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Fairfax leaders ask regional help to fund bus, bike expansions

Requests for cash have gone to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission
© Adobe Stock image

Fairfax County supervisors on Dec. 5 authorized the county’s transportation director to apply for nearly $8.9 million in regional funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) to finance multiple bus routes and bike-sharing stations.

The initiatives, which endeavor to expand travel options for people on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, would cost about $8,860,000 and be funded in fiscal years 2025 and 2026. NVTC, which has set a Dec. 18 application deadline, will finance a total of $40 million to $50 million worth of projects during that two-year period.

Supervisors are seeking funding for the following projects, listed in descending order of priority:

• $6.5 million to continue or renew operating funds for these existing transit services:

– Route 697, which provides 10 morning and 10 evening peak-direction express-bus trips between the Stringfellow Road park-and-ride lot and L’Enfant Plaza in the District of Columbia. The county is seeking $2.2 million for this route.

– Route 698, for which the county is seeking $1.6 million, offers express-bus service between the Vienna Metro station and Pentagon Transit Center. The route provides 10 inbound morning trips to the Pentagon and 10 outbound afternoon trips to Vienna.

– Route 699, which provides express-bus service between the Fairfax County Government Center and major employment areas in Washington, D.C., including George Washington University’s campus, the U.S. Department of State and World Bank. The route, for which the county is seeking $2.7 million, offers 13 morning inbound trips and 13 outbound afternoon trips.

• $510,000 to acquire up to 18 Capital Bikeshare stations and as many as 79 traditional and electric bicycles, which would expand service near Fairfax Centre and the Vienna and Dunn Loring Metrorail stations.

This initiative would extend Fairfax County’s Capital Bikeshare network west and north along the 66 Parallel Trail and take advantage of new bicycle lanes on Ellenwood Drive and a new spur of the 66 Parallel Trail on Nutley Street.

County officials expect the initiative would result in about 2,500 more bicycle trips per year.

• $1.85 million for Route 610, a proposed feeder-bus route serving bus park-and-ride lots at Centreville (Stone Road), Stringfellow Road and Monument Drive.

NVTC staff will evaluate project applications submitted by localities and the group’s commissioners in May 2024 will prepare a list of eligible candidate projects, which then will be submitted to the Commonwealth Transportation Board for approval in June.

If the county’s requests receive approval, costs associated with the initiatives will be reimbursed by NVTC as part of the I-66 Commuter Choice Program.