Metro celebrates launch of new Metrobus service between Alexandria and National Harbor
Today Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld joined state and local officials from Maryland and Virginia along with the Peterson Companies to celebrate the launch of the NH2 Metrobus service between Alexandria and National Harbor starting on Sunday, October 23.
Metro, Alexandria and Fairfax County officials boarded the NH2 for a preview ride from the Huntington and King Street-Old Town stations to National Harbor, where Maryland and Prince George's County officials got on board to complete the trip. The new route is operated by Metro and funded by National Harbor developer Peterson Companies, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County and the Maryland Department of Transportation in a unique public/private partnership.
"Starting Sunday, Metro riders will have direct trans-Potomac service between Virginia and National Harbor without having to travel through DC," said Wiedefeld. "The NH2 makes it easier for the many visitors to National Harbor and Alexandria to enjoy dining, shopping and entertainment while also providing a convenient option for employees to get to and from work."
"National Harbor, together with our partners MGM National Harbor, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center and Tanger Outlets are proud to be a part of this unique public-private partnership," said Milt Peterson, Principal and Chairman of Peterson Companies. "NH2 dramatically improves the transportation options to and from National Harbor for employees, tourists and residents alike."
National Harbor opened in 2008 less than five miles from Alexandria's Old Town. The NH2 Metrobus route will be the first in 13 years to cross the reconstructed Woodrow Wilson Bridge at a time when both areas are seeing a boom in economic development. The December opening of the MGM Grand Casino is expected to further increase demand for the service.
"The service is another example of Maryland being open for business," said Kevin Reigrut, Assistant Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation. "The NH2 bus service shows that we are partners with WMATA, National Harbor and the Commonwealth of Virginia and its municipalities in supporting the workers, companies and culture that make both our states economically strong and socially viable."
"I am excited to launch this new bus route in anticipation of the December 8th opening of the MGM National Harbor Resort as well as the upcoming Marine Corp Marathon weekend and the annual tree lighting ceremony in November," said Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker. "Crowds are going to be flocking to Prince George's County and it is important that we provide transportation alternatives to our visitors. This route will also provide a new convenient amenity to visitors to National Harbor to visit our friends and neighbors in Alexandria and Northern Virginia."
The service will also connect riders with many popular Fairfax County destinations, including the historic Mount Vernon Estate, Fort Belvoir, and business and commercial centers in Lorton, Springfield, and along Richmond Highway. At the Huntington Metrorail station, riders can make connections with Fairfax Connector and Richmond Highway Express bus services.
"This new service will provide a long-awaited transit connection between areas in Northern Virginia and National Harbor," said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. "The NH2 buses will make it easier for residents, employees and visitors to get to and from popular destinations in the region, offering more opportunities for work and play across jurisdictional borders."
"This new bus route will link Alexandria, Fairfax County, and National Harbor and MGM in Prince George's County, and it will provide a vital transit connection between all three jurisdictions," said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. "We are pleased to see this new service come to fruition after many years of discussion. This new bus line will benefit visitors, residents, and employees by connecting shopping, entertainment, business, job, and residential destinations on both sides of the river."
The NH2 will operate every 30 minutes, 7 days a week from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. View full schedule here.
The new NH2, at a projected annual cost of $2.9 million, was approved by Metro's Board of Directors as a nine-month pilot that will allow Metro to evaluate ridership demand, conduct customer surveys and complete an FTA-required Title VI equity analysis. If the board approves permanent adoption of the service, the NH2 would be included in the FY2018 budget.