The Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission, or PRTC, just took a step that will ultimately lead to better commuter bus service on its OmniRide commuter buses along the Interstate 66 Corridor.
The recent groundbreaking ceremony for OmniRide's $49.8-million Western Bus Maintenance Facility, located at 7850 Doane Drive in Manassas, set the stage for the bus service to eventually support 4,000 commuter parking spaces that are being built along the corridor.
The new facility will allow for more efficient bus dispatching on the western end of the county.
Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe spoke at the ceremony and said the project – funded by PRTC, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, along with federal funds and a payment from the Transform 66 concessionaire – was "truly transformative."
Nohe, who also chairs the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, or NVTA, said the project was more than just a garage for buses. "It's also the launch, really, of a new attitude toward the role of transit in Prince William County. This is truly a regionally significant project. It impacts everyone in our service area. In a matter of a year and a half or so, this building is going to have a direct impact on the people of our community."
Prince William Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson said the future of transportation in Prince William County is looking "brighter and brighter."
"I'm thinking that western Prince William County and OmniRide make a great partnership. We've got new and improved routes that are going to continue to launch … We are just thrilled," Lawson said.
Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, who also chairs the PRTC, said the facility would be "an absolutely amazing addition" for OmniRide drivers and PRTC staff, who she said deserve recognition. "I want them to know how very important public transit is to our community. It's becoming more and more important by the day, and I want them to be extremely proud of their work, and they should be."
Anderson also said that the facility adds "so many opportunities to move people faster and more efficiently. I'm proud to be part of it."