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BY SCOTT SHENK
Fredericksburg-area residents who commute to Tysons Corner will soon have an alternative to driving the interstates.
The option will involve a combination of Virginia Railway Express trains, which cannot serve the Tysons Corner area, and a new Fairfax County bus service.
On Monday, Express Connector buses will start offering service for VRE riders at the Burke station, which only Manassas-line users will be able to use.
On March 4, a similar bus service will be available from the Lorton and Springfield VRE stations for Fredericksburg-line riders.
The buses will use the new Interstate 495 express lanes, allowing them to avoid the congestion in the primary lanes. The ride from the Lorton and Springfield stations to Tysons is expected to take about an hour.
Fairfax Department of Transportation officials tout the service as a boon to commuters, from the county and beyond.
Ellen Kamilakis of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said there are plenty of Fredericksburg-area residents who work in Tysons Corner, which has thousands of employers, including government contractors and private companies.
Kamilakis said her department isn't sure how many VRE riders will take advantage of the service, but she figures there's at least one good reason for them to try it--commuter rail riders won't have to pay to ride the buses.
"It's a great benefit that they can ride these buses for free," she said.
For a one-way trip from Lorton to Tysons, other riders will pay $3.65 with a SmarTrip card or $4 in cash.
The Express Connector buses will depart the stations every 15 minutes. In the mornings, they'll run from 6:30 to 9; and in the afternoons, from 4:15 to 7. There also will be midday runs, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
For more information, go to:
Fairfax Connector Express: fairfaxcounty.gov/con
YouTube video: youtube.com/watch?v=M3t XexsWGk4