Loudoun’s commuter buses have been temporarily suspended, other bus service has been reduced and fares have been waived for at least the next two months as the county’s transit system adapts to life in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning Monday, March 30, commuter bus service to Rosslyn, Crystal City, the Pentagon and Washington, DC, will be suspended; all Metro Connection routes will operate with reduced service or be suspended; and fares will be waived on local fixed route and Metro Connection buses as passengers are loaded through the rear door rather than front for the safety of the drivers. The fare collection device is at the front of the bus, next to the driver.
Currently, there are no changes to local fixed route service, although a county press released noted alterations may be recommended as more ridership data is collected and analyzed.
The changes are in effect for at least 60 days.
Although Loudoun County Transit continues to be available to serve residents who have no alternate way to travel during this time, local leaders remind riders that the most effective way to prevent the spread of illness is to follow the recommendations from public health officials. If you are not feeling well or have symptoms of illness, stay home and avoid taking public transportation.
There will be reduced service on Metro Connection services for Routes 901 and 902, serving Potomac Falls to Ballston Metrorail Station; Routes 923 and 924, serving Goose Creek Village/Broadlands to Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station; Routes 925 and 926, serving Loudoun Station to Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station; and Route 88X, serving Dulles South/East Gate to Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.
Routes 921 and 922, serving Harmony/Leesburg to Wiehle-Reston East, are suspended.
Supervisors unanimously approved the changes at a March 25 emergency meeting, and gave County Administrator Tim Hemstreet the authority to make further changes without first waiting for another board meeting.
“What I do want is the ability to modify the fare or modify the service consistent with what the rest of the region does without having to come to the board first,” Hemstreet said.
As the county’s director of Emergency Management, the County Attorney’s Office opined, Hemstreet has that authority during a state of emergency. Supervisors would then later vote on whether to ratify his actions at their next meeting.
Over the coming weeks, Loudoun County Transit will continue to monitor ridership and services for possible additional changes. Service and schedule changes will be posted at loudoun.gov/buschanges.