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DEVELOPING: ART Warns of Ongoing Delays Due to ‘Mechanical Issues’

Arlington Transit bus riders could see delays across several routes over the course of the next week.

Unspecified “mechanical issues” are causing the delays, according to an ART service alert issued today (Monday). ART did not list specific routes that will be impacted, noting only that the routes will operate “at reduced frequencies” and that it will issue alerts about upcoming delays “as needed.”

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services, which oversees ART, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the nature of the mechanical issues. ART buses have on occasion suffered brake failures, leading to significant crashes, though it is unclear whether this week’s delays are in any way related.

So far, buses on ART Route 77 between the Courthouse Metro station and ART’s Shirlington station have recorded several delays, and some departures have been canceled entirely, according to county service alerts.

“Staff is currently working to quickly resolve these problems but we anticipate service disruptions on ART routes throughout the week,” ART wrote in the alert. “We apologize for the inconvenience as we work to ensure the safety and reliability of our fleet.”

ART opened a new, $17.6 million “light maintenance facility” on S. Eads Street last fall, and the county is planning to someday open a “heavy maintenance facility” in Springfield, after the County Board approved the purchase of a site there for $4.65 million.

File photo

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DEVELOPING: Bus Crashes into Pentagon City Apartment Building

(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) A PRTC commuter bus smashed into the side of the Lenox Club apartment building in Pentagon City Wednesday evening.

The crash happened just before 6 p.m., along 12th Street S. The bus, which was not carrying passengers at the time, hopped the curb, struck the front of a convertible and ran into a storefront on the side of the building.

Three people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. Among those injured were the bus driver, a pedestrian and one person who was inside the building, Savage said.

Structural engineers have been called to inspect the base of the high-rise building, which remained open for residents. 12th Street S. between Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street remains closed while police investigate the crash.

No word yet on whether the driver will face any charges.

Photos (top) courtesy Sid, @josh13x

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New Crystal City-Courthouse Bus Route Launches Next Week

ART Bus (file photo)Arlington is launching new bus routes — serving rush hour commuters between Crystal City, Rosslyn and Courthouse — next Monday.

ART 43 will run from the Crystal City Metro Station to the Crystal City VRE station and Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro Stations between 5:55 a.m. and 8:55 a.m. and 3:20 to 7:17 p.m. starting March 31.

The bus will only run during rush hour on weekdays; there’s no planned off-peak or weekend service yet. The bus schedule indicates a 20-minute travel time from the Crystal City Metro stop to Courthouse.

The new bus is designed to serve as an alternative to the Blue Line. On the same day, Metrobus is launching two bus lines of its own — called 10R and 10S — that will travel between Crystal City and Rosslyn.

Arlington says the three lines will combine to ensure a bus going to Rosslyn from Crystal City will be available an average of every 10 minutes.

File photo

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Bus Parking on a Highway On-Ramp?

Every afternoon for the past week — and quite possibly for longer than that — this Loudoun County Transit bus has parked itself on the right shoulder of the busy ramp from Route 110 to Route 1 in Pentagon City, forcing cars to veer to the left as they drive by.

Other commuter buses in the area like to idle on the side of bumpy, narrow Old Jefferson Davis Highway while waiting to pick up passengers in Crystal City, but for some reason this bus likes the on-ramp.

There’s got to be a safer place to park, right?

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