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Traffic & Transit

OmniRide Teen Summer Bus Pass goes on sale

From a press release: 

Teens who want the freedom to get around town independently but lack a driver’s license or access to a vehicle need OmniRide’s Teen Summer Bus Pass. With the pass, teens can travel around the Prince William County area without relying on their parents for a ride.

The pass enables those ages 13-19 to get unlimited rides on OmniRide local buses from June 1 – September 1, 2018 for $30. The pass is perfect for summer jobs, trips to area malls and libraries, and just hanging out with friends.

Through the years, many teens have told us they like the Summer Bus Pass because it allows them to get to summer school and other activities without having to rely on others for a ride. And because each OmniRide local bus has a bike rack, teens can take their bikes with them for even greater mobility.

The summer pass costs $30 if the teen already has a SmarTrip card, otherwise there is an additional $2 fee. PRTC’s one-way local fare is currently $1.55, so a teen who takes more than 10 local round-trips over the summer will save money with a pass.

In addition, teens can use their Summer Bus Pass to get discounted fares when traveling on OmniRide express buses to nearby Metro stations and Washington, D.C, simply by paying the difference between the local and express bus fare!

Pass sales begin on Tuesday, May 29 at the OmniRide Transit Center in Woodbridge. For more information about bus routes, schedules and the Teen Summer Bus Pass, call (703) 730-6664 or visit PRTCtransit.org

Stafford woman killed in I-95 crash

From Virginia State Police: 

On May 19, 2018 (Saturday), at approximately 8:53 p.m. the Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash that resulted in a fatality at northbound I-95 at the 114 mile marker in Caroline County. 

 
The Trooper’s preliminary investigation reveals that a 2003 Jaguar driven by a Richard Lee Davidson, 56, of Stafford, Va., was traveling northbound and ran off road left and struck a downed tree.  
 
Richard Davidson was transported to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.  The front seat passenger, identified as Louise Marie Davidson, 55, of Stafford, Va., was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries and was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.  Both were wearing their seat belts.  
 
Charges are pending at this time.  
 
The crash remains under investigation with the assistance of the Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction team. 

The changes coming to nine Manassas crosswalks you might never have noticed

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Memorial Day getaway: What to expect on the I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes and when to travel

From a press release: 

D.C. area drivers should expect heavy traffic on the 95 Express Lanes later this week, according to Transurban, operator of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, as travelers take to the road for the Memorial Day holiday.  The start of the summer travel season will also bring a new change to the I-95 corridor: Beginning Thursday, May 24, the 95 Express Lanes and I-395 HOV lanes will start the weekday reversal at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.

The early reversal will allow southbound drivers to enter the 95 Express Lanes around noon, relieving congestion on the regular lanes which starts to build earlier in the day during the summer months.  Overnight weekday reversals will continue to take place from about midnight to 2 a.m.  The schedule will be in place throughout the summer.

What to expect on the Lanes and when to travel

To avoid crowded Express Lanes, and the resulting higher tolls, drivers should avoid travel on Thursday or Friday afternoon and evening.

  • Beginning the early afternoon of Thursday, May 24, through the evening of Friday, May 25, drivers traveling along the 95 Express Lanes corridor should expect heavy traffic and increased demand requiring higher toll prices to best manage the traffic on the Lanes.
  • The busiest travel times on the regular I-95 lanes and the 95 Express Lanes before Memorial Day weekend in 2017 were Thursday and Friday between noon and 6 p.m.  Delays were worse on Friday.  Those periods are expected to again face the heaviest travel this year.

