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FairfaxState funds to aid autonomous-shuttle effort

State funds to aid autonomous-shuttle effort

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Fairfax County supervisors on March 22 unanimously approved a supplemental-appropriation resolution accepting $260,000 in funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) to help finance operation of an autonomous-shuttle system in Merrifield through the end of 2022.

The grant includes a 20-percent ($52,000) local cash match and will not entail any new job positions, county-government officials said.

The electric shuttle, dubbed Relay, operates between the Dunn Loring Metro station and Mosaic District every 15 to 20 minutes Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The county earlier had received a $250,000 DRPT grant to implement the shuttle service for a two-year pilot program starting in fiscal 2020.


Dominion Energy bought the vehicle and provided in-kind marketing, promotion and staff assistance, county officials said.

The Virginia Transportation Research Council also is giving the county support for an independent research report on the pilot program.

When the state-funded demonstration grant expires, the program will need further funding. County officials will not be obliged to continue the initiative.

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