For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

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Starting in January, we’ll begin charging a $1.50 subscription fee for full access to Potomac Local

My wife works about five miles outside Tysons Corner.

She drives alone and spends about three hours a day round trip in the car. When it comes to carpooling and commuting options nearby her office, she might as well be in a desert.

We’ve contacted a rideshare finder organization with no success. There is not a single bus route from where we live that serves a stop within a mile of her office.

The promise of expanded slug lines and commuter options with the opening of E-ZPass Express Lanes on Interstates 95 and 495 have never materialized for her.

In recent years, talk of a new option where her company would allow her to work from home a few days a week to ease the commuter burden has never come to pass. Apparently, employers’ strong reservations about telework remain.

She’s not alone. She’s one of the tens of thousands in Northern Virginians who must plan their drive to work, the trip to the store, to their child’s soccer game, and back home again, doing their best to avoid traffic congestion wherever possible.

As lifelong residents of Northern Virginia, my wife and I have learned to check traffic conditions before we get on the highway. We’ve learned to run errands in the middle of the day, and have learned to take back roads to avoid congestion.

A Long, Strange Trip

Many remember me as the “Lane Ranger” at the old Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger newspapers in Prince William County. Since launching Potomac Local seven years ago, I’ve made it a priority to cover transportation.

More than just writing about traffic woes, at Potomac Local we also cover how traffic congestion impacts our daily lives. We write about what new projects are being discussed. We ask questions and uncover details about efforts to make your commute more manageable so you can get more time to spend with the people in your life who matter most.

We also hold accountable the elected officials who campaign on fixing the region’s traffic problems. I’m proud of the reporting we’ve done in this past year alone:

Residents get a glimpse of a future commuter ferry service for Woodbridge 

Traffic 20 years in the making, Arkendale project on track to speed up train service 

Virginia won’t consider widening I-95, blames Express Lanes 

VDOT looks at extending I-95 Express Lanes to Fredericksburg 

VRE nixes expansion to Gainesville, Haymarket. It’ll study expanding, relocating its Broad Run station in Manassas

Don’t use your E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode? Give it back, or that’ll be $10 extra. 

Minnieville Road Widening Project moving along 

Dumfries Route 1 widening design underway 

Residents examine Route 28 Manassas bypass, unintended consequences 

Residents plea for a new signal light on Route 1 

At $25,000 per space, ‘structured parking is not recommended’ in Occoquan 

Will this be the new ’roundabout’ way of welcoming you to Downtown Manassas? 

These stories are just a glimpse of our coverage of the region’s roads and rails. In recent weeks, we’ve brought you fresh insight on the new I-66 E-ZPass Express Lanes project, new details about the future of Virginia Railway Express and the role it will plan in our region between now and 2040, as well as breaking news about funding requests for new local road projects.

Also this year, Potomac Local partnered with Prince William County Supervisor Ruth Anderson for two town hall meetings to address traffic issues. There, we put state and locally-elected officials and those from county and state transportation agencies in the hot seat to provide you with answers to what’s being done to improve your commute.

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes

The local media landscape is challenging. For the past seven years, all of our content on Potomac Local has been provided free of charge. As the sole employee of Potomac Local, it’s been my job to seek out, coordinate and write not only our transportation news but nearly all of our news coverage on a daily basis.

And when I’m not writing the news, my second full-time job is selling ad space and sponsored content space on Potomac Local to not only help local businesses but to sustain my business.

This is more than just my reality. It’s what journalists and members of LION Publishers, an organization of which I’m proud to serve on the Board of Directors, are doing across the country.

The web has changed since we launched in 2010, and digital advertising has never been stronger. However, Google and Facebook have dominated the local advertising market. It’s never been easier for a small business owner to purchase an ad on social media, leaving local news websites like ours in the dark.

We remain grateful to the businesses and organizations large and small that we continue to work with on a regular basis, to help them find new and creative ways to serve the community and reach you, our readers. I will continue to work hard to grow those relationships.

Overall, the business model for local news has changed. And Potomac Local must change with it.

And if I share with you my story would you share your dollar with me?

Starting in January, we’ll begin asking to you to subscribe to Potomac Local. Your subscription will not only ensure that we can continue producing better community journalism, but we’ll also be able to offer more of it.

I dislike the word cheap because the word lacks value. So, I’ll say that at $1.50 a week, our subscription rates are very affordable — less than what you pay for a good cup of coffee. If paying weekly isn’t for you, our $65 one-time annual subscription option will give you full access to the site for one year.

With this move, Potomac Local is joining other local news websites across the country that wish to provide a better niche local news product, creating a better value for our readers.

In addition to our accessing our long-form original reporting, subscribers will have the chance to participate in our reporting, weigh in on the issues and be heard by local decision makers, and attend Potomac Local events throughout the year.

Crime news, community news and information, our events page, obituaries, and sponsored content will still be FREE to read.

Our reader-favorite Breakfast Links email packed full of community headlines and events will also continue to be sent to you each weekday morning for FREE.

More details about the rollout of our new subscription service, including subscription discounts for those with emails ending in .gov and .edu, will be included on our website and in our Breakfast Links email in the coming weeks. 

I hope that you’ll agree that Potomac Local provides a valuable service by connecting and informing our community. It has been my pleasure to serve you these past seven years, and I look forward to doing the same for many years to come.

Regards,

Uriah Kiser
Founder / Publisher 
Potomac Local

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  • scavok

    Sounds like a good move, hopefully it brings more success. Will the ads be removed for subscribers?



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