Fairfax County has proposed cutting bus service for FY 2010 to close a $650M budget gap.
Among the cuts are the complete elimination of fifteen routes, decreasing bus frequency on nine routes, cutting off weekend service on one route, and other cuts.
Proposed route eliminations:
Metrorail/VRE feeder routes:
- 303,304,305 – Metrorail feeder service for Island Creek, Saratoga, and Newington Forest, respectively
- 307 – Lorton VRE feeder bus
- 402,403 – Weekday Rush Hour service for the town of Vienna to the local Metro stations (Vienna and Dunn Loring)
- 556 – Weekday service between Reston Town Center and the West Falls Church Metro
- 952 – Reverse commute route for West Falls Church Metro and the Herndon Park and Ride.
These routes to be cut are Metrorail or VRE feeder services, and their elimination may adversely affect both congestion along the region’s highways, and Metrorail’s ability to attract customers during rush hour, when higher peak fares contribute more to the costs of running the system.
Highway Express Routes:
- 380 – Franconia/Springfield to Pentagon express bus
- 595,597 – Weekday rush hour service between Reston East Park and Ride and the Pentagon/Crystal City
One of the routes (the 380) duplicates Metrorail service between two points. Two other routes largely duplicate service that’s provided by a combination of bus and rail. It’s not clear whether eliminating this route will merely shift people between the bus and rail or whether they will start driving.
- 306 – Midday service from GMU to Pentagon
- 922 – Herndon local route
- 929 – Herndon/Centerville local route
The rest of the routes (306, 922, 929) are local connector bus routes that more likely than not primarily serve the transit-dependent. I do not have data to support this assertion, it’s based on my knowledge of the area (highly car-oriented) and the bus route description (doesn’t serve rail, appears to travel local streets only).
Public Hearings: The service cuts will be discussed at public hearings on March 30 at 7pm, March 31 at 3 pm and on April 1 at 3 pm. All hearings will be at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax. To speak at the hearing register here prior to 10 am on the day of the hearing or call 703-324-3151 prior to noon. You can also submit comments in writing here or by calling 703-324-9400.
The final budget will be approved on April 27, 2009.