A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order yesterday preventing Virginia Stage Lines, Inc., a commuter service between Manassas and the District of Columbia, from dropping some of the scheduled runs it had planned to stop tomorrow.
The Interstate Commerce Commission, which regulates and certificates bus service, obtained the weekend order from Judge John Lewis Smith Jr., the weekend duty judge for the District of Columbia.
ICC attorneys argued that the service change would make it "extremely difficult for government workers to get to and from work."
Virginia Stage Lines announced last week that it would be cancelling three of its eight inbound commuter runs, and consolidating the service provided by those trips. But the move meant that several passengers would be arriving at 8:15 a.m. in Washington, at the Federal Triangle at 12th and Constitution - fifteen minutes later than normal.
The bus company also proposed to cancel two outbound runs, which begin at 5:30 to 6 p.m. in D.C., and add one run at 5:45 p.m. The move would end service after 5:45 p.m., instead of the present 6 p.m.
Virginia Stage Lines, Inc., a subsidiary of Continental Trailways, presently serves the towns of Fairfax, Centreville, Gainesville and Warrenton.
The ICC said thay by putting the new service schedule in effect, Continental Trailways would not be complying with its certificate requirements to provide "continuous and adequate service."
ICC attorneys say the judge's order will last until May 6, at which time the case will be heard by Judge June Green in U.S. District Court in Washington.
Meanwhile, the ICC lawyers said, the commission will investigate the matter.