The Montclair OmniRide commuter bus service will be split into two separate routes in November in order to accommodate growing demand and provide faster and more reliable service to passengers. The route is one of 14 commuter bus routes and 7 local bus routes operated by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) in the Prince William County area.
Currently, Montclair OmniRide buses serve the Pentagon and multiple destinations in downtown Washington, D.C., including the 14th Street corridor, Pennsylvania Avenue and L’Enfant Plaza.
As of November 17, 2014, the route will be split into two: a Montclair-Pentagon route and a Montclair-D.C. route. Operating two separate routes will allow for:
- Increased rider capacity without increasing operating costs;
- Shorter travel times for riders traveling to and from D.C.;
- More reliable on-time performance for afternoon and evening trips leaving from the Pentagon because buses will not be picking up passengers in D.C. first; and
- A better chance of having a seat on afternoons/evening trips from the Pentagon because buses will be starting the route at that point.
Currently the Montclair route offers 14 morning trips (including 1 trip that serves only the Pentagon) and 19 afternoon/evening trips (including 2 that serve only the Pentagon). But after the route is split there will be 16 morning trips (7 to the Pentagon only, 6 to D.C. only and 3 serving both destinations) and 22 afternoon/evening trips (10 from the Pentagon, 8 from D.C., and 4 serving both destinations).
“A major change such as this would not have been possible if it would have increased operating costs,” said PRTC Executive Director Alfred Harf in commending the agency’s Planning and Operations Department for its work.
“Because public transportation fares cover only a portion of the costs to operate service, PRTC – like other transit agencies around the world – relies on subsidies from its participating jurisdictions. In PRTC’s case, Prince William County pays 100% of the local subsidy for the OmniRide and Metro Direct commuter bus services,” Harf said.
PRTC surveyed Montclair OmniRide passengers in spring 2014 to gauge reaction to the possibility of splitting the route. Those results, combined with general requests made to our Customer Service office, convinced PRTC to move forward with the plan.
The change will take place on Monday, November 17 when PRTC’s Fall Service Change takes effect. PRTC updates its schedules twice annually to account for changes in travel times and routing. New maps and timetables for all PRTC routes will be available in early November.
For more information, please contact PRTC’s Customer Service Office at 703-730-6664 or visit PRTCtransit.org.