Posted on June 15, 2022
Arlington’s ART transit system is now heading for a long-awaited destination: a new centralized operations and maintenance facility for its buses.
County officials, joined by regional transportation administrators, advocates and community leaders, broke ground Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at the 3.5-acre site in the Green Valley neighborhood.
When completed in 2025, the facility will provide storage and maintenance operations for ART’s entire growing fleet, which will exceed 100 buses to follow new routes over the next 20 years. Also intended for the site: an administrative building, a workshop dedicated to preventive maintenance and parking for employees on three floors.
Currently ART operations are spread over a bus park on Shirlington Road, a facility on South Eads Street, a temporary car park on North Quincy Street and a leased industrial facility on Farrington Road in Alexandria.
“Having a home to provide this essential service is imperative as the county and region continues to grow in population and jobs,” said Arlington County Council Vice Chairman Christian Dorsey.
The Shirlington Road three-plot site meets a need to reduce bus mileage outside the normal paid service among the few viable locations in the county. ART has partially used the site since 2017.
The county required a minimum of LEED Building Design + Construction (BD+C) Silver certification for the design of the project, which includes sustainable materials and systems. The objective is Gold Level certification once the project is built and operational.
The project is funded through partnerships with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).
“It’s this kind of creative partnership that makes it possible to deliver high-quality, grassroots services in urban, constrained environments like Arlington,” Dorsey said.
About Arlington Transit (ART)
Arlington Transit’s bus service is a key component in providing safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable transportation for Arlington residents, workers, visitors, and students. ART’s 16 routes connect people to neighborhoods, shopping areas and metro stations. In 2019, the ART bus served 2.95 million passengers. In the coming years, annual traffic should reach 3 million passengers.
During the early years of the pandemic, Arlington’s workforce relied on ART buses to get around safely, though weekday ridership dropped 50%. Weekend ridership was down only 15%. As gas prices continue to rise, ART is providing low-cost transportation around the county, with various discount programs for seniors, students, and people with disabilities.
Construction of the Arlington Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2025. Neighbors will be kept informed of construction milestones and transportation impacts until the completion of the project. Updates will be posted on the Arlington Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility project page, which offers sign-up for information via an email newsletter.
Rendering of the Operations and Maintenance Facility viewed from Shirlington Rd.