OmniRide Ridership Trending Upwards
OmniRide’s ridership has begun to rebound from the pandemic over the recent months. Average commuter daily ridership for May 2022 is trending to where it’s more than 50 percent of the last full month prior to 2020 pandemic related closures and reduced services.
OmniRide is the operating name for the mobility services offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). The organization provides Local bus service in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park; Metro Express service which connects riders with Metro Stations; and Express buses that serve destinations in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“Ridership continues to rebound because we have a nationally essential workforce on one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Our emphasis of safety—both operationally and in terms of sanitization—makes us an outstanding option for travel,” said OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider.
OmniRide’s Express daily ridership increased nine percent this April compared to March and has increased almost 30 percent since February. Daily average ridership for the first two weeks of May is nine percent higher than the last two weeks of April and 13 percent higher than all of April. This could be due to the federal government’s order for employees to return to the office – as OmniRide takes commuters to such government agencies as the Pentagon, State Department, and other government centers.
“Our ridership trends are following many of the same patterns noted by other transit agencies in the region,” said OmniRide Director of Operations and Operations Planning Perrin Palistrant. “A combination of more people returning to their offices in person, more people commuting in general locally or into the DC employment core, and more traffic on the roadways has led to the consistent monthly increases we are having.”
OmniRide Local services ridership has also been increasing. March to April, ridership went up six percent and 21 percent overall since February. Ridership in the first two weeks of May are up 11 percent from the last two weeks of April.
The organization is also proposing new services including a local microtransit service in Manassas Park. Like Lyft or Uber, microtransit allows riders to book a ride through their phone or by calling OmniRide’s Customer Service office. Instead of a bus, riders would be transported in vans. The organization is also proposing adding Sunday service in Eastern Prince William. This service would include four local routes and the Prince William Metro Express route. Sunday service would mimic the Saturday service schedule already in place.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), operating as OmniRide, provides commuter and local bus services as well as ridesharing services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. It also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.