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Free Rides on Saturday Prince William Metro Direct Bus Extended into Spring

By Potomac Local News December 9, 2013 5:19 pm

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OmniRide bus operator Phill Robinson is one of many PRTC drivers who ferry riders to and from their destinations.

OmniRide bus operator Phill Robinson is one of many PRTC drivers who ferry riders to and from their destinations.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Here’s some good news for those who take the bus from Woodbridge to the Springfield Metro station on Saturdays – the service will be extended, and it still won’t cost you a dime out of pocket.

The Prince William Metro Direct Bus that runs from Woodbridge to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station on Saturdays will continue providing free service on Saturdays only through May 17, 2014.

Bus fares are covered by the state as part of the Virginia Megaprojects program overseeing the construction of express toll lanes on Interstate 95.

Beginning in September, the Metro Direct bus, for the first time, provided service on Saturday – something bus riders in Prince William County had long requested. During its three-month trial period, the service has caught on.

“When Saturday Prince William Metro Direct service started in September, we were expecting that the service would carry about 300 riders per day at the three month mark. Happily, we’ve averaged about 400 riders per day, and the high ridership mark was set on Nov. 16 with 471 passengers,” said Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

The Saturday Metro Direct bus starts its day at 7:35 a.m. at the PRTC Transit Center in Woodbridge, then heading down Opitz Boulevard and then onto U.S. 1 north before merging onto Interstate 95. Its return trip from the Metro station stops at Potomac Mills Mall.

The last trip from the Transit Center leaves at 8:55 p.m., and the last trip from the Metro station is 9:25 p.m.

During the week, it costs $3.60 for a regular one-way fare, $2.90 for SmarTrip users, to ride Metro Direct.

While the Prince William Metro Direct is the only Metro Direct service to run on weekends, it is one of two PRTC Metro Direct buses that travel between Prince William and Manassas and Metro stations near the Capital Beltway. The Manassas Metro Direct ferries passengers from Manassas and western Prince William County to and from the West Falls Church Metro station.