ART returns to full bus service as Metro makes changes

An ART bus (via Arlington Transit Facebook)

Arlington Transit buses will resume full service after Labor Day weekend, according to the county-run transit agency.

The ART buses 53, 61, 62 and 74 during peak hours only will run again from Tuesday, September 7, having been out of service since March 2020 due to the pandemic. Once these buses resume operations, Arlington Transit will largely be back to full service. ART 72 will however continue according to a schedule modified during the week.

With construction underway around the Ballston Metro station, ART 53 and 62 bus stops will be relocated near the Metro elevator on Fairfax Drive.

Although seat restrictions were lifted on August 1, runners will still be required to wear masks in accordance with a federal mask mandate for passengers on Transportation Security Administration planes, trains and buses, effective January 2022.

Meanwhile, Metrobus is set to implement some changes after Sunday, September 5, adding more buses and trains and extending Metrorail weekend hours.

Notably, the 16Y bus from Columbia Pike to Farragut Square will resume operations, in both directions during weekday rush hours. The limited-stop service route, which once connected Columbia Pike stops to McPherson Square in DC, was interrupted during the pandemic and was absent as a number of routes were restored earlier this summer.

Buses 16A, 16C and 16E at Columbia Pike and 16G and 16H between Columbia Pike and Pentagon City will also be restored. Buses will run at least every 12 minutes from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily between Columbia Pike and S. Joyce Street and Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street.

The 25B bus from the old Landmark Mall to Alexandria in Ballston will also undergo some changes, with Alexandria working to establish its own bus network. 25B will travel between Ballston, Southern Towers and Mark Center every day except Sunday, and between Ballston and Southern Towers on Sunday.

Metrorail trains will be available until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, an hour later than before. Trains will also start running earlier on Sunday, with passengers able to board at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.

More information on the planned changes in Metro from a press release, below.

The following discounts and service changes will take effect as of Sunday, September 5:

Discounts

  • Free bus transfers – If you make a connection between the train and the bus, the bus journey will now be free for all routes, except the Express service.
  • Reduced rail fares on weekends – Weekend fares on Metrorail will be $ 2 one way, instead of the current distance based fare, making almost any trip, anywhere on the weekend, cheaper than ever.
  • Reduced prices for the 7-day regional bus pass – Customers will now only pay $ 12 for a 7-day regional bus pass, $ 6 for senior / disabled customers, a savings of 20%.

Metrobus

  • More buses on the most popular Metrobus services – On 36 lines, users will see more buses, more often between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • New and restored service – Customers on 10 routes will see a new service added or the service restored.
  • Less waiting between buses on additional routes – Buses on more than 40 alternative routes will provide more frequent service to customers.
  • No more buses day and night – A detailed list of all service changes is available on the Metrobus Service Changes page.

Metrorail

  • More trains, not just at rush hour – Customers can expect to wait no more than 3-6 minutes for a weekday train at any station with multiple lines and on the Red Line, all day until 9:30 p.m.
  • Improved night train service – No more trains every hour after 9:30 p.m., every 5 to 8 minutes in all stations served by several lines and every 10 minutes on the red line.
  • Late closing on Friday and Saturday – Metrorail will remain open until 1 a.m. instead of midnight on Friday and Saturday. It’s an extra hour to go out.
  • Early opening on Sunday – Metrorail will open at 7:00 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. It’s an hour earlier to start your day.
  • No more trains on weekends too – Go where you want to go faster, with more trains, more often on weekends, every 5-8 minutes at any station with multiple lines and every 10 minutes on the red line.

Additional information on Metro reduced fares and service changes can be found at wmata.com/changes.

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