Arlington County has taken considerable precautions to make sure Arlingtonians are safe taking transit as they start commuting back to the office. In addition to increasing cleanliness standards, major investments are being poured across the DC Metro area to improve service on public transportation.
From walkability to biking infrastructure, to metro service and bus service; Arlington County is making strides to ensure residents are safe returning to the workplace at their own speed.
New Commute Innovations
COVID-19 posed an existential crisis for cities and public transportation. However, with new ARP and CARES funding, Arlington County has been introducing innovative solutions to enhance public transportation and make it ready for a safe return to commuting.
Improvements on Metrorail and Metrobus
The region’s Transit Authority will continue to comply with the federal mask mandate through September 13, and could be subject to continue after that date. Additionally, all Metrorail and Metrobus air ventilation systems were upgraded, circulating filtered air every 3 and 5 minutes respectively.
Furthermore, WMATA’s SmarTrip app is now accessible on IOS and Android devices, allowing riders to limit interaction with surfaces by creating automatic payments through the app. WMATA also introduced BusETA, which functions as a one stop application to survey bus schedules, but also provides an innovative snapshot of crowding, allowing riders to safely distance themselves.
Welcoming riders back with better service
Starting September, WMATA will have a flat $2.00 fee during weekends, and bus-to-rail transfer fees have been permanently removed. WMATA will also have:
- Better Off Peak Rail: Trains will operate every 6 minutes on the Red Line, every 12 minutes on all other lines
- Better Peak Rail: Trains will operate every 5 minutes on the Red Line and every 10 minutes on all other lines.
- Later service: After 9:30 p.m. late-trains will run every 10 minutes on the Red Line, every 15 minutes on all other lines. Operating hours will expand to 1:00 a.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Improvement on ARTBus
Arlington County’s own bus service, similarly to WMATA, will follow the same cleaning protocols and coordination with the federal mask mandate. ARTbus will use upgraded air filtration systems, and install more hand sanitizing stations inside the buses,.
ART buses have support for the SmarTrip app and in addition Moovit transit planner which allows riders to plan their own commute.
Carpool and Vanpool
Arlingtonians also have access to community-based options like carpooling and vanpooling through Commuter Connect. Employer sponsored carpools and vanpools are considered Commuter Benefits and are eligible to up $400/month tax credits and $270 pre tax benefits.
Lastly, Capital Bikeshare has seen a considerable uptick in demand during the pandemic. The network very recently expanded to 103 new stations in the County and has proven to be a socially distant and healthy exercise mode for residents. During the worst part of the pandemic, Capital Bikeshare was made free for essential workers and for individuals going to their vaccination appointments. Now Capital Bikeshare will continue to provide unique deals for Arlington residents like:
- A 50% discount to Arlington Residents. Contact your ATP rep to learn more
- $5/year membership for affordable housing residents through Cabi for All
Watch the Webinar
ICYMI you can now watch our August webinar where we explored all of the new updates regarding commuting in Arlington County. Property managers can learn about the different options and deals from which residents can benefit.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners