New transportation option for Valley commuters to hit the road September 1
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Valley commuters who work in Charlottesville are in luck.
The Shenandoah Valley Planning District Commission announced their new transit service, Afton Express. The buses will take people from areas in the Valley like Staunton, Waynesboro and Fishersville over to Charlottesville.
Central Shenandoah Valley Planning District Commission planners say this endeavor has been a long time coming.
“Transportation between this side of the mountain and the other side of the mountain has always kind of on the table and talked about,” said Transit Planner Devon Thompson.
A study done in 2017 evaluated the feasibility of the bus and got the ball rolling. By 2020, they had the funding to make it possible through a grant.
“We’re very excited about it getting started. It’s been a long time coming, so we hope that it’s successful,” said Thompson.
Thompson says the buses will stop at the Fishersville and Waynesboro Park and Rides, along with the Staunton Mall. The Waynesboro Park and Ride at Town Center is still under construction.
Once they’re picked up, commuters will embark on a 35-minute ride. In Charlottesville, there are stops at University of Virginia at Albemarle (UVA), UVA Medical, downtown Charlottesville, Fifth Street Station and Wegmans.
The schedule of stops is available on their website. With two buses, the stops are staggered to allow for flexibility and functionality.
“The four morning and four evening routes, time-wise, were crafted around those commuters,” said Thompson.
Thompson says the buses are very comfortable with high-back seats and Wi-Fi, but they are also fully equipped with a luggage rack, bike racks and mobility lifts. Not only did they strive for functionality, they also strived for affordability.
“It’s going to be $3 one way, and there will be a ten-punch fare card for $25, but the first month is absolutely free,” said Thompson.
For Valley commuters, the countdown to Sept. 1 has begun.
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