Arlington to Buy Springfield Site for Bus Heavy Maintenance Facility

Published on December 14, 2016

  • County to pay $4.65 million

  • New facility would accommodate ART bus fleet growth

  • Will bring certainty to ART operations

The Arlington County Board today approved a contract to purchase a $4.65 million site, zoned for industrial use, at 6701-6705 Electronic Drive in Springfield to be used for construction and operation of a heavy maintenance facility for the County's growing Arlington Transit (ART) bus fleet.

The new facility would replace the current ART maintenance facility, leased by the County's ART operations and maintenance contractor, at 6100 Farrington Avenue in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, about two miles from the Electronic Drive site. The new permanent facility is expected to contribute to the infrastructure needed to grow the ART program, as outlined in the County's recently approved 10-year Transit Development Plan. The ART bus fleet has 65 buses, with plans to grow to 90 as early as Fiscal Year 2020. The new heavy maintenance facility will include 10 maintenance bays, providing additional capacity over the six maintenance bays available at the Farrington Avenue facility.

"We have been searching for a long-term solution to ART bus maintenance needs since 2012," said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. "This two-acre site in Springfield is one of the few properties inside the Beltway that is available, large enough and properly zoned for this type of facility. We look forward to working with Fairfax County on re-subdivision of the property and on obtaining any land use approvals necessary to operate the site as a bus heavy maintenance facility."

The Board voted 5-0 to approve the agreement of sale. To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 44 on the agenda for the Tuesday, Dec. 13 Recessed County Board Meeting.

A new lease is being negotiated for the Farrington Avenue facility to ensure continuity of bus maintenance service until the new County-owned facility can be completed.

The Electronic Drive site is in the Shirley industrial area of Springfield, near where Interstate 395 meets Interstate 495.

The County has budgeted $37 million in its Fiscal Year 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Program for the purchase of a site and building of a bus heavy maintenance facility.

New ART facility in Crystal City nearing completion

Arlington is also building a new bus facility in Crystal City, at South Eads and 32nd Streets. It will include a light-duty maintenance bay, bus wash bay, a compressed natural gas fueling station and parking, while the heavy maintenance facility in Springfield will handle bus repairs and regular preventive maintenance.

About ART

ART's 17 routes inside Arlington County supplement Metrobus service. Started as peak-period shuttles to Metrorail, ART buses have become a staple of the County's transportation system, with ridership growing from 650,000 annually in 2004 to 3.1 million in fiscal year 2016. ART's fleet of low-floor buses is environmentally friendly, operating on clean-burning compressed natural gas.