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Metro starts new bus service to Mark Center in August

Wednesday - 7/27/2011, 5:23am  ET

Metro bus (Photo courtesy of WMATA/Larry Levine)
The new bus route route will operate from the Pentagon between 5:40 a.m. and 5 p.m. and from Mark Center between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy of WMATA/Larry Levine)

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Metro starts new and modified bus service Aug. 8 in Northern Virginia to help ease the anticipated traffic gridlock expected with the Base Realignment and Closure plan.

The new and modified bus service will start running between the Pentagon and Mark Center in Alexandria and around Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County. These new bus routes could provide a much needed alternative to driving.

For the Mark Center, a brand new bus line -- the 7M -- will run between the Pentagon and Mark Center every 10 minutes during rush hours and every 15 minutes during the off-peak hours.

Around Fort Belvoir, REX service will adjust its schedule to accommodate the upcoming growth on the base.

And, Department of Defense employees can take a ride on some of the buses for free just by showing their Mark Center identification card.

According to the latest figures, more than 20,000 employees will work at Fort Belvoir where there is no immediate access to mass transportation. Historic Route 1 is already heavily congested, and many are concerned nearby roads will be crippled.

Others say a nightmare also is coming to Interstate 395 in Alexandria. More than 6,000 government workers will leave Crystal City and head to the Mark Center, where there is no mass transportation.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)