West End Transitway
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, a new relocated Landmark Mall site transit hub, Mark Center Transit Center, a new Southern Towers transit hub, Shirlington Transit Center, and the Pentagon Transit Center - and several neighborhoods along the corridor - Van Dorn/Landmark, a redeveloped Landmark Mall, and Beauregard. This is one of three BRT corridors planned for the City, including the existing Metroway BRT line.
DASH is continuing to improve existing bus service in the West End to build a ridership base of future West End Transitway riders. With funding from NVTC’s I-95/395 Commuter Choice program, DASH has significantly increased service on the old AT-1+ routing and the new Line 35, which follows a similar alignment to the future West End Transitway from the Van Dorn Metro to the Pentagon via Beauregard Street. As of September 2021, Line 35 now runs every 10 minutes all day on weekdays, and every 15 minutes all day on weekends and holidays. For additional information about Line 35, please visit www.dashbus.com/schedules.
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:
- Continued implementation of the 2022/2030 Alexandria Transit Vision Plan service recommendations, including the West End Transitway.
- 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. Design for the first phase will start in early 2022.
- 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.
The project is in the beginning stages of design of a first phase of the transitway. This design is anticipated to start in late 2021. Right of Way acquisition, utility relocation and construction is anticipated to begin by 2025 and be completed by 2028. The City has completed the Alternatives Analysis (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.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved 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."
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.
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:
- Definition of the project purpose and need;
- Refinement of alternatives;
- Evaluation measures and priorities;
- Evaluation results and determination of the LPA; and
- 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
- 6th PAG Meeting Presentation
- West End Transitway PAG Resolution of Support
- PAG Meeting #6 - Project Follow-up Fact Sheet
- Meeting Audio
- Meeting Video
May 28, 2015 - Fifth Meeting of PAG
- 5th PAG Meeting Presentation
- DRAFT West End Transitway Concept Engineering - Sheet 1
- DRAFT West End Transitway Concept Engineering - Sheet 2
- Proposed West End Transitway Street Cross Sections
- Meeting Video
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
For additional information, please contact Mark Schnaufer, Bus Rapid Transit Program Manager, at 703.746.4085 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.