Fairfax Connector Bus Route 432 2

Fairfax Connector provides bus service that complements Metro. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

Fairfax Connector bus ridership was up during the second quarter of 2019 compared to a year before, according to new data, spurring hope it has turned a corner from declining ridership totals.

The bus system, operated by a private firm under contract to the Fairfax County government, recorded a ridership of about 2.2 million in the three-month period ending June 30, according to figures reported to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

That’s a rise of 1 percent from the same period a year before.

But the system still has some ground to make up: Its average daily ridership in the fiscal year ending in June (27,872), while up slightly from a year before, remained below the previous few years. In 2015, it had stood at 32,547.

(Ridership on local transit systems has ebbed and flowed in recent years, in part, depending on whether portions of the Metrorail system are shut down for maintenance and in part due to the 2014 opening of the Silver Line, making direct comparisons between various time frames difficult.)

For the quarter ending in June, Fairfax Connector service represented 6.1 percent of all Northern Virginia transit usage. The total of 34.4 million trips during that period counts Metrorail, Metrobus, Virginia Railway Express and local/regional bus systems.

Also posting year-over-year increases for the period were the ART (Arlington Transit), Fairfax City CUE, Loudoun County Transit and OmniRide/OmniLink (Prince William) bus systems. Metrorail ridership dropped 3 percent, with Metrobus and Virginia Railway Express service off slightly.

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