ARLINGTON, Va. — With Amazon’s promise of 25,000 new jobs in Northern Virginia over the next decade, transportation planners hope to move more commuters using a tried and true method.
"We need to have more options to move more people and not sit in traffic," Kate Mattice, who heads the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission said.
It just received more funding from Arlington to plan a new bus rapid transit system along Route 7.
"This is a big deal," said Mattice. "The Route 7 corridor has a fantastic history of transit ridership, but the buses are full," said Mattice.
Mattice says the 11-mile route will connect Tyson’s Corner to West Falls Church and East Falls Church Metro before making its way to Alexandria.
"It provides a lot of flexibility and really fills in those gaps," Mattice said. "It really is the option to move a lot more people along a corridor without having to wait for Metrorail or big capital construction projects."
Planners say the route will look a lot like bus rapid transit lanes already along Route 1 in Alexandria. Planners say you should think of it like Metro, but above ground, with larger buses, dedicated lanes, and quick stops.
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"Obviously Metro can hold a lot more people but it’s definitely a really big step in moving more people," Mattice said.
NVTC says the $350 million project will move 10-thousand more people each day when it’s finished. Planners say they are studying where to build stops so service can start in 2030.
“We’re going to do all our homework,” Mattice said.