Ridership on area transit systems collapses, services cut, stations closed

It used to be a way to avoid traffic congestion on our region’s highways.

Now, with a region largely working from home, transit providers in our region like OmniRide and Metro have seen major declines in ridership.

OmniRide Express routes (commuter buses) have seen as much as an 87% drop in ridership, and its local buses as much as 67%, said OmniRide spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

Metro is hurting, too, and announced the closure stations in Virginia.

As of today, the following OmniRide bus routes stopped running:

D-400 Dale City-Mark Center
L-100 Lake Ridge-DC
L-300 Lake Ridge-Mark Center
MC-100 Montclair-DC
RS-South Route 1
Tysons-Woodbridge
601 Manassas-DC
543 Stafford-DC

And these routes will operate on Friday service levels, starting today:

D-100 Dale City-State Department
D-200 Dale City-Pentagon-Rosslyn/Ballston
D-300 Dale City-Pentagon-L’Enfant Plaza-Navy Yard
L-200 Lake Ridge-Pentagon-Crystal City
MC-200 Montclair-Pentagon
602 Manassas-Pentagon
611 Gainesville-Washington

These routes will continue to operate regularly scheduled service:

612 Gainesville-Pentagon-L’Enfant Plaza-Navy Yard
622 Haymarket-Ballston-Rosslyn
942 Stafford-Pentagon
60 Manassas Metro Express-Tysons
61 Linton Hall Metro Express-Tysons
Prince William Metro Express-Franconia-Springfield
96 East-West Express
All OmniRide Local and OmniRide Access paratransit services

OmniRide provides bus services in Prince William and Stafford counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

In addition to canceling and reducing services, the OmniRide Board of Commissioners has also canceled its meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 2, 2020. The business of that meeting will be taken up at the next commission meeting on Thursday, May 2, 2020, at the OmniRide Transit Center, at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge.

FredTransit in Fredericksburg has also announced changes to their service in the wake of falling ridership.

In Northern Virginia, ridership on Metro is down 90%, and that has led to the closure of 19 stations in the rail system, to include seven in Virginia:

Eisenhower Ave – (riders must use the King St-Old Town station instead)
Virginia Square – (riders must use Ballston instead)
McLean
Van Dorn St
Greensboro – (riders must use Spring Hill or Tysons Corner)
Arlington Cemetery
Clarendon

The transit agency is telling people not to travel unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“These steps will help reduce the risk of exposure to employees and save critical cleaning supplies for the remaining stations. While Metro increased its on-hand warehouse inventory of essential supplies, such as hospital-grade disinfectants, wipes, hand sanitizer, and other items used by Metro’s frontline employees, suppliers are experiencing delivery delays. Metro is taking action to make its current 2-3 week warehouse supply stretch until massive orders placed in late January are received,” Metro states in a press release.

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