Montgomery County travelers will be able to catch hourly buses from Bethesda to Dulles International and National airports starting today when the airport authority opens its long-awaited suburban Maryland terminal.
Washington Flyer buses will leave hourly between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. from the terminal, in the Camalier Building at 10215 Fernwood Rd., just north of Democracy Boulevard and across from the Marriott Corp. headquarters.
"The new routes are in response to numerous requests from Montgomery County residential and business travelers," said James A. Wilding, general manager of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the two airports and the Washington Flyer bus service.
Unfortunately for the traveler, parking is not available at the "terminal," which is really just a bus shelter and ticket office for now. The authority plans to move the terminal into a nearby office building, complete with a waiting lounge and restrooms, later this year.
Shuttle buses will be provided to carry passengers to the terminal from hotels and office buildings in Bethesda, Rockville and Gaithersburg.
Fares for the bus trips will range from $12 to $14 one way from Maryland to National, varying according to distance, and from $15 to $17 from Maryland to Dulles. The same trips by taxi can cost more than $35.
Round-trip fares will include a discount of $2, and the authority is offering an introductory $5 discount on round-trip fares through July. The fares cover the shuttle service.
The Washington Flyer bus service carries more than 900 passengers daily between National and Dulles and between each airport and the downtown Washington terminal on K Street NW between 15th and 16th streets. Ridership is expected to exceed 1,000 riders a day with the addition of the Maryland service.
The authority has invited Baltimore-Washington International Airport to provide bus service to the new terminal, as it does at the downtown terminal. BWI officials are interested in the idea, said BWI spokesman Jay Hierholzer.
For schedule information, travelers can call 685-1400.