95 Express Lanes Memorial Day weekend reversal schedule:

  • Thursday, May 24: Southbound reversal begins one hour earlier at 10 a.m. due to anticipated traffic
  • Friday, May 25: Southbound reversal begins one hour earlier at 10 a.m. as summer reversal schedule goes into effect
  • Saturday, May 26: Normal weekend reversal – Lanes reverse to northbound at 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 27: Northbound Lanes will close around 5 a.m. to support Rolling Thunder.  The Lanes will re-open around 9 a.m.
  • Monday, May 28: Express Lanes northbound all day
  • Tuesday, May 29: Southbound reversal begins around 10 a.m. with Lanes opening by about noon 

Remember these tips when traveling on the 95 Express Lanes:

  • A southbound extension of the 95 Express Lanes opened in late-2017. The Lanes now span to just north of Courthouse Road in Stafford County.  Drivers can use the extension at no extra cost
  • Travel advisory signs in the southern part of the Express Lanes will provide drivers with information about any congestion on the Express Lanes
  • Express Assist crews will be available to help drivers who run into issues on the Lanes
  • Riding with family or friends?  If you have at least three total people in your car, don’t forget to put your E-ZPass® FlexSM in HOV mode for a toll-free trip

Stay up to date:

High gas prices won’t stop drivers from packing the highways next week

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and Americans will kick off the season by traveling in near-record numbers. What a start it is, this time around. More than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years, according to AAA. 

With nearly 2 million additional people taking to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be up to three times longer than normal. 

“From coast to coast, and from the Chesapeake Bay to the Occoquan River, the greatest concentration for the getaway traffic and the longest periods of travel delays will fall on Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “In the Washington metro area, the worst day  to travel is the Thursday before Memorial Day and the worst time to be on the road is Thursday afternoon, in the two and half hour rush-hour period from 4:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., as travel delays zoom to 2.3 times the normal levels on any given Thursday. Avoid heading out or hitting the highway when commuters mix with holiday travelers. Plan ahead. Travel off-peak. Put safety first.”

 “The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.” 

By the numbers: 2018 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast

·         Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 36.6 million – will hit the road this Memorial Day, 4.7 percent more than last year.

·         Planes: 3.1 million people will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase and the fifth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.

·         Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.4 percent to 1.8 million passengers.

Drivers Beware: Worst Times to Hit the Road

For the 36.6 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metro areas could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers could see three times the delay.

Higher gas prices not deterring travelers

The 88 percent of travelers choosing to drive will pay the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014. Gas prices averaged $2.72 in April, an increase of 33 cents from last year, due to expensive crude oil, record gasoline demand, and shrinking global supply. However, these higher prices are not keeping holiday travelers home, with automobile travel expected to increase for the fourth straight year, by nearly 5 percent over last Memorial Day.

Lower hotel, airline and car rental costs make up for higher gas prices

While road trippers will pay higher prices at the gas pump this year, travelers can expect some relief in their wallets when paying for airfare, car rentals and most mid-range hotels. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares are 7 percent lower than last Memorial Day, landing at an average price of $168 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. At $59, the average daily cost of a car rental this Memorial Day is the lowest rate in the past four years and 11 percent cheaper than last year. 

Travelers will also save on AAA Three Diamond hotels this Memorial Day, which are trending 14 percent less expensive than last year, with an average rate of $186 nightly. Meanwhile, AAA Two Diamond hotels are 7 percent more expensive than last Memorial Day, with an average nightly cost of $151.

Top Memorial Day travel destinations
Orlando again tops this year’s list of the most-visited Memorial Day destinations in the U.S., based on AAA advance travel bookings. Cruises to Alaska, originating in Seattle and Anchorage, as well as warm-weather destinations in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Phoenix and southern California top travelers’ domestic itineraries this summer.

1. Orlando, Florida

2. Seattle, Washington

3. Honolulu, Hawaii

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. Anchorage, Alaska

6. Phoenix, Arizona

7. Anaheim, California

8. Boston, Massachusetts

9. Denver, Colorado

10. New York, New York

Want a better Route 1 in Dumfries? You’ve got until midnight Saturday to comment.

If you ever get down to Dumfries to talk to its residents, one of the first things you learn is the state of U.S. 1 is one issue that binds all of its residents together.  In the next three days, they have an opportunity to do something about it.

Dumfries and its communities to the east along the Potomac River have basically only three ways to get out of town – U.S. 1 North, U.S. 1 South, and two-lane Van Buren Road.  In fact, U.S. 1 cuts across the creeks for each peninsula into the Potomac River, within a quarter mile of where each creek becomes tidal.  This basically turns each peninsula into a massive cul de sac.

