OmniRide Projects Receive I-66 Funding

| July 2, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Workers with varying schedules find it difficult to rideshare because they can’t commit to leave at a specific time. OmniRide’s new flexible vanpooling program, scheduled to start in the spring, will eliminate that hurdle.

WOODBRIDGE, VA – A free on-demand shuttle service connecting western Prince William residents with nearby commuter lots, and a vanpooling program that will add more flexibility for commuters are two of OmniRide’s innovative approaches to ridesharing that have received funding approval.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) recently approved $12 million in funding for 15 projects that are designed to benefit the I-66 corridor by mitigating traffic and increasing mobility. These 15 projects were recommended for funding by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), which oversees the distribution of revenues generated by tolls on I-66 inside the Beltway.

“For the past two years OmniRide has been updating its Strategic Plan and re-thinking approaches to mobility. We’re grateful that the NVTC and the CTB have recognized the potential of these novel ideas to help people make easier connections with transit and ridesharing,” said OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider.

Three of OmniRide’s proposals were selected by the CTB for funding through the I-66 Commuter Choice Program. They are:

  • $1.1 million for on-demand commuter lot shuttles. A lack of commuter parking will no longer deter commuters in the Gainesville and Haymarket areas from using transit or meeting up with their carpool or vanpool. This project will enable OmniRide to operate a free on-demand shuttle service between Gainesville/Haymarket neighborhoods and nearby commuter lots. The funding will go toward new software and the creation of an application so riders can summon the free shuttle. The funding also will pay for new vehicles, on-board vehicle hardware, transit operations, and program promotion. The on-demand shuttle service is expected to launch in summer 2019.
  • $318,000 for flexible vanpooling. This program will use technology to give riders in the I-66 corridor, whether registered with a vanpool or not, flexibility in modifying their commutes. Participating vanpools will use new rostering and fare payment software (including smartphone and desktop applications) to allow riders who are registered in one vanpool to ride with another instead, and allow unregistered riders to catch a one-time ride. This program is expected to start in spring 2019.
  • $134,000 for two additional trips on the Linton Hall Metro Direct route. OmniRide currently offers three weekday morning trips from Gainesville to the Tysons Corner Metro Station, and three return trips on weekday afternoons and evenings. This funding will enable OmniRide to add two trips to the schedule – one in the morning and one in the afternoon/ evening to serve more riders. The new trips will likely be added in early 2019.

NVTC has recognized the importance of OmniRide’s services in the past. In 2016, during the first round of the I-66 Commuter Choice Program, NVTC provided funding to launch OmniRide’s Gainesville-Pentagon express bus route.

“By themselves transit, carpools, vanpools, slugging, alternate work schedules, telework, and commuter parking lots are all good. But when they come together and provide people with a variety of options for their commutes, that’s when we truly make a difference in our region’s mobility,” Schneider said.

About Us

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), operating as OmniRide, provides express and local bus services as well as ridesharing services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. It also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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