On June 13, the Alexandria City Council voted 7-0 to approve a pilot program to provide additional trolley service to Rosemont, Del Ray, and Arlandria.
The new Del Ray/Arlandria Trolley will provide free service originating at the King Street Metro station. After the King Street Metro station, the trolley will follow a route along Commonwealth Avenue and East Braddock Road to the Braddock Road Metro station; then will travel north on Mt. Vernon Avenue, turn left onto West Glebe Road, right onto Russell Road and right onto Mt. Vernon Avenue to return.
The route was developed with coordination among several City agencies and with input from the public through community meetings, trolley tours, and a resident survey. City Council modified the final route staff recommended by moving it from North West Street to Commonwealth Avenue, based upon concerns expressed by the community.
The new free trolley service is expected to begin in the fall of 2012, after a contractor is selected. The trolley will operate on Thursdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The King Street Trolley, launched in April 2008, was Alexandria’s first trolley service connecting King Street Metrorail station to the Potomac River waterfront, providing free transportation for more than 2.2 million passengers. Because of its high ridership and popularity, City Council designated the expansion of the trolley system as a priority last year. Potential areas for trolley expansion were evaluated and guided by the following goals:
- To catalyze economic development by encouraging visitor spending in new areas of the City;
- Ease congestion and reduce parking needs in business districts; and
- Create a seamless trolley system by connecting with the King Street Trolley.
Funding for the new trolley service, which has been designated in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget, will come from the Transportation Improvement Program. This program was established as part of the FY 2012 budget, when Council dedicated 2.2 cents of the real estate property tax rate for transportation purposes.