Surovell

When coupled with the endemic congestion on Interstate 95, the consequences for the Town are tragic.  Each time I-95 becomes gridlocked, interstate traffic bails out onto U.S. 1 causing U.S. 1 to freeze and leaving thousands of residents with no way out.  The gridlock has also stymied the town’s ability to attract high-quality development to its business areas.

Prince William County is in the process of widening each of its U.S. 1 segments to six lanes – both north and south of the Town – but the Town has not been able to secure funding because its 5,000 residents do not have the same ability to leverage taxpayer revenue that Prince William County’s 400,000 residents have available.

This year, the Town applied for $116,554,000 from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) to eliminate the 2.1 mile split of U.S. 1 through the town, widen Fraley Boulevard to six lanes, adding bicycle lanes and shared use paths and reconstructing sidewalks.  It would be a massive improvement for the Town by allowing it to concentrate through traffic on one road while preserving multimodal uses, and allowing the Town to focus commercial development on the former fork. 

When the NVTA ran the analytics on the cost-benefit analysis on the proposal it was ranked #17 out of 60 projects and #10 out of 60 on congestion relief in all of Northern Virginia.  This puts it in a decent position to obtain funding.

However, there are a total of $2.1 billion of projects competing for only $1.2 billion of funds.  Projects are going to be cut. 

Last week, I spoke with Mayor-Elect Derrick Wood, Council-Woman Elect Monae Dickerson about the importance of funding these projects at the NVTA’s public hearing.  Video of our comments are below. 

However, if you would like to see this project funded, it is important that YOU speak up and be heard so that the NVTA’s Board members understand just how truly important this project is.

I have set up an electronic form where you can submit comments that I will personally deliver to each board member.  You can access that form by going to bit.ly/US1Dumfries. The comment deadline is Saturday, May 20 at midnight.

Where to find bike racks refreshments pitt stops on Friday, Bike To Work Day

From a press release: 

Will you be one of the thousands of Washington-area residents who participate in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18?  Be one of the first 20,000 to register and attend a pit stop in D.C., MD, and VA to receive a free T-shirt, refreshments, and be entered into a raffle for a new bicycle.

Prince William area residents may want to consider biking to a nearby commuter lot and taking public transportation for the rest of their commute. Bike racks, which can accommodate two bikes at a time, are available on all Metro Direct, OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses.

OmniRide buses do not have bike racks, but bicycle amenities are available at these commuter lots:

  • Dale City
  • Horner Road
  • Telegraph Road
  • Lake Ridge at Minnieville Road
  • Lindendale
  • Old Bridge Road and Route 123
  • Portsmouth
  • PRTC Transit Center
  • Route 123 and I-95
  • Route 234 and Route 1
  • Cushing Road
  • Limestone

To encourage participation, the Prince William area will have 10 pit stops where bicyclists can pull over and have refreshments and enter prize drawings. The local pit stop locations and hours are:

  • Dumfries – Dumfries Town Hall/ Community Center, 17755 Main Street, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Haymarket – Haymarket Bicycles, 4414 Costello Way, 6 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Manassas – George Mason University, Freedom Center Boulevard & University Boulevard, 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Manassas – Kelly Leadership Center at the intersection of the Route 234 bike trail, 6 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Manassas – Manassas VRE station, 9431 West Street, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Manassas Park – Palisades Apartments, 8100 Palisades Circle on Manassas Drive (near Manassas Park VRE Station), 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center, near the intersection of the Prince William Parkway bike trail, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Rippon Landing VRE station, 15511 Farm Creek Drive, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Tackett’s Mill Commuter Lot, Tackett’s Mill Drive and Minnieville Road, 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Woodbridge VRE station, 1040 Express Way, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.

So get your bicycle ready, find a friend to ride with, and join in on the fun. Visit BiketoWorkMetroDC.org for information about improving your riding skills, finding a riding buddy, joining a commuter convoy and more.

