Alexandria Transit Company (DASH)

VA: DASH Keeps Alexandria Moving for 30 Years

Alexandria Transit Co.(ATC) kicked off its celebration of the 30th anniversary of the DASH bus system with a reception March 11, at Alexandria’s City Hall. 

The event was attended by more than 100 DASH fans, riders, employees, and local and state dignitaries.  DASH has been “Keeping Alexandria Moving” since March 11, 1984, when the first 17 DASH buses hit streets of Alexandria along four new routes.  Today, DASH operates 79 buses on nine routes and also operates the King Street Trolley.

Mayor Bill Euille spoke on the important role that DASH has played in meeting the city’s growing transit needs.  Jennifer Mitchell, the new director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation spoke on the partnership between the Commonwealth and the local transit systems.  Alexandria’s former Virginia State Senator and Mayor Patsy Ticer recalled the vision that Mayor Chuck Beatley had in Alexandria starting its own local bus system.  She remembered how the Mayor had a large map of the City decorated with push pins to show his concept of the route structure.  Current Virginia State Delegate Rob Krupicka was also in attendance and spoke to the success of the DASH system in “Keeping Alexandria Moving.”

To kick off the anniversary year, Alexandria elementary school students were asked to take part in a poster contest themed, “DASHing for 30 Years: Past, Present and Future.  Judging the contest was Sandy Modell, ATC General Manager; Pat Miller, Alexandria Living Legend; Cheryl Anne Colton, Regional Program Director, Office of the Arts; Lisa Schumaier, Artist and Michelle Willis, DASH Bus Operator.  The contest received more than 95 entries and all of the posters are displayed in the Vola Lawson Lobby of City Hall through the month of March.  The winning entries can also be seen on DASH buses and King Street Trolleys as well as DASH’s Facebook page.

Poetry winners from the “DASHing Words in Motion,” contest were also introduced and read their winning poem.  “DASHing Words in Motion” was a collaborative project between the DASH and the Alexandria Office of the Arts, in which local poets competed to display their poetry on DASH buses and the King Street Trolley in honor of National Poetry Month in April.

The winners of the contest are:

  • “Movement” by Tori Lane, Poet Laureate
  • “New Tricks” by Pete Raack
  • “Homeward Bound in Del Ray” by Wendi Kaplan
  • “Favorite Seat” by Amy Thomas
  • “A DASHing Sonnet” by Barbara Karn
  • “Poem Taking Place on a Bus” by Amy Young

In a city council meeting following the reception, council Member Justin Wilson read a proclamation highlighting the important role that the DASH system has played over the past 30 years.  Wilson praised the ATC Board of Directors and the DASH employees “for their efforts and significant contributions to the Alexandria community to improve mobility and accessibility throughout the City, and for their achievements that have been recognized both nationally and by the Commonwealth of Virginia, in providing the highest quality of transit service to Alexandria residents, workers, and visitors, and in helping to make Alexandria a truly Livable, Green, and Prospering City.

DASH will sponsor activities and offer special promotions that will last throughout the year to thank its customers for their loyal support of the City’s local bus system over the past 30 years and to attract new riders to its service.