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FOR NEW RIDERS

PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR FY15 BUDGET

AUDIENCIAS PUBLICAS DE LA PROPUESTA PRESUPUESTARIA PARA FY15

A MESSAGE FROM PRTC'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

PRTC SPRING SERVICE CHANGE MONDAY, MAY 12

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PRTC's Emergency Service Plan

Passenger Guide for Snow and Other Emergency Conditions

Revised November 2013

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.

 

Copies of the Emergency Service Plan brochure are available for download in English and Spanish:

EMERGENCY SERVICE PLAN
For Winter Weather Events

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR ALL SERVICES

  • The ESP may be independently activated for OmniRide, Metro Direct and OmniLink / Cross County Connector services based on emergency conditions.
  • PRTC services will begin at normal start times.  Road conditions may cause delays.
  • Prince William area bus stop signs with a snowflake sticker ARE NOT SERVED when the ESP is in effect.
  • Roads that are unsafe for bus travel will not be serviced including, but not limited to, roads listed in this brochure’s Snow Routing section.   Snow routing will be in effect in the morning when the ESP is implemented and in the afternoon/evening if neighborhood streets are deemed unsafe. 

WHEN WILL THE PLAN BE ACTIVATED?

PRTC will check weather service forecasts by 3 a.m. to determine if the 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.

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 advisory or text message (sign up at PRTCtransit.org)
  • A special alert at PRTCtransit.org
  • A recorded message at (703) 730-6664 or toll free at (888) 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 winter weather, bus rides on that PRTC service are FREE.
  • Passengers completing their commutes by train or neighboring regional bus service must pay the appropriate fare on the connecting service.
  • When the ESP is in effect on OmniRide, fares are also free on Metro Direct buses; passengers on all other PRTC buses pay regular fares.
  • When the ESP is in effect on OmniLink, fares are also free on the Cross County Connector; passengers on all other PRTC buses pay regular fares.

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WINTER WEATHER ESP

HOW DOES IT WORK?

OmniRide and Metro Direct – Morning Plan

  • Please review the “Metrorail’s Silver Line” section of this brochure for changes that will take effect after Metrorail’s Silver Line opens.
  • OmniRide commuter buses will transport passengers to the West Falls Church and Franconia-Springfield Metrorail stations only. (No service to or from DC, Pentagon, Crystal City, Rosslyn/Ballston, Tysons or Vienna Metro.)
  • All buses on the Manassas OmniRide, Gainesville OmniRide, Tysons Express OmniRide, Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes will operate to the West Falls Church Metrorail station only.  All other OmniRide routes and the Prince William Metro Direct will operate to the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station. Passengers can transfer to Metrorail or a neighboring regional bus service to continue on to their destinations in the morning, with the reverse in effect for afternoon travel if the ESP remains in effect all day.
  • Buses will travel along the Snow Routing outlined in this brochure.  (See Snow Routing section for specific route information.)
  • OmniRide services will begin at normal start times.  Road conditions may cause delays.
  • All Metro Direct routes will operate according to published schedules.  Road conditions may cause delays.
  • During winter weather events, OmniRide and Metro Direct bus service 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 midday, OmniRide and Metro Direct service will operate until picking up passengers from the final Metrorail train.
  • 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.

OmniRide and Metro Direct – Afternoon & Evening Plan

 

If the ESP was implemented in the morning but weather and road conditions are expected to improve considerably by the afternoon, PRTC will resume operating regular service starting with the MX-1 bus to the State Department.  All other commuter buses will resume regular service at 12 noon. 

 

Regardless of whether the ESP was implemented in the morning, if the mid-morning forecast predicts afternoon conditions for the Washington, D.C. area that meet established criteria, the ESP will be implemented as follows: 

  • Please review the “Metrorail’s Silver Line” section of this brochure for changes that will take effect after Metrorail’s Silver Line opens.
  • OmniRide commuter buses will transport passengers from the West Falls Church and Franconia-Springfield Metrorail stations only. (No service from DC, Pentagon, Crystal City, Rosslyn/Ballston, or Tysons.)
  • All buses on the Manassas OmniRide, Gainesville OmniRide, Tysons Express OmniRide, Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes will operate from the West Falls Church Metrorail station only.  All other OmniRide routes and the Prince William Metro Direct will operate from the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station.
  • OmniRide service will begin at 12 noon with the last buses departing at 7:30 p.m. 
  • All buses (except for Gainesville OmniRide, Linton Hall Metro Direct and Tysons Express OmniRide ) will leave the Metrorail stations about every 20 minutes until 7:30 p.m.
  • A combined Gainesville OmniRide/ Linton Hall Metro Direct bus will leave the West Falls Church Metrorail station every hour on the hour until 7 p.m.  (If the bus is full, it will immediately depart and the next bus will resume departures on the hour.) A final bus will depart at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tysons Express OmniRide buses will leave the West Falls Church Metrorail station every hour at 30 minutes past the hour until 7:30 p.m.  (If the bus is full, it will immediately depart and the next bus will resume departures at 30 minutes past the hour.) 
  • After 7:30 p.m., Prince William Metro Direct and Manassas Metro Direct buses will operate as close to the regular schedule as conditions allow until the last published departure time.
  • At West Falls Church, passengers can find PRTC buses on the Upper Level by bearing right when exiting the Metrorail station and looking for the OmniRide bus stop sign.  At Franconia-Springfield, the Prince William Metro Direct route will serve its regular stop to the left of the station exit.  All other OmniRide buses will be located to the right of the station exit. 
  • Buses will follow normal routing as long as the streets are safe for bus travel.  If local streets are unsafe, buses will follow the Snow Routing outlined in this brochure. (See Snow Routing section for specific route information).

