As it has since 1985, the Fairfax Connector bus service continues to add routes formerly served by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrobus system.
Fairfax County officials, during a briefing July 6 outside the West Falls Church Metro station, announced that Fairfax Connector would assume operations of five more former Metrobus routes on July 10. The old Metrobus routes and their new Fairfax Connector names are:
• Metrobus Route 3T, which links Pimmit Hills and Tysons to the McLean and West Falls Church Metro stations, will become Fairfax Connector Route 703. The route will operate every 30 minutes during weekday rush hours and hourly during weekday non-rush hours and on Saturdays.
• Metrobus Route 15K, which links McLean, Salona Village and Chesterbrook Gardens with the East Falls Church Metro station, will become Fairfax Connector Route 715. These buses will provide weekday rush-hour service ever 30 minutes.
• Metrobus Route 3A, which links Lake Barcroft, Annandale and North Springfield with the East Falls Church Metro station, will become Fairfax Connector Route 803. The route operates every 30 minutes on weekday rush hours, every 40 to 60 minutes on weekday non-rush hours and every 45 minutes on weekends.
• Metrobus Route 29C, which provides weekday rush-hour service every 30 minutes linking Northern Virginia Community College’s (NVCC) Annandale campus with the Pentagon Metro station, will become Fairfax Connector Route 834. Express service on this route costs $4.25.
• Metrobus Route 29W, which provides weekday rush-hour service every 30 minutes linking NVCC’s Annandale campus and the Willow Woods community with the Pentagon Metro station, will become Fairfax Connector Route 835. The route’s express service costs $4.25.
Four of the new Connector routes have not been operating during the pandemic, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D). The new routes serve key areas of Fairfax County, cater to about 69,000 residents and provide access to more than 36,000 jobs within the county, he said.
The new Connector routes will give people back their transit and help get the economy going again, McKay said.
“As we know and found out in the pandemic, it’s never been more important to have robust bus service, not only to help Metrorail . . . but to get people back on transit, to remind them how convenient it is, how practical it is and how easy it is to use,” he said.
Fairfax Connector runs bus services much more cost-effectively than Metrobus and the county previously subsidized the new routes, McKay said.
“We’re using the same money that we would have paid Metro” to operate the routes, said Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
The trend of having the Connector service take over Metrobus routes likely will continue, in order to make best use of transit funds, McKay added.
The changes mean Fairfax Connector now will have 100 bus routes serving the county, said Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville).
“Fairfax Connector continues to look for new ways to serve our community,” he said. “Buses are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and relaxing way to get where you need to go.”
The bus service will continue to use enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure passenger safety, Foust said.
Fairfax Connector on July 10 also will implement the following route changes:
• There will be minor schedule changes on Route 171 in the Richmond Highway corridor to provide better weekend connectivity between the Huntington Metro station and the National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir.
• Route 422, which served the Boone Boulevard/Howard Avenue area in Tysons, will be discontinued because of inadequate ridership and the existence of duplicative service with Routes 401, 402, 462 and 467.
• There will be minor adjustments to Route 462 between the Dunn Loring and Tysons Corner Metro stations in order to provide access to employment and activity center along Maple Avenue in Vienna. This route operates every 30 minutes both on weekdays and weekends.
• Route 467, which also runs between the Tysons Corner and Dunn Loring Metro stations, will have Sunday service added.
• Route 630 in Centreville will see improved connections that will permit better access to a new senior-living facility at Stringfellow Road and Autumn Willow Drive.
For more information, visit www.fairfaxconnector.com.