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New Buses Join Springfield Service

Elected officials cut the ribbon during a ceremony announcing the addition of six new TAGS buses in Alexandria July 17. From left, Del. Vivian Watts (D-39), Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large), TAGS official Jack Mutterelli, and Del. Mark Sickles (D-43).

Elected officials cut the ribbon during a ceremony announcing the addition of six new TAGS buses in Alexandria July 17. From left, Del. Vivian Watts (D-39), Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large), TAGS official Jack Mutterelli, and Del. Mark Sickles (D-43). Photo by Mike Salmon/Virginia Megaprojects

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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large) welcomed six new TAGS buses during a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 17 on the rooftop penthouse terrace of Metro Park in Alexandria.

Local and state officials gathered on the penthouse terrace at Metro Park in Alexandria last week to announce the addition of six new state-of-the-art buses to the Springfield Circulator Service.

The fleet is owned by the Transportation Association of Greater Springfield (TAGS), and the larger buses meet the growing demand for the downtown Springfield circulator, according to transportation officials.

“We’re here today to say this does work,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large).

“It’s a proud moment because it really shows how this area evolved,” said Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay.

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) and Virginia Delegates Mark Sickles (D-43) and Vivian Watts (D-39) also attended the ceremony.

“We recognize that there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to commuting,” said McKay. “TAGS has played and will continue to play a vital role in keeping Springfield moving. TAGS was the first ‘circulator’ bus service in Fairfax County and has grown to serve approximately 400 riders a day.”

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Elected officials cut the ribbon during a ceremony announcing the addition of six new TAGS buses in Alexandria July 17. The new TAGS buses have bicycle carriers on the front.

The TAGS bus service started in 1999 to ease traffic congestion during the Springfield “Mixing Bowl” construction. The “little green bus” was so popular that service continued after the interstate construction was completed. The service is an effective way of reducing congestion in the Springfield area.

In addition to managing the shuttle service, TAGS works with local businesses to market transit services and alternative commuting options, and hosts programs to educate the community on transportation-related issues. TAGS supports local community events, including Springfield Days, the Springfield Community BridgeWalk, and the Lee District concert series.

"Investing in public transit is an investment in Northern Virginia's future—every dollar we invest in public transportation yields four dollars in economic activity,” said Moran.

TAGS is a non-profit, public-private transportation management association in the Greater Springfield area. Established in March 1999, TAGS includes business owners, community leaders and transportation organizations including the Virginia Department of Transportation, Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC).

WMATA/Metro operates the TAGS buses. Stops include Metro Park, the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station, Springfield Mall and the Springfield Hilton. Buses run every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.