belford Drive South
South County Center
Sacramento Drive/Cooper Road
Old Mill Road/Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway
In addition to these strategically-located bus
stops along Richmond Highway, there will be three stops on Fort Belvoir
and three stops in Alexandria. Other bus stops on Richmond Highway will
be served by new FAIRFAX CONNECTOR routes. As part of the South County
Bus Plan, FAIRFAX CONNECTOR routes will be re-designed to operate longer
hours, make more frequent trips, and provide better connections to other
The fare to ride REX will be $1, the same as FAIRFAX CONNECTOR bus service on Richmond Highway. REX buses will operate every 15 minutes in both directions on Richmond Highway during weekday rush hours, every 30 minutes during non-rush hours and on Saturday, and every 60 minutes on Sunday. Service will start at 5:30 a.m. and run through 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will operate REX bus service.
REX will have a unique look – purple-blue buses with a golden yellow logo featuring the image of a running lion. The lion’s lineage goes back to the three lions emblazoned on the Fairfax County seal, originally the family crest of Lord Fairfax. Bus stop signs will use the same color scheme, and will stand out among the other bus stops along Route 1. Bus stops will provide amenities such as covered shelters with seating, lighting, information panels, bike racks and trash receptacles.
As the multi-year project progresses, REX bus stop locations will be improved to provide greater accessibility for the disabled community, and traffic intersections at these bus stops will be upgraded with clearly-marked crosswalks and pedestrian signals. REX is part of a $55 million program to upgrade transit services and facilities and to implement pedestrian safety initiatives in the Richmond Highway corridor over the next several years.
REX is part of the county’s Four-Year Transportation Plan. Fairfax County has developed the multi-year implementation plan in conjunction with WMATA, VDOT, VDRPT, NVTC, and the City of Alexandria. The plan includes several other projects which will follow over the next few years:
• Design and construction of pedestrian and transit passenger improvements such as sidewalks and trails, crosswalks, median refuges, bus pads, pedestrian signals, lighting and more.
• Advanced technology initiatives such as automatic vehicle location and electronic fare payment.
• Locating and building transit centers, some with commuter parking.
REX bus service is scheduled for start-up on Sept. 26, 2004. Passenger information regarding REX and new FAIRFAX CONNECTOR service will be available in early September, several weeks before start-up. Notices will be posted on-board FAIRFAX CONNECTOR and Metrobus buses in South County, on www.fairfaxconnector.com, at the Springfield Mall Connector Store, and on the Connector Call Center phone line at 703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608.
For more information about REX and the South County Bus Plan, visit www.fairfaxconnector.com, or contact the Fairfax County Department of Transportation at 703-324-1100, TTY 703-324-1102.