Metro broke ground today on a modern, environmentally-friendly Metrobus facility in Fairfax County, Va. that will house and maintain up to 160 Metrobuses serving Northern Virginia routes, while paving the way for newer buses for nearly 20,000 riders.
“The Cinder Bed Road Bus Facility is another example of the region and federal government partnering to fund critical infrastructure projects,” said Metro General Manager Richard Sarles. “Metro is rebuilding the system and modern bus facilities are a key part of our ability to provide quality bus service to our riders.”
The state-of-the-art Cinder Bed Road Metrobus facility will replace Metro’s nearly 70-year-old Royal Street Bus Garage, which has far exceeded its useful life and cannot accommodate the newer buses in Metro’s fleet. Specifically, Royal Street’s ceiling is too low to allow today’s buses to enter the facility due to the systems that are housed on the roofs of the buses. Consequently, more than 18,000 daily riders of buses that originate at Royal Street today travel aboard buses that are at least 13 years old.
“Breaking ground for this modern bus facility provides needed infrastructure investment,” said Congressman Jim Moran. “The future sale of the old Royal Street facility will give the city of Alexandria the ability to encourage development appropriate for the neighborhood, while the new facility development here in Fairfax will greatly improve Metro’s operations, benefiting Northern Virginia residents for many years to come.”
The new Cinder Bed Road facility will allow use of the newer, more fuel-efficient, more comfortable buses on routes currently operated out of Royal Street. The facility will feature more reliable equipment and amenities that will improve maintenance turn-around time and service reliability for buses, which in turn means better service for riders. Employees will benefit from safer and more comfortable working conditions, and residents will benefit from the fact that the new facility is located in an industrial area away from populated neighborhoods.
The Metro Board of Directors has already approved the sale of Royal Street Garage as excess property, a process that will allow for redevelopment of the site to be more compatible with the surrounding Old Town neighborhood.
Construction of the Cinder Bed Road facility is expected to generate 300 construction jobs over a 20-month period. The facility is designed to be LEED-certified.
Cinder Bed Road will become Metro’s second “new generation” bus facility, following the opening of Shepherd Parkway facility. Once completed, approximately 150 employees will work at the new facility.
Metro operates nine bus garages that house and service a fleet of more than 1,500 buses, including 460 compressed natural gas (CNG), 697 diesel-electric hybrid buses, 144 clean-diesel buses and 228 diesel buses.