ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - Saturday was an exciting day for many residents and officials in the Alexandria and Arlington areas, as it was the official ribbon-cutting for the new Potomac Yard Transitway.
It's the Washington region's first-ever bus rapid transit system, showcasing new specially-marked buses, dedicated bus-only lanes, special rapid boarding stops, and redesigned lights timed to move buses quickly.
At Saturday's ribbon cutting at Route 1 and Swann Avenue in Alexandria - close to Target and other heavily trafficked Potomac Yard stores - officials touted the new system as a model for the country based on international innovative techniques.
Officials say this start of the new transit system will not only vastly improve the traffic flow, but also provide access to neighborhoods like Del Ray, which just beyond the reach of Metro rail, plus offer new regional connections to Braddock Road, Crystal City and the planned Potomac Yard Metro station.
The new lanes were created without cutting any lanes for drivers, making this a win-win, planners insist.
City of Alexandria Mayor William Euille says, even as the region expands in population, this new system will speed up traffic for all commuters on the road.
"[It will] help move more than 3,500 additional people per day - and that means less cars on the roads, particularly during the peak hours in the morning and evening," he said.