OmniLink and Cross County Connector Plan

  • OmniLink local buses will operate on the ESP all day long and Snow Routing will be in effect as necessary. (See Snow Routing section for specific route information)
  • OmniLink local buses WILL NOT make off-route trips.
  • The Cross County Connector will operate according to published schedules as road conditions allow.

 

METRORAIL’S SILVER LINE

When Metrorail’s Silver Line opens, the following routes will drop off and pick up passengers at the Tysons Corner Metrorail Station instead of the West Falls Church Metrorail Station:

  • Manassas OmniRide
  • Gainesville OmniRide
  • Tysons Express OmniRide
  • Manassas Metro Direct
  • Linton Hall Metro Direct

All other guidelines for how these routes will operate during the ESP will remain the same.

 

At the Tysons Corner Metrorail Station, passengers can find PRTC buses by taking the escalator to street level, turning left and looking for the OmniRide bus stop sign at the bus bays along Tysons Boulevard.    

 

 

SNOW ROUTING

 

OMNIRIDE AND METRO DIRECT SNOW ROUTING

EASTERN PRINCE WILLIAM

 

In eastern Prince William, buses on the following routes will operate regular local routing: Dale City OmniRide, Montclair OmniRide, Prince William Metro Direct and Rosslyn/Ballston OmniRide.

 

Capitol Hill                    The C-1 route will be discontinued during a snow emergency.  C-1 passengers should catch a Dale City or Lake Ridge bus.

 

             

Lake Ridge                    Bus stops at Old Bridge Festival, on Griffith, Cottonmill, Mohican, Seminole, Antietam, Deepford and Oakwood will not be served.    Buses will serve stops on Old Bridge Road from Cricket to Oakwood and then start regular routing.  Trips beginning at the Tacketts Mill Commuter Lot will operate regular local routing.

 

Route 1                          Bus stops on River Ridge and Powells Creek Boulevard will not be served.  Buses will remain on Route 1 and serve the Dumfries OmniLink stop on Route 1 at River Ridge.

 

South Route 1               Bus stops on River Heritage, Kirby, River Ridge and Wayside will not be served.  Service will begin at the bus stop on Route 1 after Fox Lair and buses will continue on Route 1, stopping at OmniLink bus stops at River Ridge, Allen Dent/River Heritage and Wayside, then start regular routing.

 

Tysons Express             Buses will operate regular local routing.  Passengers may connect with Fairfax Connector or Metrobus at the West Falls Church Metrorail station to complete their commutes.

 

 

LEAVING FRANCONIA-SPRINGFIELD METRORAIL STATION

  • Dale City and Rosslyn-Ballston – riders will use a combined bus.  Passengers who need to reach bus stops on Minnieville and Caton Hill Roads should remain on the bus past the Lindendale Commuter Lot.
  • Montclair, Route 1 and South Route 1 – riders will use a combined bus.  Route 1 and South Route 1 passengers will transfer to a waiting bus at the Route 234 Park and Ride Lot to reach destinations along the Route 1 corridor.  Montclair passengers should remain on the bus.
  • Lake Ridge and Prince William Metro Direct – separate buses will be used for each route.

 

WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM

 

In western Prince William, buses on the following routes will operate regular local routing:

Gainesville OmniRide, Linton Hall Metro Direct.

 

Manassas Metro Direct              Buses will operate along the regular route to/from the West Falls Church Metrorail station. No service to the Vienna Metrorail Station.  Buses will switch to afternoon routing on the first trip departing West Falls Church at/after 12 noon.

 

Manassas OmniRide      Buses will operate regular routing in the morning and follow Manassas Metro Direct routing in the afternoon/evening.

 

 

 

LEAVING WEST FALLS CHURCH METRORAIL STATION

 

Manassas and Tysons Express routes – separate buses will be used for each route.

 

Gainesville and Linton Hall routes – riders will use a combined bus. 

 

 

OMNILINK AND CROSS COUNTY CONNECTOR SNOW ROUTING

 

OMNILINK

When the ESP is activated, ALL OmniLink off-route trips are cancelled for that day.  To learn if the ESP has been activated, customers with off-route reservations should use any of the methods listed in this brochure.  (See “How Will You Know the Plan is in Effect?”)

 

If the ESP is activated in the morning, buses will operate on Snow Routing.  If road conditions improve, buses may return to regular routing in the afternoon.

 

Road conditions may cause delays.

