Bus service changes proposed for Duke St and Little River Turnpike (Routes 29K and 29N)

August 27th, 2013

In order to  improve service frequency and reliability and to reduce travel time between Fairfax County and key destinations in the City of Alexandria, Metro is proposing the following changes for Routes 29K and 29N:

  • Extend Route 29N to the Vienna-Fairfax Metrorail Station via Arlington Boulevard, Nutley Street and Saintsbury Drive.  This would create new connections between Annandale and Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus to the Metrorail Orange Line.
  • Terminate both routes at the King Street-Old Town Metrorail Station and discontinue service between the Metrorail station and Old Town Alexandria.
  • Eliminate the route diversion to service to Landmark Mall on both routes. All 29K and 29N trips would remain on Duke Street and continue to serve stops adjacent to the mall.
  • Operate both routes with limited-stop service between King Street Metrorail Station and Little River Turnpike and Oasis Drive (I-395.). The DASH AT8 will continue to serve all stops in this segment. The 29K and 29N would make stops only at King Street Station, Alexandria Commons, Duke & Jordan Street, Duke & Paxton Street, Duke & Walker Street and Little River Turnpike and Oasis Drive. All stops will continue to be served west of Oasis Drive (I-395).  The DASH AT8 line provides very frequent service along the 29K,N alignment within the City of Alexandria allowing DASH to provide for all local-oriented trips and allowing Metrobus to focus on regionally-oriented trips to and from major destinations within the City of Alexandria.

The maps below illustrates the changes proposed. Please review and let us know what you think.  


Map illustrating changes proposed to routes 29K and 29N. Click image for larger version.


Map showing stop locations for proposed limited-stop service. Click image for larger version.


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  1. JDC
    August 27th, 2013 at 17:08 | #1

    I think my first question would be, what are the get on/get off numbers for the proposed sections that would be eliminated? If few people get on/off, then it makes sense to eliminate them and, as noted, DASH would fill in the gaps. In particular, I would think cutting the Landmark Mall stops would save a lot of time and inconvenience few people since so few people head to that “dead” mall…but maybe I am biased since I live nearby and would never need to take a bus to that location.

    The elimination of the Old Town segment also makes a lot of sense because, although it may inconvenience riders looking for a 1 seat ride (though knowing the numbers would help, as noted above), it would also cut down on time spent in a “zone” and, as the post notes, increase WMATA’s ability to transport people from one place to another across the region – a goal that should be fostered. Until there is an ability to head from Blue/Yellow lines in southern Fairfax County/Alexandria to end of Orange line without stopping in Rosslyn, then speeding up the bus routes between those areas makes a lot of sense….I therefore am strongly in favor of extending the route to the Vienna stop, as proposed. That would greatly increase the 1-seat ride options to the OL, but also from that area to the Old Town/southern Fairfax county area for those living off the OL.

  2. Michael
    August 28th, 2013 at 10:53 | #2

    I like the extension to Vienna Station. I use these routes and one of the problems is that the “N” version which would service Vienna Station only operates about five or six trips a day during the week. One of the “express” versions of the 29 route should be cut allowing more local 29N trips in addition to the existing 29K service. I was involved in this recommendation which made it to the Fairfax County transit plan. Route 29H should be removed completely with the resources from the “H” used to beef up the “N” service during the week. I have no idea why Metro did not consider this as part of the process. Take away underutlized express service, these “H” users for the most part could use the “E” or “G” and then beef up the already overcrowded local service. Keep in mind that the express 29s duplicate the local service. Us local users are being shafted for the express riders.

  3. Jerry Roberson
    September 4th, 2013 at 10:33 | #3

    Thank you both for the feedback.

    Weekday 29K/N ridership east of King Street Metro: 107 on, 128 off, representing 4.16% of line ridership.

    Weekday 29K/N ridership at Landmark Mall: 70 on, 87 off, representing 2.78% of line ridership.

    Alongside these proposals, Metro’s Office of Bus Planning is currently conducting a comprehensive study of the 29K/N Line and the 29C/E/H/G/X Line. As project manager of that study, I will take these suggestions back to the study team; we are currently working on some mid-range and long-range recommendations for these Lines. We will present these recommendations to the public at a series of public meetings in late October (dates/locations are being confirmed).

    Jerry Roberson, senior planner
    Metro’s Office of Bus Planning

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