Why high wind orders are now a thing on the railroad, and how they affect VRE trains

From Virginia Railway Express: 

[Monday] night, in response to the high winds associated with passing storms, VRE trains were stopped and held at stations until the storms had cleared.  For many of our riders, this was the first time trains had been stopped due to wind. 

A recent operating rules change by our host railroads now requires trains to stop at stations or sidings when high wind orders are issued. Once the orders are lifted, trains may then resume their trip.

On the Fredericksburg Line, once the restrictions were lifted, the trains were released, but then faced speed restrictions due to flash flood warnings.

On the Manassas Line, once the trains were released they encountered trees down on the tracks south of Manassas. This resulted in the need to utilize buses from Manassas to Broad Run, and for our final train, from Manassas Park to Broad Run.

If high wind orders are received from CSX or Norfolk Southern, we will communicate through our normal channels by Train Talk, Facebook, Twitter, and vre.org. If we are given an expected time for the orders to be effective, we will share the information, in case you need to make different plans.

Prince William officials to host transportation meeting Thursday

From a press release: 

The Prince William County Department of Transportation will host a public information meeting on Thursday, May 17, to give the public an idea of candidate transportation projects in Prince William County and the region.

People who attend the meeting will have the chance to learn what projects could be programmed between Fiscal Years 2018 and 2023 through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, or NVTA, Six-Year Program. The meeting is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Loch Lomond Elementary School, 7900 Augusta Road in Manassas.

The NVTA manages public funds for transportation projects designed to reduce congestion throughout the region and evaluates projects in surrounding jurisdictions to determine which projects will best serve the region’s transportation needs. The NVTA administers proceeds from the regional sales tax, which are mandated to be used for transportation in Northern Virginia. The NVTA and local jurisdictions share the cost of the projects. Prince William County has requested $429 million to help fund 10 projects that would total $570 million.

Those projects include:

  • Va. 28 improvements from Fitzwater Drive to Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Va. 28 corridor feasibility study – environmental impact statement for the section between the City of Manassas and Fairfax County
  • Construct Va. 28 corridor roadway improvements between the City of Manassas and Fairfax County
  • Construct intersection improvements at Va. 234 and Sudley Manor Drive
  • Construct intersection improvements at Va. 234 and Brentsville Road
  • Construct intersection improvements at Prince William Parkway and University Boulevard
  • Summit School Road Extension and Telegraph Road widening
  • Construct University Boulevard from Progress Court to Devlin Road
  • Devlin Road widening between Wellington Road, with Balls Ford Road relocated, and Linton Hall Road
  • Construct intersection improvements at Prince William Parkway and Clover Hill Road

Prince William County’s Department of Transportation Director, Rick Canizales, said the aim of the meeting is to inform the public. “We hope that the meeting educates the public as to which regional projects Prince William County has applied for and how NVTA makes its decisions. People will be able to ask questions and comment at the meeting.”

The NVTA is accepting public comments for feedback on all candidate projects through midnight on May 20, 2018. Visit the NVTA website for more information and a list of all of the proposed projects in the region. 

For more information about transportation projects in the county, visitwww.pwcgov.org/transportation.

OmniRide’s delay in reporting one of its buses stolen led to a lingered police response

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For Anderson, congestion relief on I-95 comes with improving the shoulder

Anderson

Over the last two years, I have held six community meetings specifically on traffic congestion mitigation in or near the Occoquan District. Several solutions were suggested by residents including improvements to I-95 from the Route 123 interchange to the Prince William Parkway interchange. 

Prince William County commuters suffer from the current configuration of I-95 south over the Occoquan River. As it stands today, traveling south, I-95 has four through lanes as you approach the I-95/Route 123 interchange.

The 4th lane abruptly ends at the same time as the exit ramp onto Route 123 pulls away. This effectively creates a two-lane reduction over about 200-300 meters. Moreover, the short acceleration ramp onto I-95 south from Route 123 creates a dangerous weaving motion that exacerbates the congestion.

