Current Environmental Review Effort
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, in cooperation with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, are planning transit improvements in the Crystal City-Potomac Yard (CCPY) Corridor. The project corridor extends from the Braddock Road Metrorail Station in the south to the Pentagon and Pentagon City in the north, a distance of approximately five miles.
The goal of the project is to provide high-capacity and high-quality transit service to residents, businesses and visitors in this fast developing corridor, particularly in Potomac Yard and Crystal City where major redevelopment efforts have been undertaken by the County and the City. Planned transit improvements in the CCPY corridor include bus-only transitway, station stops, frequent bus service, and passenger amenities.
In 2007, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the Documented Categorical Exclusion (CE) for the initial segment of the CCPY Transitway, in Potomac Yard and Crystal City in Arlington County. In 2009, as a result of the Master Plan vision for Crystal City, the County proposed a modified transit alignment that would use both Clark and Bell Streets and Crystal Drive. The project team is currently updating the 2007 environmental review study to incorporate transitway alignment changes in Crystal City and to update traffic and environmental impact analyses. The project team will seek Federal approval of a revised Documented CE, which will allow the initial segment to advance through design and implementation.
Timeline for Initial Phase
Crystal City/Potomac Yard Corridor Transit Analysis:
In 2001, the Virginia Department of
Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), in cooperation with with
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, undertook a transit
alternatives analysis (AA, see publications page)
to explore options of transit service improvements, as a response
and office workers expected in the corridor. The results of that
study were published in 2003.
Yard Corridor Interim Transit Improvement Implementation Strategy:
Since the completion of the AA, the
pace of development in the corridor has increased. As a result,
Arlington County, the City
of Alexandria, and DRPT have worked to develop a system
that will serve the corridor until a Build Alternative from the
AA can be put into place.
This implementation plan began with
a series of workshops that engaged citizens, business owners,
developers, and staff from Arlington
and Alexandria in dialogues about the features that a transit service
should have. The dialogue was sustained through monthly meetings
of a Technical Advisory Committee composed of
planning and transportation staff from both jurisdictions, representatives
of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA),
Several technical memoranda have been
prepared as part of the development of the implementation strategy
for this service.
These include a transit service implementation plan, station area
plans, and an inventory of potential environmental issues within
This implementation strategy describes
the anticipated near-term changes to transit services as well
potential long-term scenarios
for the corridor, under the assumption that the interim improvements
will help establish a high-capacity transit corridor. The interim
improvements are designed to prepare the way for future, higher
capacity transit service—such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT),
Light Rail Transit (LRT), or a new Metrorail station—without
precluding any long-term options.
(Read the interim
study reports on the publications page.)
Phased Service Improvements
Transit improvements are already underway and will extend into
the long-term. Immediate and short-term improvements are being
implemented to satisfy the demand for transit service brought about
with new development in the corridor in the next three years. This
includes the introduction of new routes such as Metrobus 9S, a
six-minute peak route that serves the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's new offices at One Potomac Yard and provides connections
to Metrorail and the Virginia Railway Express (VRE). In taking
on a unique character or image and providing a clearly defined
route structure, these improvements will set the groundwork for
transition to higher levels of service.
Left: Passengers board the new
9S Metrobus, an immediate service enhancement that will pave
the way for further transit improvements in the growing Crystal City/Potomac
corridor. Right: Model of the station
stop area design for the
new transit service (in front of the EPA building at Potomac Yard in Arlington).
Short-term service changes
will be implemented in the 2- to 3-year time frame. The first
segment of Arlington’s busway will open between the Arlington/Alexandria
border at Four Mile
26th Street South. North of 26th Street South, transit services
will continue to operate in mixed traffic as design and construction
transitway segments continue.
During this period, the Arlington Crystal City/Potomac Yard
service will be extended to the Potomac Yard Shopping Center
and DASH will continue to operate a separate service covering
the Alexandria portion of Potomac Yard.
The expanded Arlington
Crystal City/Potomac Yard service will have headways of 6
minutes during weekday
peak periods and 12 minutes on weekends and weekday
off-peak periods. The portions of Alexandria previously served
by Metrobus routes 9B and 10P will be covered by a separate service
operated by DASH.
Left: One Potomac Yard, new offices
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and one of many
new buildings served by the new transit system in Crystal City.
Right: Farther south on Route 1, new development in the works
at Potomac Yard.
Mid-term service changes will be implemented
in the 4- to 7-year time frame. During this period, additional
exclusive busway will
be built in Crystal City north of 26th Street
Route 1 between East Glebe Road and the Monroe
Service between Alexandria and Arlington will be integrated
into a single service running from one end of the corridor
to the other,
and will be operated by WMATA. Vehicles will start to
make use of the new busway in Arlington and Alexandria.
continue to operate between 5 a.m. and 12 a.m. on weekdays
and between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. on weekends.
The mid-term service will be a high-capacity, high-amenity,
branded transit line that will serve the corridor through
major phases of population and employment growth. It
will function as the precursor to the long-term improvements
considered in the
In the long term, a BRT or LRT service
in the corridor would utilize the busway and stops constructed
as part of the initial
service. There is the additional
possibility of construction
of an infill Metrorail station on
the Blue and Yellow lines in Potomac
Yard, at the site of the proposed Potomac Yard Town Center.
Parts of the City of Alexandria to
be served by the new transit system include the area around Braddock
Road Metro Station, left, and residential and commercial areas
along Route 1 at Potomac Yard, right.