The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved the fare schedule for the new express bus service to Tysons Corner.
One-way fares fore the three new bus routes that will deliver riders from Burke, Lorton and Springfield to Tysons are set at $3.65. Seniors and people with disabilities will pay $1.80. Riders can transfer to a local bus for free, and rail passengers can transfer to the express bus for a 50-cent discount off the regular fare.
These fares match what Metro charges for its express buses, and the countyâ€™s market research shows these prices can lure commuters who normally drive alone to take the bus instead.
Vehicles off the road
This is important because the express service to Tysons is part of the countyâ€™s strategy to reduce the number of commuters who get there by car. County transportation officials project that the three bus lines may take 200 cars off the roads during the first year in operation.
Ninety percent of people who work in Tysons drive there alone, according to a county survey with only five percent using mass transit. However, there is a strong demand for the express bus routes. Approximately 85 percent of employees who work in Tysons said they would ride these buses instead of driving alone if the service were free.
During its first year, the three express bus routes are expected to carry an average of 435 riders per day, with ridership projected to grow to 800 trips daily.
This new service will ferry commuters from the Burke Centre Virginia Railway Express (VRE) station, Lorton VRE station and Springfield area to Tysons. The first route — Burke Centre — will start running in January and the other two are scheduled to begin in March.
The Burke route is the first to provide direct bus service from that area to Tysons. On weekdays, it will operate during rush hours from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:15 to 7 p.m., along with midday runs from Tysons at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The express routes will stop at the four Dulles Rail Metro stations in Tysons when they open next year, although each route will not serve every one of the stations. The buses also will circulate through Tysons, stopping at the office locations for major employers including.
After making limited local stops, the buses will travel along the 495 Express Lanes, offering significant time savings. For example, the trip from Burke to the last stop in Tysons will take about one hour.
The three routes are expected to run every 15 minutes during rush hour, along with two mid-day trips.