OmniRide will start a new express bus service on Monday, Dec. 17, providing residents of Haymarket and other western Prince William County communities with a direct connection to the Rosslyn/Ballston corridor.
The service also will offer an alternative for drivers who don’t want to pay tolls on I-66, according to a news release from OmniRide/Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.
Free fares will be offered through Feb. 15 to celebrate the start of the new route.
OmniRide’s new Haymarket to Rosslyn/Ballston Express bus route will operate weekdays and serve four stops along Heathcote Boulevard, including a new 230-space parking lot being built by the Virginia Department of Transportation at Heathcote and U.S. 15, just off Interstate 66. Destinations will include stops along North Fairfax Drive, Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard. Four trips will be available in the mornings and there will be four return trips in the afternoons and evenings on 57-seat motor coach buses. Additional trips can be added as ridership grows.
“This new Express bus route will be a game-changer for residents who don’t want to deal with traffic or tolls on I-66,” said Prince William County Supervisor Ruth Anderson, who serves as chair of PRTC. “Instead of stressing out about their commute or paying tolls to arrive at work on time, riders can relax in a comfortable seat and read or get a few extra minutes of sleep, knowing they’ll have a reliable trip.”
And when that free ride promotion ends, Haymarket riders will still get a discount. As an incentive to reduce traffic volume while the I-66 Express Lanes are under construction, all OmniRide buses that travel on I-66 are offering half-fares. The half-fare promotion is funded by VDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to encourage commuters to use transit for approximately the next four years while Express Lanes construction is underway. As a result, the one-way SmarTrip fare on the new Rosslyn/Ballston route will be $3.45 instead of $6.90.
“OmniRide has wanted to offer additional bus services in western Prince William for years, but a lack of commuter parking in the area has been a major obstacle. The construction of this new lot and others that VDOT will open in future years will enable OmniRide to offer some greatly-needed commuting options in the I-66 corridor,” said Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, who represents the Brentsville District and also serves on the PRTC Board.
In the western part of the county, OmniRide currently offers Express bus services in Gainesville and Manassas to destinations in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The new Haymarket route will be funded in part by tolls collected on the I-66 Express Lanes. See more info at http://www.prtctransit.org.