More people are riding commuter and express buses as a result of dynamic tolling on I-66, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission reports.

In a report released this week, the NVTC said express buses on I-66 “experienced strong and growing ridership, while demonstrating faster and more reliable running times due to I-66 tolling and resulting traffic condition improvements.”

The express buses on I-66 are funded through the Commuter Choice Program, a grant program designed to encourage multi-modal transportation through the corridor.

The three major express buses running on the I-66 corridor include the Fairfax Connector 599 and 699, Loudoun County Transit commuter bus, and the PRTC OmniRide Manassas Route.

The Fairfax Connector saw ridership increase 58 percent from February 2017 to February 2018 (two months after I-66 tolling was introduced.) This increase was largely due to the introduction of the new 699 bus.

PRTC’s OmniRide saw weekday ridership ride 32 percent during the same period, while Loudoun County Transit ridership rose 12 percent.

Bur drivers for all three services said they were experiencing faster travel times and general ease of travel getting in and out of the District of Columbia.

NVTC said it was unclear if I-66 tolling was impacting VRE or Metro ridership. The average weekday ridership of Metrorail was 4 percent higher in February 2018 than February 2017, and the average weekday ridership of VRE decreased by 5 percent from February 2017 to February 2018. But NVTC said it could not draw any conclusions from that data.

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