(Updated July 22, 2013)
Columbia Pike Super Stop Review
Arlington County is conducting a comprehensive review of the performance, cost, technical design and construction of the recently complete Walter Reed East Super Stop prototype. The goal of the review is to facilitate the construction of the remaining planned stops faster, more cost effectively and with improved functionality where necessary. The assessment takes on a three-pronged approach:
- A financial and performance assessment.
- Community consultation process aimed at the users at the stop.
- A technical design review.
Findings from the overall assessment will be used to inform all decisions made on future Super Stops. The review and outreach is slated for completion in early 2014. Learn more about the three-pronged assessment processes.
The County launched a survey as a formal method to obtain feedback of Columbia Super Stop users and Columbia Pike residents/neighbors from June 22 – July 21. The survey has now closed. The community feedback will be included in the final review slated for completion in early 2014.
Super Stops in Arlington
Arlington County recently opened our first Super Stop at Walter Reed East on Columbia Pike. The Super Stop is a first-of-its-kind high capacity, accessible transit station designed to improve the commute for Metrobus and ART passengers along Columbia Pike and to attract more people to transit. The Super Stop offers commuters:
- Ample seating.
- Enhanced lighting and electronic “real time” bus arrival information.
- Maps for bus routes and areas.
- Raised curb platform for increased accessibility and level boarding for buses.
- Heating elements, triggered by temperature and moisture controls in the pavement, to melt snow and ice in colder weather.
- Learn more about the Super Stop design elements.
Transit stop and station types can range from simple bus stops to full-size stations and transit centers comparable to large rail terminals. Learn more about the different transit facilities in Arlington.
The type of facility and costs associated with construction depends on a number of parameters. View examples of similar transit stations and their costs, including the Super Stop.
The County plans to eventually build a total of 24 transit stations along Columbia Pike as we transform the Pike into a vibrant “main street” with more mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Much more than a bus stop, the transit station can be used by many modes.
Why Super Stops on Columbia Pike?
The Pike is a major transportation corridor – in fact, Arlington’s original “main street” – and was considered for a Metrorail line in the 1960s, during initial planning for the system. The Pike has the highest transit ridership in Virginia outside a rail line. Columbia Pike bus services (Metrobus and ART bus) carry more than 16,000 weekday riders, comparable to many BRT, light rail and streetcar programs around the country.
Arlington is investing in the Pike to serve current riders, and to encourage more people to leave their cars behind and use transit. Our long-term plan for Pike transit builds on the our success over the years in influencing people’s commuting habits.
Super Stops will make it easier for people to use both buses, and ultimately, streetcar service along the Pike. These transit stations are designed to serve Columbia Pike and the County for the next 30 years.
Reducing Costs of the Super Stops
Costs for the first prototype were higher than the original budgeted amount of $835,000. The County, together with WMATA, is reviewing all expenditures on the Walter Reed East Super Stop and will give a full public accounting. The County Manager also has ordered a pause in the transit station project while staff reviews the design and gathers riders’ feedback. We will not put any more Super Stops out for bid until we have reviewed the design and identified potential cost reductions.
WMATA and its contractors constructed this prototype under a project agreement with Arlington. Changes in the design and materials and delays in permitting and construction caused the project’s completion to be delayed – not unusual in the design and construction of a prototype. Arlington revised its contract with WMATA, eliminating two other planned Super Stops from the contract.