The squeaky wheel on the bus may get the grease, as the Alexandria Transit Company Board of Directors has directed staff to find a way of restoring or replacing a bus line through Seminary Road cut from current plans to overhaul the bus network.
DASH, the city’s bus system, is preparing to shift its bus service from a model focused on widespread coverage of the city to one that focuses on high-frequency service in densely populated corridors.
One of the casualties of this change would be the AT2 bus line. The bus line starts in Lincolnia and works up through the West End to the Mark Center before running down through the heart of Seminary Hill and into Old Town.
Steve Sindiong, an urban planner for the City of Alexandria, said that the DASH Board of Directors told staff at an earlier meeting that they need to go back and restore service in that corridor.
“That’s what we’re working on right now,” Sindiong said. “We’re looking at different approaches to service on Seminary [Road] and Janneys [Lane].”
The removal of the lines caused outrage at a meeting at the Burke Branch Library in October, where a packed room of local residents said they were concerned that they would lose access to the city’s bus service.
DASH tweeted that AT2 riders would be able to reach Old Town through a transfer at Landmark Mall or Southern Towers, but plans for the bus routes by 2022 eliminate service east of Inova Alexandria Hospital (4320 Seminary Road).
Hey West End! With the proposed ATV Plan, AT2 riders will be able to reach Old Town faster through a transfer at Landmark Mall or Southern Towers/Mark Center. Learn more & take our online survey at https://t.co/j7arcEZPWR. HURRY! The survey ends tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/bfDvHnmIbY
— DASH Bus (@DASHBus) November 21, 2019
Sindiong said the replacement bus line would have, at a minimum, some weekday service.
The city is also currently in discussions with the Department of Defense, which funds the AT2x route that runs directly from the King Street Metro station to the Mark Center. It is currently an express bus, meaning it makes no stops on Seminary Road, but staff said in the October meeting that they were cautiously hopeful that it could be opened up to local residents.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott