On March 11, the Alexandria Transit Company (ATC) will celebrate 29 years of Driving Alexandria Safely Home (DASH). Customers who ride DASH on Tuesday, March 12 will receive a small gift of appreciation for their support over the years, as part of customer appreciation day.
ATC, the non-profit, public service corporation wholly-owned by the City of Alexandria initiated the DASH system on March 11, 1984. The system started with four routes and a new fleet of 17-30 foot buses. The system quickly outgrew the smaller buses as more and more people started riding DASH and liking what the service offered. ATC operates nine routes with 73 buses, and the King Street Trolley with five trolleys. DASH carries four million customers annually.
“The system has grown threefold since its inception, while ridership has grown fourfold,” stated Sandy Modell, ATC general manager. “By providing a back to basics approach with clean buses, friendly drivers, and reliable service, we have attracted and retained a very strong customer base.”
Over the past year, some of DASH’s achievements include the implementation of 10 new hybrid buses and five trolleys. ATC began operating the King Street Trolley, which has led to a 65 percent increase in ridership in comparison to the same period last year. ATC has also installed bike racks on all DASH buses and trolleys. DASH has been the recipient of City awards, to include the 2012 Alexandria Beautification Award and the 2012 Environmental Achievement Award.
“The City is very proud of the DASH bus system and the role it plays in the City’s transportation network,” added Rich Baier, the city’s director of T&ES.
DASH continues to grow and expand to meet the development growth in the city and the increasing transportation needs. DASH’s mission is to provide reliable, affordable, safe and friendly customer service to all passengers.