Arlington County Commuter Services
Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) is the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) agency of Arlington County, Virginia. ACCS was established in 1989 in order to enhance Arlington's economic vitality. Its mission involves reducing traffic congestion, decreasing parking demand, promoting maximum use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) infrastructure, and improving air quality and mobility in and around Arlington. ACCS provides information and services to increase the use of alternative transportation through several web resources and commuter stores.
Since its inception, ACCS has continuously improved upon its performance and level of impact on the Arlington community. On an average workday in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the services provided by ACCS shifted approximately 40,100 auto trips to higher occupancy modes of travel, including rail, bus, ridesharing, as well to walking and bicycling. As a point of reference, during the three hour peak commute period 37,000 vehicles travel through Arlington on I-66 and I-395. On an annual basis, this reduction in travel equates to almost 7.2 million gallons of fuel saved and significant reductions in climate changing greenhouse gases.
ACCS performs this important task of information provision for Arlington County by implementing Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs and strategies that promote public transit, walking, biking, carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting, and other options that reduce the demand for vehicular travel, lessen congestion and air pollution, and improve accessibility. ACCS serves as an information and educational resource center for residents, employees, and visitors who travel to and within the County.
ACCS is a bureau of Arlington County's Department of Environmental Services. ACCS is funded in part by grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).
Enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of Arlington by working to:
- Reduce traffic congestion
- Reduce the demand for parking
- Provide for the maximum use of existing public transportation and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) infrastructure
- Improve air quality
- Improve mobility
To provide the most accurate, timely and useful information and services to residents, workers and visitors in Arlington to increase the use of transportation options such as transit, biking and walking.
Arlington County Commuter Services Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Strategic Plan
The TDM Strategic Plan sets the stage for Transportation Demand Management in Arlington County for the next 27 years, beginning with a work plan for the first year of the plan, a detailed set of action steps for the first six years, and broader generalizations of improvements and changes planned for the mid- and long-range timeframes. This plan is an implementing action of the County’s Master Transportation Plan (MTP): Demand and System Management Element, adopted December 13, 2008. Part of the MTP was the Transportation Demand Management Element, and this part of the MTP formed the basis for the development of the first six-years of this TDM Plan.
TDM Strategic Plan FY2013 - FY2040
The TDM Strategic Plan is available for download in Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Reader is required to view and print PDF files.
- Arlington TDM Strategic Plan Executive Summary (PDF, 2.4 MB)
- Arlington TDM Strategic Plan (PDF, 1 MB)
TDM Strategic Plan Update FY2014 - FY2031
This document is an update to the FY2013 - FY2040 document above. The annual updates are provided to give greater information about operations in the very near six-year time frame which also coincides with local, regional and state six-year budget terms. The entire document will be updated every 3-5 years and in the interim years updates will be produced.
ACCS Programs and Services
ACCS accomplishes its mission by encouraging people who live, work or commute through Arlington to use mass transit, car and vanpool, bicycle, walk, telecommute and use other alternatives to driving alone. ACCS does this through a number of programs and services, detailed below.
The Commuter Store®, Mobile Commuter Store, & CommuterDirect.com®,
The Commuter Store, Mobile Commuter Store, and CommuterDirect.com sell fares for Washington, DC-area transit systems. CommuterDirect.com provides online fare sales. Customers can receive tickets and passes by mail, or pick them up at The Commuter Store. The Commuter Store has four retail locations in Arlington and one in Odenton, Maryland. The Mobile Commuter Store makes scheduled visits to locations in Arlington and Washington, DC.
In addition to selling fares, The Commuter Store and Mobile Commuter Store also offer printed transit schedules and maps, and the stores' Commuter Specialists can provide information about transit, carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, teleworking, and more.
WalkArlington strives to get more people walking more of the time, by partnering with citizens, businesses, and County departments to promote the benefits of walking.
BikeArlington's goal is to get more Arlingtonians biking more often, whether they're commuting, shopping, or just having fun. The region-wide bikesharing program, Capital Bikeshare, is supported by BikeArlington's efforts.
Arlington Transportation Partners – Employer Services
Arlington Transportation Partners offers free services for Arlington employers (613 member companies representing 135,600 employees), residential communities (301 member buildings representing 69,252 apartment/ condo units), developers and visitor services (to 41 hotels) to set up commuter benefits programs.
TDM For Site Plan Development
The Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program for Site Plan Development coordinates real estate site plan development with commuter and transit services. The program seeks to mitigate the transportation impacts of residential and commercial real estate development projects by encouraging the use of transit, ridesharing, biking, walking, and other alternatives. The program also reviews development proposals, applies TDM policy, and creates TDM Site Plan conditions. They enforce and monitor more than 120 site plans.
ACCS conducts surveys and studies in order to quantify the impacts of its programs, and uses this body of research to inform the strategic direction and rationale for ACCS services. ACCS research is available at MobilityLab.org.
Call Center, Fulfillment Center, Distribution & Logistics
- Call Center for Arlington Transit and websites
- Brochure distribution; 600,000 pieces delivered annually
- Bus stop signage information program (500+ bus stops)
The Mobility Lab nurtures innovations to a fundamental requirement of human life: transportation. It is a place of collaboration, education and continuous improvement for moving people in more healthy, efficient and sustainable ways.
Marketing and Promotions
- Individual program marketing for ART—Arlington Transit, Metrobus routes serving Arlington, iRide, Arlington's Car-Free Diet, and ACCS programs and services
- Special Initiatives
- “Street Team”—promotes transit, biking, and walking at special events
Federal and State Support
About 50% of the ACCS budget comes from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ); another 26% from State grants called TDM/Commuter Services, Transit Aid, and Transit Technical Assistance.
Funds Generated by ACCS Programs
ACCS is partially self-funded by commissions and fees on the sale of fare media, and by site plan contributions for traffic mitigation.
- CommuterDirect.com (online fare media sales)
- The Commuter Store (retail locations and a Mobile Commuter Store)
- Traffic Demand Management for Site Plan Development
FY 2013 Revenues
Alternative Content: Revenues and Expenditures Data Tables
FY 2013 Projected Expenditures
Alternative Content: Revenues and Expenditures Data Tables
Is It Worth It?
The work that ACCS does supports the investment the County has made in its land use plan and transportation infrastructure, resulting in better use of Arlington's transportation system. (See Overview, Vision and Mission, above.) Getting more people to take transit, carpool, bike, and walk reduces traffic congestion, improves air quality, benefits Arlington businesses, and has a positive impact on public health and quality of life. There are many benefits for a modest investment by Arlington taxpayers.
ACCS does ongoing research on the effectiveness of its programs to find out what's working and what could be improved. The results of these studies are available in the Arlington County Transportation Demand Management Research Center.