July 17-23, 2002
When it comes to Loudoun’s newest bus service, seven is the number to remember.
Called “7 to 7 on 7,” the Loudoun Transit Bus Service began operating two metro-size buses Monday along Route 7 from Leesburg to the Fairfax County line. The buses now run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The cost: free through the summer and 50 cents after that.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors kicked off the first bus ride with a ribbon-cutting ceremony just before 12 p.m. on Monday. The 10-minute ceremony took place at the Harrison Street entrance to the County Government Center where the two buses were parked.
“This is the first time we used a bus that looks like a Metro bus,” said Supervisor William “Bill” Bogard (R-Sugarland Run). The bus is not a van, but an “honest bus,” he said.
LOUDOUN TRANSIT operates the buses with the Loudoun County Office of Transportation Services providing administrative support in marketing, promotions and distribution of materials.
The buses travel a fixed route with scheduled, hourly stops. The eastbound service begins at the County Government Service and stops at Loudoun Hospital, the George Washington University Virginia campus, the Dulles Town Center, Ridgetop Circle, Cascades and Potomac View Drive. The westbound service makes the same stops but in the reverse order to provide access to work, school, government offices and retail establishments.
“These are some of our major destinations in the county,” said Chip Taylor, program manager for public transportation and transportation operations in the Office of Transportation Services.
THE BUS SERVICE connects to the Leesburg fixed service and the Fairfax County Connector Service on each end of the route.
“Most of the people in eastern Loudoun work in Fairfax or points east. We don’t have any mass public transit to get them there,” Bogard said. “This is local service, like MetroRail but on rubber tires.”
“Access to employment is what we’re trying to achieve, along with [improving] air quality,” said Mark McGregor, director of Loudoun Transit since 1997. “We’re coming up with routes and schedules that are meeting the needs of citizens.
The two buses together cost $424,000 and were funded through the Virginia Regional Transportation Job Access program. The buses were delivered last week, bringing Loudoun Transit’s fleet up to 42 buses.