It soon will be possible to catch a bus from Charlottesville to Washington, D.C., for less than $40.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation next month will start a new route of the Virginia Breeze that will connect Central Virginia to the nation’s capital.
The route, called the Piedmont Express, will connect Danville to Washington starting Aug. 7. Service will start along with the Capital Connector, which will run from Martinsville to Richmond to D.C.
The Virginia Breeze, administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, started in 2017 and travels between Blacksburg and D.C. It includes stops at Virginia Tech, Christiansburg, Lexington, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Front Royal, Dulles International Airport, Union Station and Arlington.
The Blacksburg route will be rebranded as the Valley Connector. The bus service halted on April 10 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but restarted on July 24.
“It is critical that our transportation system supports the recovery of the commonwealth’s economy, creating greater access for Virginians,” state Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine said in a press release.
The 250-mile Piedmont Express route will travel along the U.S. 29 corridor. It will include stops in Danville, Altavista, Lynchburg, Amherst, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Warrenton, Gainesville, Dulles International Airport and Union Station.
In Charlottesville, the bus will stop on Arlington Boulevard next to the Barracks Road Shopping Center. In Culpeper, it will stop at the Brandy Station Park and Ride.
A one-way trip from Charlottesville to D.C. will cost $36.99.
The 190-mile Capital Connector route from Martinsville to Richmond will include stops in Danville, South Boston, Hampden Sydney, Farmville, Richmond and Union Station.
The Blacksburg route saw more than 33,210 riders last year. State officials expect the Danville route will carry 10,050 passengers annually and the Martinsville loop will see 5,500.
Officials are taking safety precautions as the pandemic continues. Passengers will be required to wear face coverings and buses will operate at 50% capacity to keep empty seats between passengers. Passengers traveling as a group will be allowed to sit in the same row.
Currently, Greyhound and Trailways offer bus service from Charlottesville to Washington. Greyhound offers a route with one stop for about $41 one-way and Trailways offers a route with one stop for about $48.
The Starlight Express service from Charlottesville to New York City, with a stop in Washington, ceased operations in October 2018, the same time as national transportation firm Megabus announced plans to enter the local market with discounted fares. Megabus offers a one-way trip for about $50.
To learn more about Virginia Breeze service or to book tickets, visit virginiabreeze.org.