OmniRide Buses Operating on ESP for Papal Visit

Sept. 16, 2015

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) has announced that all OmniRide commuter bus routes will operate on the agency’s Emergency Service Plan (ESP) on Sept. 23-24. The ESP will be activated all day on both days due to street closures and anticipated crowds during Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. The congestion will make it impossible to provide reliable service and maintain published schedules for OmniRide routes.

On Sept. 23-24, OmniRide buses will not serve regular destinations in DC and northern Virginia. OmniRide buses will operate their regular local pick-up routing, according to the published schedules, in the morning, and local drop-off routing in the afternoon. Instead of their regular DC, Arlington and Tysons Corner stops, OmniRide buses will serve nearby Metro stations:

  • Manassas OmniRide and Gainesville OmniRide routes will serve the Tysons Corner Metro Station.
  • Eastern Prince William OmniRide routes will serve the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station.
  • Metro Direct, OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses will operate their regular routes as scheduled.

Because the implementation of the Emergency Service Plan is being announced in advance, fares will be charged for OmniRide service. OmniRide fares to and from the Metro stations will be $3.85 cash or $3.10 with a SmarTrip card, which are the equivalent of Metro Direct fares. OmniRide fares during regular, non-ESP service, are $8.30 cash or $6.20 with a SmarTrip card. PRTC’s current Emergency Service Plan is posted online.

For anyone planning to visit DC during the pope’s visit, Metro Direct and OmniRide buses are a great way to connect with the Metrorail system and avoid traffic on the roads. Metro Direct services run all day between the local service areas and nearby Metro stations.