A New Home Rising for Arlington Transit
Published on June 15, 2022
Arlington’s ART transit system is now rolling toward a much-anticipated 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, on the 3.5-acre site in the Green Valley neighborhood.
When completed in 2025, the facility will offer storage and maintenance operations for the entire growing ART fleet, which will top 100 buses to keep up with new routes over the next 20 years. Also destined for the site: an administration building, a dedicated shop for preventative maintenance and a three-story employee parking garage.
Currently, ART operations are divided across a bus lot on Shirlington Road, a facility on South Eads Street, a temporary parking site on North Quincy Street and a leased industrial facility on Farrington Road in Alexandria.
"Having a home to provide this critical service is imperative as the County and region continue to grow in population and jobs,” said Christian Dorsey, Vice Chair of the Arlington County Board.
The three-parcel Shirlington Road site addresses a need to reduce bus mileage outside of normal revenue service amid scarce viable locations within the County. ART has made partial use of the site since 2017.
The County required a minimum of LEED Building Design + Construction (BD+C) Silver Certification for the project’s design, which includes sustainable materials and systems. The goal is Gold Level certification once the project is built and operating.
The project is being funded through partnerships with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).
“It is this type of creative partnership that makes it possible to deliver high quality core services in urban and constrained environments like Arlington,” said Dorsey.
About Arlington Transit (ART)
Arlington Transit bus service is a key part of providing safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable transportation to residents, workers, visitors, and students in Arlington. ART’s 16 routes connect people to neighborhoods, commercial areas, and Metrorail stations. In 2019, ART bus served 2.95 million passengers. In coming years, annual ridership is expected to top 3 million passengers.
In the first years of the pandemic, Arlington’s workforce relied on ART bus to commute safely, although weekday ridership dropped by 50%. Weekend ridership fell only 15%. As the price of gasoline continues to rise, ART offers low-cost transportation around the County, with different discount programs for seniors, students, and people with disabilities.
Construction of the Arlington Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility is expected to conclude in spring 2025. Neighbors will be kept informed of significant construction milestones and transportation impacts until the project is completed. Updates will be posted on the Arlington Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility project page, which offers a sign-up for information via e-newsletter.
Operations and Maintenance Facility rendering as seen from Shirlington Rd.