Arlington Transit Strategic Plan



About the Strategic Plan

In 2018, The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that requires transit agencies operating in urbanized areas to develop a Transit Strategic Plan to ensure that transit services are planned in a way that better meets the mobility needs of their communities. The main goal of a Transit Strategic Plan is to create a strategic blueprint outlining desired changes that will improve the provision of transit services within existing funding structures.

Learn more about Transit Strategic Plans from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

The Arlington Transit Strategic Plan (ATSP) will establish a consistent approach for how state, regional, and local policies are implemented in the County’s transportation system. It focuses on the vision and mission for the agency, and the goals and objectives needed to achieve this vision. The Strategic Plan will guide Arlington Transit’s planning efforts, the prioritization of capital programs and projects, and the development of the operating and capital budgets. 

The ATSP will allow County staff, residents, and commuters to look at their system together, consider the changes and challenges facing transit in Arlington, re-examine the priorities of our stakeholders and riders, and make choices about where and how to provide transit service in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The ATSP is a living document that is updated every 6 years and is designed to be more flexible and responsive to the changes in the County. 

Public Process

The project team engaged with the community throughout the project process to inform the direction and recommendations of the ATSP. In 2022 and 2023, there were two primary public engagement opportunities to share your input and shape the future of transit projects and services, along with presentations to various County advisory commissions and committees.

See the Final ATSP  

Past Public Engagement Activity
Fall 2022 - Goals, Objectives and Your Experiences

For the first phase of ATSP public engagement, the project team wanted to know more about your experiences using Arlington Transit, as well as gather your input on the draft goals and objectives of the Transit Strategic Plan. The draft goals and objectives were developed using the ART Mission, Vision and Values established early in the process of growing our local transit network.

Engagement Summary(PDF, 326KB)

Virtual Public Meeting

The project team from Arlington Transit held a virtual public information session to introduce the Transit Strategic Plan, provide an overview of the draft goals and objectives, and share more information about the current public engagement opportunity that will shape the future of transit in Arlington.

Meeting Resources:

View the Meeting Slides(PDF, 4MB)

Watch the Meeting Recording

Read the Q&A Transcript (Coming Soon) 

  • Other Languages: Spanish - Arabic - Amharic - Chinese - Mongolian 

Online Feedback Form

An online feedback form that shared information and gathered input on the Draft Goals and Values and user experiences open from October 17 to November 20, 2022. The feedback form was shared in 6 languages. You can learn more about the results in the Engagement Summary above.

Pop-Up Engagement Events

Members of the project team went out in the community to seek your feedback during this public engagement opportunity. We hosted 8 events during this window for public input. You can learn more about the results in the Engagement Summary above.




Thursday, October 20

Shirlington Station Transit Center

3pm - 5pm

Monday, October 24

AFAC Morning Food Distribution

9am - 11am

Tuesday, October 25

Bus Stop at S. Uhle Street &

S. Walter Reed Drive

(Outside DHS Sequoia Center)

3pm - 5pm

Saturday, November 5

Ballston Metrorail Station Bus Bays

1pm - 3pm

Tuesday, November 8

S. Glebe Road @ Columbia Pike Bus Stop

3pm - 5pm

Monday, November 14

S. Dinwiddie Street @ Columbia Pike

Arlington Mill Community Center

7am - 9am

9:30am - 11:30am

Saturday, November 19

Pentagon City Metrorail Station Bus Bays

3pm - 5pm

Winter 2022/2023 - What We Heard, What We Learned

Between December 2022 and February 2023, the project team prepared presentations for County advisory commissions and committees that covered what we heard from the public in the Fall 2022 engagement, and what we learned from the technical analysis of our existing Transit system.

You can learn more about the technical analysis in the Technical Analysis section of this project page.

January 10, 2023: Commission on Aging, Transportation Work Group

January 17, 2023: Transit Advisory Committee

February 2, 2023: Transportation Commission

February 27, 2023: Climate Change, Energy and Environment (C2E2) Commission

Summer 2023 - Draft Service Recommendations

During the second phase of ATSP public engagement, the project team asked for input on the Draft Service Recommendations for the ATSP. In this phase the project team shared observations from the first phase of engagement and from the technical planning analysis performed during the process and how they fit in with other changes to the regional transit network. The public had the opportunity to feedback on the Draft Service Recommendations for each route, with a focus on frequency, service hours and route changes.

Read the Engagement Summary(PDF, 652KB)

This engagement was originally scheduled for spring of 2023, but was postponed to the summer to allow our team to finalize key recommendations and coordinate with our County and regional partners.

Online Feedback Form

The window for response closed on July 30, 2023. Comments were collected online and in person. The online feedback form was available in in 6 languages, and multilingual staff engaged with residents at pop-up events.

Virtual Public Meeting

The project team held a virtual public information session in June 2023 to introduce the Draft Recommendations, explain how we got here using your feedback and our data and analysis, and answer questions. We discussed the proposed changes included in the Draft Recommendations and shared more information about the current public engagement opportunity.

Pop-Up Outreach Events

The project team held nearly 20 pop-up events across the County over several weeks to collect feedback during this public engagement opportunity and inform the public about the proposed changes to ART bus service.

Events were held at

  • Transit hubs
  • Farmers markets
  • Food pantries
  • Independent living facilities
  • Community organizations
  • Community events

Fall 2023 - Finalizing the ATSP

Following public engagement on the draft service recommendations, the project team reviewed the plan for opportunities to incorporate your feedback. In September 2023, we presented to the Transportation Commission (TC) about the revisions, and the final draft of the ATSP being prepared for County Board action. 


Technical Analysis

As part of the ATSP process, Arlington Transit staff and consultants developed a Gap Analysis report to review how well the current ART service is meeting the final version of ART's Goals and Objectives, Mission and Values. This report is a data-driven examination of our transit system in the context of our community, and identifies areas where we can increase service to better achieve our stated goals and objectives for transit service in Arlington.

This report is very detailed, but a summary of its findings is available in the presentations given by staff to various County Commissions and Committees in Winter 2022/2023. You can find recordings of these presentations and the slide decks used for each presentation in the Public Process section.

Read the Gap Analysis Report(PDF, 3MB)


The Transit Strategic Plan is funded by a Technical Assistance grant received from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), along with a local match from the County.