Following the launch of the fare-free New DASH Network on September 5, DASH has seen significant increases in ridership. DASH buses recorded 215,963 boardings in September, which represents a 25.9% increase from 171,589 boardings in the preceding month (August 2021) and a 76.4% increase from 122,418 boardings in September 2020. This also means that DASH has risen to approximately 65% of pre-pandemic ridership levels from September 2018 and September 2019.
“The New DASH Network introduces more frequent, all-day bus service in many areas across the City of Alexandria, and these ridership increases are an early positive indication that the community is benefiting from the improvements,” said Martin Barna, DASH Director of Planning and Marketing.
Additionally, DASH’s Line 35, which replaced the DASH AT1 PLUS, has averaged nearly 2,900 boardings per weekday and almost 1,400 boardings on Saturdays in September. This marks the highest daily average boardings for a single DASH bus route since the AT8 in 2018. Line 35 offers frequent, all-day service 7 days per week in Alexandria’s West End between the Pentagon and Van Dorn Metro stations. Line 35 runs every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends and receives significant funding from I-395 Express Lane toll revenues from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) I-395 Commuter Choice grant program.