The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission has developed an Emergency Service Plan (ESP) with customer needs and comfort in mind. PRTC will offer full service whenever possible. However, when service must be altered due to weather or other emergency conditions, this plan will provide passengers with the safest and most efficient transportation possible under challenging conditions.
If you haven’t already done so, sign up at PRTCtransit.org to receive Rider Express emails and text message notifications about the ESP.
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INFORMATION FOR ALL TYPES OF EMERGENCY EVENTS
- The ESP may be independently activated for OmniRide, Metro Direct and OmniLink / Cross County Connector services based on emergency conditions.
- If the ESP is activated in the morning, regular service may resume in the afternoon based on the status of the emergency; or the ESP may be activated in the afternoon even if buses operated on the regular schedule in the morning.
- Road and traffic conditions may cause delays.
- ESP service for OmniRide and Metro Direct passengers is dependent on Metrorail serving its above-ground stations. If Metrorail service is expected to stop in the morning, OmniRide and Metro Direct service may be cancelled for the entire day. If Metrorail service is suspended in the midday or afternoon, OmniRide and Metro Direct service will operate until the final Metrorail train has arrived at the station.
- Under certain circumstances, OmniRide services may be cancelled while Metro Direct services continue to operate. In extreme situations, PRTC may need to delay, further reduce or cease bus service entirely. An announcement will be made via the communication methods outlined in this brochure.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW THE PLAN IS IN EFFECT?
No news is good news! PRTC announces a change in its operating status only when it is NOT operating as regularly scheduled. If you don’t see or hear alerts as listed below, PRTC buses are operating regular service.
Starting at 4 a.m. for morning service and at 11 a.m. for afternoon service, customers should check for:
- A Rider Express email or text message (sign up at PRTCtransit.org)
- An alert at PRTCtransit.org
- A recorded message at (703) 730-6664
- Announcements on local television stations and on WTOP radio (103.5 FM) if time and circumstances warrant.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
When the ESP is in effect because of weather conditions or unanticipated events, bus rides on that PRTC service are free on the first day the plan is activated.
- When fares are free on OmniRide, fares are also free on Metro Direct buses; passengers on all other PRTC buses pay regular fares. Passengers completing their commutes by train or neighboring regional bus service must pay the appropriate fare on the connecting service.
- When fares are free on OmniLink, fares are also free on the Cross County Connector; passengers on all other PRTC buses pay regular fares.
When the ESP is in effect for multiple consecutive days or for scheduled events, passengers will pay the current Metro Direct fare (for service to/from Metrorail stations) or the current local fare (for service beginning and ending in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park).
ESP DURING NON-WEATHER EVENTS
When the General ESP for Non-Weather Events is implemented, PRTC buses will operate as described below in the Weather ESP except:
- OmniRide buses that normally start service between 12 noon and 1 p.m. will depart Metro stations at the time they are scheduled to depart the Pentagon, and then serve regular local routing, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
- PM service will begin at 2 p.m.
ESP DURING WEATHER EVENTS
WHEN WILL THE PLAN BE ACTIVATED?
PRTC will check weather service forecasts by 3 a.m. to determine if the Weather ESP will be activated that morning. Another check will be made at 10 a.m. to determine the level of afternoon/evening service.
The plan will be activated if forecasts predict the Washington, D.C. metro area will receive:
- Four or more inches of snow; or
- Accumulations of freezing rain or ice; or
- Sustained winds of at least 40 miles per hour
WHICH STOPS WILL NOT BE SERVED?
- Prince William area bus stop signs with a snowflake sticker ARE NOT SERVED when the Weather ESP is in effect.
- Roads that are unsafe for bus travel will not be served. Emergency routing will be in effect in the morning when the Weather ESP is implemented, and in the afternoon/evening if neighborhood streets are determined to be unsafe.
When the ESP is in effect, there is no service to or from Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, Crystal City, Rosslyn/Ballston or Mark Center, and no local routing in Tysons Corner.
- OmniRide commuter buses that travel in the I-95 corridor will transport passengers to and from the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station only. In the PM, passengers will find OmniRide buses to the left of the Metro station exit.
