West End Transitway

The City of Alexandria is implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system along the Van Dorn/Beauregard corridor (West End Transitway) that will provide robust high-capacity transit operations between the Van Dorn Metrorail station, Landmark Mall, Shirlington Transit Center, Beauregard residential area and the Pentagon using a combination of dedicated and shared lanes.

Page updated on Nov 20, 2019 at 6:14 PM

The City of Alexandria is implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to provide high-capacity transit service using a combination of dedicated and shared lanes and high quality stations with rider amenities on the West End. The West End Transitway will connect major transit facilities - Van Dorn Metrorail Station, Landmark Mall transit hub, Mark Center Transit Center, Shirlington Transit Center, and the Pentagon Transit Center - and several neighborhoods along the corridor - Van Dorn/Landmark, a redeveloped Landmark Mall, and Beauregard. See Draft proposed build alternative here

The City will be implementing the West End Transitway in phases, and anticipates beginning initial operation of a first phase of the transitway by 2028. The implementation phases for the West End Transitway include:

  • Improving service in the West End through improved headways on DASH Route AT1 (every 10 minutes during the peak and 20 minutes off-peak) starting October 2019
  • Implementation of transit service changes, including within the West End that will be recommended in the Alexandria Transit Vision Plan between 2020 and 2030
  • Design and construction of a first phase of the West End Transitway focused on Transportation Systems Management (TSM) improvements including new stations, transit signal priority, bus queue jump lanes, pedestrian and bicycle improvements and new buses to operate in shared lanes by 2028
  • Continuing to seek funding toward implementation of a final phase that includes dedicated transit lanes and new stations along portions of Van Dorn Street and Beauregard Street

West End Transitway FAQ

West End Transitway Project Flyer 

West End Transitway Project Flyer - Espanol


What’s New

Commonwealth Transportation Board approves over $68 million in funding toward the implementing the West End Transitway
In June 2019, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the FY 2020-2025 Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP), which included funds totaling over $68 million that will go toward improvements that will help implement the West End Transitway. These funds will assist the City's ongoing investments in improving transit services, enhancing transportation connectivity, and helping Alexandria residents and visitors move safely and efficiently through the region. The three projects that specifically help to implement the West End Transitway include: 

  • Design and construction of a first phase of Transportation Systems Management (TSM) infrastructure for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the West End of Alexandria, including queue jump lanes, Transit Signal Priority, roadway improvements, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, streetscape improvements and buses — $57.2 million.
  • Improvements to both walkability and transit accessibility in the area around Landmark Mall, including safe crossings over Van Dorn and Duke Streets, connecting to the future Landmark Mall transit hub — $6.3 million.
  • Installation of transit signal prioritization at 50 intersections, some of which will be along the West End Transitway corridor, which allows buses to stay on schedule, as part of the City's intelligent transportation system program SmartMobility — $5 million.
  • The SYIP includes State Transit Capital Assistance funds, Regional Surface Transportation funds, Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust settlement funds, and transportation projects that were evaluated and recommended for funding under a prioritization process called " SMART SCALE, Funding the Right Transportation Projects in Virginia."    
New AT-1 Plus Service coming to the West End
Beginning in Fall 2019, DASH introduced a specially-branded “AT-1 Plus” bus service that serves the Van Dorn Metro station, Landmark Mall, Mark Center, and Southern Towers along a similar alignment to the future West End Transitway corridor.  The AT-1 Plus replaces and expands upon the existing DASH AT-1 route and will serve as a precursor to the planned West End Transitway.  It includes increased bus frequency – buses every 10 minutes during weekday peak periods! – extended evening hours, specially-wrapped buses, and real-time stop information at key stop locations.  Ongoing funding for these service improvements is provided through the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) I-395 Commuter Choice program, which leverages toll revenues from the new I-395 Express Lanes to fund transit improvements that improve mobility along the I-95/395 corridor.  For more information on the AT-1 Plus including maps and timetables, please visit dashbus.com.  


