WOODBRIDGE, VA – OmniRide will host a series of public hearings in October on proposals that will have a major impact on mobility services particularly in Haymarket, Manassas and Manassas Park. The hearings will focus on four topics:
1. Launching a new OmniRide Express bus route connecting Haymarket with Rosslyn/Ballston
OmniRide proposes to start a new Express bus service offering direct service between Haymarket and Rosslyn/Ballston as soon as construction is complete on a new parking lot at I-66 and Route 15 in Haymarket. The Haymarket Commuter Lot is being built by the Virginia Department of Transportation and is expected to open in mid-December 2018. Initially there would be four trips to Rosslyn/Ballston in the mornings and four return trips in the afternoons/evenings. Rosslyn/Ballston was selected as the destination because there is demand in the I-66 corridor for direct bus service to that location.
All OmniRide bus services that operate along I-66 are offering half-fares during construction of the Express Lanes, which is expected to last for four years. The half-fares are funded by VDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to encourage I-66 commuters to use transit rather than driving alone. During the promotion, the one-way SmarTrip fare on all I-66 OmniRide Express buses is $3.45 instead of the regular $6.90 fare.
2. Restructuring OmniRide Local bus routes in Manassas and Manassas Park
OmniRide proposes to restructure the routing of the OmniRide Local routes serving Manassas and Manassas Park to increase the population within walking distance to a bus stop, reduce unnecessary duplication of services, and create a central hub that’s more convenient for passengers.
Currently, OmniRide’s main transfer point in the area is Manassas Mall. Under this proposal, the main transfer point for Manassas-area buses would be at West Courthouse Road and Mosby Street, near the Prince William County Courthouse. OmniRide selected this location because our ridership figures have shown that the downtown area – particularly around the Courthouse – is the top destination/departure area for our customers. This seems to be a popular location because of proximity to the Courthouse itself, government offices including the Social Security Administration, and various destinations in Old Town Manassas.
3. Replacing OmniRide Local off-route trips with paratransit service in Manassas and Manassas Park
If the PRTC Board of Commissioners approves the route restructuring for the local buses, OmniRide plans to introduce a separate paratransit service specifically in the Manassas and Manassas Park area and discontinue off-route trips on OmniRide Local buses serving Manassas and Manassas Park. (Off-route trips would continue to be available on routes serving eastern Prince William County.)
This new pilot paratransit service, OmniRide Access, would provide transportation services to individuals with disabilities who are unable to use the regular bus service. OmniRide Access would serve people within ¾ mile of the standard bus routes but because of the route restructuring, the areas served by paratransit vehicles would be broader than that currently served by OmniRide Local off-route trips. To be eligible for OmniRide Access, individuals would have to qualify due to disability. The proposed cost for a one-way OmniRide Access trip would be $3.10 (twice the current one-way bus fare).
4. Gathering feedback about what mobility in our area should look like over the next 10 years
In the third and final phase of the OmniRide Strategic Plan, we want to hear from the public about what types of mobility services they want to see over the next 10 years, and how frequently those services should run.
OmniRide’s future commuter services will largely be driven by plans related to the construction of I-66 Express Lanes and the extension of I-395 Express Lanes. As for future local bus services, OmniRide’s goal is to achieve a better balance between rider demand and geographic coverage. That could mean more streamlined routes with little-to-no redundancy on areas served.
Public hearings will be held:
–Wednesday, October 17, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Manassas Park Community Center
99 Adams St, Manassas Park, VA 20111
All Manassas Park OmniRide Local buses will serve the Community Center between noon and 4 p.m. on October 17. This is usually an on-demand stop.
–Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Baldwin Elementary School
1978 Eagle Way, Manassas, VA 20110
–Thursday, October 18, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Haymarket Gainesville Community Library
14870 Lightner Rd., Haymarket, VA 20169
–Wednesday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
OmniRide Transit Center
14700 Potomac Mills Rd., Woodbridge, VA 22192
Information on the public hearing topics will be posted at OmniRide.com prior to the first meeting. Written comments may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org until 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 31. Citizens requiring special assistance to participate in the hearings should contact OmniRide at email@example.com or 703-730-6664 no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), operating as OmniRide, provides express and local bus services as well as ridesharing services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. It also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.