 

OMNILINK SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTES

OmniLink buses will stop at all signed PRTC bus stops where it is safe to do so except:

  • Bus stops with a snowflake sticker
  • Dale City – No service along Darbydale Avenue or to the stop at Dale Boulevard/Gideon Drive
  • Dumfries – No service along Neabsco Mills Road between Route 1 and Opitz Boulevard, 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)

 

CROSS COUNTY CONNECTOR

Buses will start routes at regularly scheduled times and operate along regular routes.  Road conditions may cause delays.

 

 

 

 

EMERGENCY SERVICE PLAN For Non-Winter Weather Events

 

Along with winter weather, there are other challenging conditions that can impact travel in PRTC's service area. Traffic jams, road closures, political rallies, and miscellaneous events that simply can’t be predicted can all affect PRTC’s services. When events such as these occur, PRTC may find it necessary to implement the Emergency Service Plan (ESP).

 

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR ALL SERVICES

  • 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 for OmniRide and/or Metro Direct buses 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.
  • If the ESP is activated for OmniLink / Cross County Connector services, it will remain in effect for the rest of the day.

HOW WILL YOU KNOW THE PLAN IS IN EFFECT?

Communication methods will be the same as described in the ESP For Winter Weather Events, but notification times may vary as circumstances dictate.

 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

When unanticipated events cause PRTC to activate the ESP, PRTC bus rides will be FREE on the first day the plan is activated.

    • When the ESP is in effect 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 the ESP is in effect on OmniLink, fares are also free on the Cross County Connector.  Passengers on all other PRTC buses pay regular fares.

 

For scheduled events, or when the ESP is activated for multiple consecutive days, PRTC bus 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.)

 

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WINTER WEATHER ESP

HOW DOES IT WORK?

PRTC may implement the ESP in only the morning or afternoon and for only OmniRide or Metro Direct and OmniLink / Cross County Connector services as circumstances dictate. We will do our best to notify customers through the established methods of communication and to get buses to the Metrorail stations as quickly as possible. If you haven’t already done so, sign up at PRTCtransit.org to receive Rider Express email notices and text messages.

 

OmniRide and Metro Direct – Morning Plan

  • Please review the “Metrorail’s Silver Line” section of this brochure for changes that will take effect after Metrorail’s Silver Line opens.
  • OmniRide commuter buses will operate regular local routing to the West Falls Church and Franconia-Springfield Metrorail stations only. (No service to DC, Pentagon, Crystal City, Rosslyn/Ballston, Tysons or Vienna Metro.)
  • All buses on the Manassas OmniRide, Gainesville OmniRide, Tysons Express OmniRide, Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes will operate to the West Falls Church Metrorail station only.  All other OmniRide routes and the Prince William Metro Direct will operate to the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station. Passengers can transfer to Metrorail or a neighboring regional bus service to continue on to their destinations in the morning, with the reverse in effect for afternoon travel if the ESP remains in effect all day.
  • All buses will begin at normal start times.

OmniRide and Metro Direct – Afternoon & Evening Plan

 

If the ESP was implemented in the morning but the situation is resolved by the late morning, PRTC will resume operating regular service as soon as possible. 

 

If the ESP is in effect in the PM, it will be implemented as follows:

  • Please review the “Metrorail’s Silver Line” section of this brochure for changes that will take effect after Metrorail’s Silver Line opens.
  • Midday OmniRide buses will depart Metrorail stations at the time they are scheduled to depart the Pentagon.
  • OmniRide service will begin at 2 p.m. with the last buses departing at 7:30 p.m.
  • All buses (except for  Gainesville OmniRide, Linton Hall Metro Direct and Tysons Express OmniRide) will leave the Metrorail stations about every 20 minutes.
  • A combined Gainesville OmniRide/ Linton Hall Metro Direct bus will leave the West Falls Church Metrorail station every hour on the hour until 7 p.m.  A final bus will depart at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tysons Express OmniRide buses will leave the West Falls Church Metrorail station every hour at 30 minutes past the hour until 7:30 p.m.
  • After 7:30 p.m., Prince William Metro Direct and Manassas Metro Direct buses will operate as close to the regular schedules as possible until the last published departure time.

OmniLink and Cross County Connector Plan

  • When the ESP is activated for OmniLink and Cross County Connector services, it will be in effect for the rest of the day.  Buses will operate regular routes and schedules, but OmniLink local buses WILL NOT make off-route trips.

 

OMNIRIDE AND METRO DIRECT EMERGENCY ROUTING

  • In the morning, buses will operate regular local routing.
  • Midday trips will leave from the Metrorail Stations at the times they are scheduled to depart the Pentagon and then serve regular local routing, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
  • In the afternoon, service from the Metrorail stations will begin at 2 p.m. and operate as described in the ESP for Winter Weather Events, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

 

OMNILINK AND CROSS COUNTY CONNECTOR EMERGENCY ROUTING

Because OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses operate only in the local area, PRTC does not anticipate needing to implement the ESP For Non-Winter Weather Events for these services. However, if activation is required, buses will operate along standard routes and will serve all signed PRTC bus stops.

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.
(703) 730-6664 or (888) 730-6664
Omni@OmniRide.com
PRTCtransit.org

 


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