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ART Returning to Full Bus Service While Metro Makes Changes

An ART bus (via Arlington Transit Facebook)

(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) Arlington Transit buses will return to full service after Labor Day weekend, the county-run transit agency says.

Rush-hour-only ART buses 53, 61, 62 and 74 will run again starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, after being out of service since March 2020 due to the pandemic. Once these buses resume operation, Arlington Transit will largely be back at full service. ART 72 will continue on a modified weekday schedule, however.

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

While seating restrictions were lifted on Aug. 1, riders will still be required to wear masks as per a federal mask mandate for passengers on planes, trains and buses from the Transportation Security Administration, effective until January 2022.

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

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

Buses 16A, 16C and 16E in Columbia Pike and 16G and 16H between Columbia Pike and Pentagon City will get service upgrades as well.

“Service will operate every 12 minutes or better from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily between Columbia Pike & South Joyce Street and Columbia Pike & South Dinwiddie Street at stops served by all routes,” WMATA said.

Bus 25B from the old Landmark Mall in Alexandria to Ballston will see some changes, with Alexandria working to overhaul its own DASH bus network. 25B will travel between Ballston, Southern Towers and Mark Center every day except Sunday, and between Ballston and Southern Towers on Sundays.

Metrorail trains will be available until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, an hour later than was previously offered. Trains will also start running earlier on Sundays, with riders able to board at 7 a.m. rather than 8 a.m.

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

The following discounts and service changes will be effective beginning Sunday, September 5:

Discounts

  • Free bus transfers – If you connect between rail and bus, the bus ride will now be free for all routes except Express service.
  • Lower rail fares on weekends – Weekend fares on Metrorail will be $2 for a one-way trip, instead of the current distance-based fare making almost any ride, anywhere on weekends cheaper than ever.
  • Lower prices for 7-day Regional Bus Pass – Customers will now pay just $12 for a 7-day Regional Bus Pass, $6 for seniors/disabled customers, a savings of 20%.

Metrobus

  • More buses on the most popular Metrobus services – On 36 lines, riders will see more buses, more often between 7 a.m.-9 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • New and restored service – Customers on 10 routes will have new service added or service restored.
  • Less waiting between buses on additional routes – Buses on more than 40 other routes will provide more frequent service for customers.
  • More buses day and night – A detailed list of all the service changes can be found on the Metrobus Service Changes page.

Metrorail

  • More trains, not just during rush hour – Customers can expect to wait no more than 3-6 minutes for a train on weekdays at any station served by multiple lines and on the Red Line, all-day until 9:30 p.m.
  • Improved late-night train service – More trains every hour after 9:30 p.m., every 5-8 minutes at any station served by multiple lines and every 10 minutes on the Red Line.
  • Later closing on Friday and Saturday – Metrorail will stay open until 1 a.m. instead of midnight on Friday and Saturday. That’s one hour more to be out and about.
  • Earlier opening on Sunday – Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. on Sunday. That’s one hour earlier to get your day started.
  • More trains on weekends too – Get where you want to go faster, with more trains, more often on the weekends, every 5-8 minutes at any station served by multiple lines and every 10 minutes on the Red Line.

Additional information about Metro’s discount fare and service changes can be found at wmata.com/changes.

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