- OmniRide commuter buses that travel in the I-66 corridor will transport passengers to and from the Tysons Corner Metrorail station only. In the PM, passengers will find OmniRide buses by exiting the Metro station and looking for the OmniRide bus stop sign at the northside bus bay along Route 123.
In the AM, OmniRide routes will only operate between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., with buses departing every 20 minutes. The first bus will depart the first stop on the route at 5 a.m., and the final bus will depart the first stop on the route at 8 a.m. Buses will serve all local stops (except those impacted by emergency routing) before reaching the Metro station.
In the PM, OmniRide routes will only operate between 12 noon and 7:30 p.m., with buses departing every 20 minutes. The first bus will depart the Metro station at 12 noon, and the final bus will depart the Metro station at 7:30 p.m. Buses will serve all local stops (except those impacted by emergency routing.)
These OmniRide routes WILL NOT OPERATE:
- Dale City – Mark Center (Passengers should take a Dale City OmniRide bus.)
- Lake Ridge – Mark Center (Passengers should take a Lake Ridge OmniRide bus.)
- Tysons Corner (Passengers should take a Lake Ridge OmniRide or Prince William Metro Direct bus.)
These OmniRide routes will operate regular local routing:
- Lake Ridge – Washington
- Lake Ridge – Pentagon/Crystal City
- Manassas – Washington
- Manassas – Pentagon
- Montclair – Washington
- Montclair – Pentagon
These OmniRide routes will operate modified local routing:
- Dale City – Washington/Pentagon/ Rosslyn/ Ballston/ Navy Yard. All AM buses start at the Lindendale Commuter Lot. Bus stops along Minnieville and Caton Hill ARE NOT SERVED. However, if PRTC runs regular service in the AM, and the ESP is implemented for PM service, passengers who need to travel to bus stops on Minnieville and Caton Hill roads should remain on the bus past the Lindendale Commuter Lot.
- Gainesville – Washington/ Pentagon. All AM buses start at the Limestone Commuter Lot before serving the Cushing Road Commuter Lot. In the AM and PM, buses will follow Linton Hall Metro Direct routing.
- South Route 1. AM passengers should board a shuttle bus at any PRTC bus stop along Route 1 between Fox Lair and Wayside Drive, and then transfer to a waiting Montclair OmniRide bus at the Route 234 Commuter Lot. In the PM, riders will share a bus with Montclair OmniRide passengers and transfer to a shuttle at the Route 234 Commuter Lot.
METRO DIRECT ROUTES
- The Prince William Metro Direct route will operate according to its published schedule and serve its regular stop to the left of the station entrance/exit. Road conditions may cause delays.
- The Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes will operate according to published schedules. Road conditions may cause delays. The final Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct buses are scheduled to leave the Tysons Corner Metro Station prior to 7:30 p.m., and they WILL NOT operate after the last scheduled departure time.
OmniLink and Cross County Connector ROUTES
When the ESP is activated for OmniLink and Cross County Connector services:
- All previously booked OmniLink off-route trips are cancelled for that day.
- OmniLink on-demand stops are served.
- OmniLink buses will stop at all signed PRTC bus stops where it is safe to do so except:
- Bus stops with a snowflake sticker ARE NOT SERVED.
- Dale City – No service along Darbydale Avenue or to the stop at Dale Boulevard/Gideon Drive.
- Dumfries – No service along Potomac Center Boulevard, Neabsco Mills Road, Fuller Heights Road or Old Triangle Road.
- Route 1 – No service on River Ridge or Powells Creek (except for the stop at Powells Creek and Woodmark).
- If road conditions improve, OmniLink may resume operating regular service in the afternoon, may return to regular routing, and will consider booking new same-day off-route trips. Road conditions may cause delays.
- The Cross County Connector will operate according to published schedules as road conditions allow.
Whatever the situation, PRTC will make the decision to implement the Emergency Service Plan with your needs in mind. Our goal, as always, is to provide customers with safe, consistent transportation at maximum service levels.
We’re available to answer your questions
Monday – Friday
5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.