Route 7 bus-rapid-transit concept

An artist's rendition of the planned bus-rapid-transit system on Route 7 from Tysons to Alexandria. (Northern Virginia Transportation Commission)

The proposal to bring a 21st-century experience to public transit along the Route 7 corridor from Tysons to Alexandria could cost upwards of a half-billion dollars, according to new engineering data presented to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

Planners aim to bring bus-rapid transit, or BRT, to the corridor around the year 2030, running from the Spring Hill Metro station east through West Falls Church, West Falls Church, Seven Corners and Skyline (mostly along Route 7) before jogging southwest and terminating at Mark Center in Alexandria. The entire project length is about 10.5 miles.

In addition to serving four Metro stations (Spring Hill, Greensboro, East Falls Church and East Falls Church), the project also would include development of specialized transit stops for buses along the route and, as much as possible, use dedicated lanes along the roadway.

The proposal has been in the planning stage for the past five years. The current expected cost, based on 2030 dollars and attempting to factor in labor costs and contingencies a decade out, was presented in a range from $448 million to $507 million.

Fairfax Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason), whose district would be among those to benefit from the project, said much of the detail remains to be fleshed out.

“It’s very much still in the paper stages,” she told the Sun Gazette. “There’s not construction or engineering stages yet.”

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