To address these concerns I supported the Prince William County Board of Supervisors proposal to widen I-95 and apply for 2016 Smart Scale funding, which is the primary state funding source for transportation projects. This proposal was unsuccessful in its bid for several reasons.

One primary challenge was a conflict with the existing HOT lanes contract (Transurban) for I-95 that limits future expansion of general-purpose lanes on I-95. Once the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) made this determination, I began working toward an alternate plan with elected officials at the Federal, State, and Local level as well as senior representatives from Prince William County Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, and Transurban.

My new goal was to determine what project could be proposed for 2018 Smart Scale funding that would dramatically improve the safety and quality of life for commuters on I-95 southbound and secondary roads, without creating a new lane.

My office is working directly with all previously mentioned organizations as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation on a new proposal that creates a reinforced shoulder between the Route 123 interchange and the Prince William Parkway interchange. This will eliminate the need for cars entering I-95 southbound to merge quickly into traffic. The impacts of the proposed improvements are still being studied, but they would potentially make this section of road safer, improve the flow of traffic by reducing accidents, and make trips on the road more reliable for commuters. This project has been submitted for Federal funds with plans to submit for state funds this fall. 

Editors note: A reinforced shoulder will allow the pavement to carry the weight of more cars on the highway, similar to Red X lanes on Interstate 66.

Beginning next Friday, May 11, vehicles turning left from Coachman Circle can make a two-stage movement

From a press release: 

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will install new pavement markings on Route 1 southbound near Hills of Aquia subdivision in Stafford County to make it easier for drivers to turn left and merge with southbound traffic. 

Beginning next Friday, May 11, vehicles turning left from Coachman Circle can make a two-stage movement. Drivers can turn left into a channelized receiving lane to wait for a gap in traffic to safely enter into the Route 1 southbound lanes.

The new line striping is an innovative approach to assist drivers turning left, especially during peak travel times on Route 1 southbound, such as the evening rush hour and summer months.

The receiving lane should be used only for traffic turning left from Coachman Circle. Route 1 southbound traffic should not use it as a passing lane. 

VDOT crews will change the pavement markings to create this lane beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 10. Route 1 southbound will be reduced to a single lane at Coachman Circle until 4:30 a.m. on Friday, May 11.

A message board will be posted next week to alert motorists to the upcoming work zone and traffic pattern change.

Here’s where you can bike to work Friday on ‘Bike to Work Day’

From OmniRide

Will you be one of the thousands of Washington-area residents who participate in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18?  Be one of the first 20,000 to register and attend a pit stop in D.C., MD, and VA to receive a free T-shirt, refreshments, and be entered into a raffle for a new bicycle.

Prince William area residents may want to consider biking to a nearby commuter lot and taking public transportation for the rest of their commute. Bike racks, which can accommodate two bikes at a time, are available on all Metro Direct, OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses. OmniRide buses do not have bike racks, but bicycle amenities are available at these commuter lots:

  • Dale City
  • Horner Road
  • Telegraph Road
  • Lake Ridge at Minnieville Road
  • Lindendale
  • Old Bridge Road and Route 123
  • Portsmouth
  • PRTC Transit Center
  • Route 123 and I-95
  • Route 234 and Route 1
  • Cushing Road
  • Limestone

To encourage participation, the Prince William area will have 10 pit stops where bicyclists can pull over and have refreshments and enter prize drawings. The local pit stop locations and hours are:

  • Dumfries – Dumfries Town Hall/ Community Center, 17755 Main Street, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Haymarket – Haymarket Bicycles, 4414 Costello Way, 6 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Manassas – George Mason University, Freedom Center Boulevard & University Boulevard, 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Manassas – Kelly Leadership Center at the intersection of the Route 234 bike trail, 6 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Manassas – Manassas VRE station, 9431 West Street, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Manassas Park – Palisades Apartments, 8100 Palisades Circle on Manassas Drive (near Manassas Park VRE Station), 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center, near the intersection of the Prince William Parkway bike trail, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Rippon Landing VRE station, 15511 Farm Creek Drive, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Tackett’s Mill Commuter Lot, Tackett’s Mill Drive and Minnieville Road, 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
  • Woodbridge – Woodbridge VRE station, 1040 Express Way, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.

