VRE to Haymarket… Who Benefits?

VREVRE Community Meeting!
Update: at the meeting, VRE displayed but did not highlight its exhibit on the number of trains per day.  The exhibit was used to create the inaccurate impression that a Haymarket extension would somehow increase the number of trains using the Manassas Line.  If anything, spending money to build new track would reduce the capital funding available to buy new trains.

Tonight… Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6-8 p.m. at Gainesville Middle School, 8001 Limestone Drive.

Bottom Line: VRE appears to be seeking public support for an extension to Gainesville/Haymarket. It’s a bait-and-switch sales pitch – make people think an extension to Haymarket will increase the number of trains per day.

If anything, spending capital funding on new track instead of buying new trainsets would reduce the potential for increasing the number of VRE trains running daily on Manassas Line.

A legitimate alternatives analysis should include:

  • not building any extension of track, and instead investing in new trainset.
  • not building any station at Haymarket that will induce additional demand from Culpeper, Fauquier, Warren, and Page counties.
  • not building a large parking capacity at any new station, but instead building multiple park-and-shuttle lots nearer to subdivisions so commuters in single occupancy vehicles won’t clog local highways at rush hour.

VRE should consider the alternative of building a new spur track into Innovation Town Center or north of current line, where Vulcan quarry is reaching end of its life and will be converted into water storage bank soon. A new end-of-line station at Innovation/Vulcan quarry could incentivize a high-density town center, and increase TOD potential there!

Prince William County has the opportunity to serve as a 21st century role model for smart transit growth, but the current VDOT plan demonstrates we have a long way to go!

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1 comment so far

  1. Mark S. on

    The VRE Extension may not be needed when the I-66 HOT Lanes are implemented
    – Slug from Gainesville to Pentagon – 30 Minutes
    – Bus from Gainesville to Pentagon – 35 Minutes
    – VRE from Gainesville to Crystal City – 60 Minutes

    The problem with the VRE Extension is it creates the same issue the Silver line is doing to Metro. Core Capacity needs to be addressed before service expansion. Long Bridge expansion (four tracks), double platforms at L’Enfant and Crystal City. Long Bridge expansion across the Potomac River is a better capital project for VRE. http://ddot.dc.gov/publication/final-long-bridge-study

    In addition, Norfolk Southern may not allow commuter trains on the B Line just like they are not allowing Charlotte build their commuter rail line to Lake Norman on their tracks.
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article9135443.html


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