Commuters from western Loudoun County and Leesburg will again be able to ride a bus to work, according to Charles R. Nixon, president of a Woodbridge commuter bus company.
Beginning Feb. 1, Washington Motor Coach Co. Inc. will run regular morning and evening trips between Winchester and Washington, Nixon said.
The bus will leave Winchester about 5 a.m., take Rte. 7, picking up passengers at towns along the way, and arrive in Leesburg at about 6 a.m. That will be the last passenger pickup spot before the bus makes it way into Rosslyn, the Pentagon, and downtown Washington, Nixon said. The bus should arrive at the Pentagon by 7 a.m.
In the evening, the bus will leave Washington about 4 p.m., returning to Leesburg by about 5 p.m. and Winchester by about 6:15 p.m., Nixon said.
"A worker could actually use this thing and get into work on it, which is the whole object of it," Nixon said.
Nixon's plans may please Loudoun County residents who used to be regular bus commuters until last summer, when Tara Lines unexpectedly discontinued its service into Washington.
Jock Pumphrey, whose Exxon gas station on West Market Street in Leesburg has been a bus stop for many years, said that as many as 30 people regularly commuted into Washington on the bus.
Since the 1930s until about 1966, Greyhound provided bus service in Loudoun. After Greyhound left, Tara Lines took over the route, Pumphrey said. When Tara Lines stopped its service last summer, "people kept calling saying , 'What happened to the bus?' " Pumphrey said.
Nixon said his bus company has been providing commuter service from Prince William County to the District for about one year.
"We're strictly in the commuter business. We try to get the route in a convenient situation for people," he said.
He said he does not know how many people in Loudoun County will ride the commuter bus, but if it is popular he may add more buses. "At the moment, it's a poke in the dark. I don't know the magnitude. . . . " Nixon said. "We're going to start out with one run, and if that one works we'll put in another one framed a half hour behind it, and if that one works we'll put in another one framed a half hour behind that."
Nixon also said that because a private, nonprofit organization called Sterling Commuter Bus provides bus service for much of eastern Loudoun into Washington, the Woodbridge company will not make stops east of Leesburg.
"We're not going to go into competition with them. . . , " he said. "They've elected all these years not to come into Leesburg, and we're not going to go there," Nixon said.