So get your bicycle ready, find a friend to ride with, and join in on the fun! Visit BiketoWorkMetroDC.org for information about improving your riding skills, finding a riding buddy, joining a commuter convoy and more!

OmniRide gets green light for Uber-like commuter lot shuttle service for Haymarket, Gainesville

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Podcast: OmniRide’s rebranding, and its future growing beyond transit buses

In this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast, I talk with OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider about the transit agency’s new look, how it is overcoming internal struggles in its organization, and a new service that will operate more like Uber than a transit bus.

We recorded this podcast at the OmniRide Transit Center, home of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission in Woodbridge, on Monday, April 30, 2018.

A crash, honey bees, and a lost dog amount to a bizarre story on Virginia’s Capital Beltway

From Virginia State Police: 

Virginia State Police Trooper C. Lanfranchi Jr. is investigating a multi-vehicle crash in Fairfax County. The incident first began around 4 p.m. Wednesday (May 2) with a minor. two-vehicle, fender-bender crash in the northbound lanes of I-495 near Georgetown Pike. 
 
As those vehicles were trying to move out of the travel lanes and over to the shoulder, they were struck by a northbound tractor-trailer that had veered into the Jersey wall. 
 
The driver of the tractor-trailer was found in his cab unresponsive due to a medical emergency. 
 
As Trooper Lanfranchi and medical personnel were assessing the scene, they were suddenly swarmed by bees. Further investigation revealed that the flatbed tractor-trailer was loaded with pallets of honey bees. During the crash, a strap had broken off and one of the pallets shifted – thus allowing the bees to escape.
 
During the course of the crash investigation, an elderly man and his son stopped out at the scene. They both happened to be experienced bee handlers and offered their assistance. They suited up, inspected the flatbed trailer, and helped secure the load and capture a majority of the bees.
 
In addition, a small dog was found running loose at the scene. Trooper Lanfranchi was able to rescue the pup and placed the dog safely in his patrol car. It was determined the dog belonged to the tractor-trailer driver. Because it took quite a while to clear the scene, the trooper even took the dog for a quick walk with an improvised “leash” he found in his patrol car. 
 
The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 56-year-old Missouri man, was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. 
 
Neither driver in the original crash was injured in either crash.
 

OmniRide riders on I-66 to pay half fares during toll lanes construction

HAYMARKET — Riders on OmniRide commuters buses that travel on Interstate 66 from the Gainesville, Haymarket, and Manassas areas will soon pay half.

The transit agency will launch its new half fare program on May 7 to encourage residents in western Prince William County to take transit as the work on the I-66 E-ZPass Express Lanes ramps up.

From a press release:

Riders will pay half-fares on OmniRide express buses that travel along the I-66 corridor for the duration of the construction, which is expected to last for four years. The discount applies to Manassas and Gainesville OmniRide express buses serving points in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, and the Tysons Corner Metro Station.

Half-fares on the routes are funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to mitigate congestion along I-66 during Express Lanes construction. The goal is to encourage commuters to use transit rather than driving alone.

One-way SmarTrip fares on OmniRide buses to the Pentagon and points in Washington, D.C. will be $3.45 instead of the regular $6.90 fare, and on buses serving the Metro station will be $1.75 instead of the regular $3.45 fare.

The half-fare buses will serve commuter lots in Haymarket and Gainesville, however, OmniRide encourages new riders to use a commuter lot on Portsmouth Road near the Manassas Mall for its ample parking spaces, and more seating on buses that serve the lot.

The new toll lanes on I-66 outside the Beltway are expected to open in 2022. The lanes will look like E-ZPass Express Lanes in the Capital Beltway between Springfield and Tysons Corner, with separated lanes on each side of the highway for toll payers and transit buses to use. 

The transit system also urges those who work odd schedules to use OmniRide to find a vanpool.

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