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Fairfax Connector proposes service reductions, making free Metrorail transfers permanent

A Fairfax County bus driver waits for the next segment of his route (staff photo by David Taube)

Fairfax County plans to reduce service on some bus routes due to budget constraints, even as a program allowing free transfers to and from Metrorail could become permanent.

On the Newington Circulator (Route 334), Fairfax Connector has proposed reducing weekday service from every 30 minutes to rush hours and a single mid-day trip.

Similar limitations are also being considered for Route 495 between Burke Centre and Tysons. In addition, the north end of the route will be shortened between Tysons West*Park Transit Center and the Tysons Corner Center area, though service will still be provided there by other routes.

Fairfax Connector has also proposed some service enhancements to the Springfield Business Connector (Routes 350 and 351), which travels between the Franconia-Springfield Metro station, Springfield Town Center, and Northern Virginia Community College’s medical campus.

To improve efficiency, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation says Route 350 will be split into two new routes:

  • Route 352: will provide non rush-hour and midday service between the Franconia Metro station and Springfield Town Center
  • Route 353: will serve Metro Park

Route 351, which serves the NOVA medical campus and the Transportation Security Administration during rush-hour periods, will get expanded service outside of rush hour.

The county is also looking to reduce fares for the Pentagon and Crystal City Express from Reston (Route 599) from $7.50 to $4.25, starting this fall, thanks to a $154,500 grant from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

Aside from express services, which have a $2 fare discount, Fairfax Connector rides have been free for all transferring Metro train passengers since Sept. 5. FCDOT has proposed adopting those changes permanently.

The Route 599 and Metro transfer fare reductions are separate from the county’s plan to cut all fares in half for low-income riders. As of December, county staff said that Transit Ridership Incentive Program could begin this summer.

The proposed Fairfax Connector changes will be discussed in an online meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).

Comment can be provided through May 6 by mail or phone. An online survey in English and Spanish will open tomorrow, coinciding with the virtual meeting.

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