Provided by Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission
Mark Center employees who live in the I-95 corridor will have a new commuting alternative thanks to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), when two new OmniRide commuter bus routes to the Alexandria facility start operating on Monday, February 1, 2016.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) will operate the new routes, which will start in Dale City and Lake Ridge. PWL Both Mark Center routes will offer four trips during the morning and afternoon rush hours, enabling a relaxing, convenient and environmentally-friendly ride in the I-95 Express Lanes and using the new I-395 HOV ramp at Seminary Road.
PRTC’s operating expenses for the Mark Center routes are funded 100% by DRPT. Additionally, PRTC bought the buses to be used for the new Mark Center transit service with state grant funds from DRPT that paid 100% of their cost. The equipment is scheduled to arrive in the spring. In the meantime, PRTC will use spare buses already in its fleet to operate the routes.
“PRTC is pleased to continue its partnership with DRPT in offering these new routes, which will give people a much needed alternative to driving,” said Prince William County Supervisor Frank J. Principi, who serves as chairman of the PRTC Board of Commissioners. “Not only will these routes reduce traffic on our roads and aid in the protection of our environment, but they will do so without costing the County a single penny,” Principi said.
“We know that the operational support and capital assistance DRPT is able to provide to our partners at PRTC for the new Dale City and Lake Ridge services will be extremely beneficial to transit in the area,” Agency Director Jennifer Mitchell said. “These new buses and routes will provide essential mobility options for commuters in the I-395 corridor facing daily traffic congestion.”
The Dale City route will start at the Dale City Commuter Lot at Dale Boulevard and Minnieville Road. It will serve stops along Dale Boulevard before traveling to the Mark Center. The Lake Ridge route will offer four morning trips starting at the Tacketts Mill Commuter Lot and will also serve the Lake Ridge Commuter Lot, stops along Old Bridge Road, and the Gordon Boulevard / Route 123 Old Bridge Commuter Lot. Its final local stop before heading to the Mark Center will be the I-95/Route 123 Commuter Lot.
Free bus fares will be offered on the first day of service, and afterwards Mark Center passengers will pay the standard OmniRide commuter bus one-way fare of $6.20 with a SmarTrip card or $8.30 cash.
The Mark Center currently is home to the Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services as well as other Department of Defense agencies. PRTC has received numerous requests to serve the facility since the campus opened in 2011, but for safety and scheduling reasons opted to wait until there was a ramp connecting the HOV Lanes to Seminary Road. The ramp opened on January 11, 2016, allowing PRTC bus operators to receive training on the route prior to starting scheduled service.
PRTC offers commuter and local bus services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park, as well as ridematching services for those looking for carpools and vanpools.
Mark Center schedules are available online at PRTCtransit.org, or passengers can request one from operators on Dale City and Lake Ridge buses. For more information, call PRTC’s Customer Service office at 703-730-6664 or visit PRTCtransit.org.