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Monday, July 15, 2013

Public input sought on Route 7 transit alternatives

The Route 7 corridor.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is beginning a study of transit alternatives for the Route 7 corridor between Tysons Corner and Alexandria.

Public engagement is a critical element of the study. The first meeting for the public will be July 25, 7-9 p.m. at the  Skyline 7 building, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church (near Target). The study team will give a presentation on current conditions of the Route 7 corridor.

There will be another meeting for the public—Sept. 18, 7-9 p.m. at the same location—to consider preliminary transit alternatives. The public is also invited to submit feedback online.

Options include:
  • Express bus—with fewer stops than a regular bus.
  • Rapid bus—a bus with limited stops operating in a dedicated lane.
  • Rapid transit—similar to a rapid bus but with specialized vehicles and more amenities, such as off-bus fare collection and real-time passenger information.
  • Light rail—usually powered by overhead electrical wires, these systems have automatic rail traffic control and stations with passenger amenities.  
  • Streetcars—usually single vehicles powered by overhead wires and usually operate in mixed traffic, which means they are slower than light rail.
The Route 7 Corridor Transit Alternatives Analysis Study will address such issues as how to make Route 7 more accessible and easier to travel through and whether a high-capacity transit service is needed or improvements to existing bus service will be enough. The study team will consider various alternatives based on such factors as transit and roadway mobility, transit accessibility, safety, regional connectivity, development potential, environmental impacts, capital and operating costs, and potential funding sources.

Phase I of the study is expected to be completed in October. Phase II, involving the analysis of alternatives, will begin in November.


  1. Yes this is sorely needed! More so than the street car on Columbia Pike. There is always a TON of traffic on route 7, even down near Bailey's Crossroads/Alexandria side, and even on weekends! Something must be done!

  2. A light rail sounds very interesting. I agree that the traffic is really bad.

  3. Please get as much dedicated right of way as possible, to speed buses OR trolleys ahead of traffic and get more riders. Any new lanes on Rte 7 should be transit only. Dedicated ROW is more important than the choice bus vs rail.

  4. Dedicated lanes are not logical so I would choose Light rail or streetcar.

    There should be coordination between this study and Columbia Pike plans and the transit center to be located on Jefferson Street.

  5. I think a street car makes better sense for Route 7 than Columbia Pike. Route 7 is always packed...