Project Status - Fall 2019

Since City Council’s re-concurrence of the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) on March 29, 2016, the project team has worked to advance the West End Transitway through the following activities:

  • Beginning engineering / design of the first phase of the West End Transitway (using previously awarded NVTA funds) that includes new stations, queue jump lanes, transit signal priority, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and new buses operating in shared lanes
  • The City applied for and was awarded $57.2 million in SmartScale funds toward construction of a first phase of the West End Transitway (See above)
    Completion of Conceptual Design (posted below)
  • Acceptance into the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Project Development (PD) Program in July 2016 

  • Ongoing coordination with the FTA regarding development of the Environmental Documentation 

  • Finalized the Alternatives Analysis Report (Fall 2016)

  • Determination from the FTA that the west End Transitway Project meets the criteria of a Class II listed Categorical Exclusion as set forth in 23 CFR 771.118 (d) in April 2017
  • Continued efforts toward seeking grants toward design and construction
  • Preparation to advance the project into the Design phase 


Environmental Analysis

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as lead agency and the City of Alexandria as project sponsor has prepared an Alternatives Analysis (AA) and Environmental Documentation for the West End Transitway.

The AA/Environmental Documentation provides a detailed analysis of three Alternatives - No Build, Transportation Systems Management, and Build - and an environmental analysis of each proposed Alternative as required for the project to be eligible to receive federal funding. The proposed Transitway will provide residents and visitors with an alternative mode of travel that is fast, efficient, comfortable, and reliable. Local, regional, state, and Federal partners and the public be invited to participate in the AA/Environmental Documentation for the West End Transitway to help identify transit needs, evaluate tradeoffs, identify measures of success, and identify hurdles to overcome.

Project Documents

Environmental Assessment (March 2017)

Alternatives Analysis Report (Fall 2016)

Conceptual Plans

City Council Resolution (March 29, 2016)


Schedule

The project is in the beginning stages of design of a first phase of the transitway. This design is anticipated to be completed by 2022. Right of Way acquisition, utility relocation and construction is anticipated to begin by 2024 and be completed by 2028. The City has completed the AA and Environmental Documentation which was used to gather input through public meetings, focus groups and subject matter experts to inform transit improvement decisions for the West End Transitway.  

 

West End Transitway Policy Advisory Group

On March 11, 2014, City Council passed a  resolution to establish a Van Dorn/Beauregard Transitway Policy Advisory Group to provide input on key deliverables and make project recommendations related to the Van Dorn/Beauregard Transitway Alternatives Analysis (AA) / Environmental Documentation.  The resolution allowed that group members may have differing opinions and not necessarily develop a consensus position, broker a compromise or take formal votes.
 

The Policy Advisory Group (PAG) reviewed and provided guidance on:

  1. Definition of the project purpose and need;
  2. Refinement of Alternatives;
  3. Evaluation measures and priorities;
  4. Evaluation results and determination of the LPA; and
  5. Results of the environmental analysis.
     

West End Policy Advisory Group Members

  • Sam Stiebel, Developer Representative
  • Christine Hoeffner, Transit Professional
  • Albert Himes, Transit Professional
  • Jim Durham, Community Representative
  • Christa Cochran, Community Representative
  • Richard Gear, Community Representative
  • Dak Hardwick, Budget & Fiscal Affairs
  • Jake Jakubek, Transportation Commission
  • David Brown, Planning Commission

 

West End Transitway Meeting Materials:

December 3, 2015 - Sixth Meeting of PAG

May 28, 2015 - Fifth Meeting of PAG

December 18, 2014 - Fourth Meeting of PAG

October 23, 2014 - Third Meeting of PAG

October 22, 2014 – Second West End Transitway Public Meeting

September 18, 2014 - Second Meeting of PAG

May 22, 2014 – First West End Transitway Public Meeting  

July 30, 2014 – First Meeting of PAG 

Contact

For additional information, please contact Steve Sindiong, Transit Capital Program Manager, at 703.746.4047 or via email at steve.sindiong@alexandriava.gov

 

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