SPRINGFIELD, Va. - A lot of people depend on it, but one of the D.C. region's biggest and oldest slug lines could be shut down.
Slugging is a convenient way for drivers to pick up complete strangers to use HOV lanes to help cut down on commuting time and avoid traffic on highways during rush hour.
Thousands of commuters are picked up at Bob's Slug Line in Springfield, which some people say was the first to ever exist in the region as it dates back to the 1970s.
However, Fairfax County is planning to build a multi-use transit center on the same lot where Bob's Slug Line currently is. It would feature six parking levels, hundreds of more parking spaces and a space for community events.
But this would mean no more slugging in the current lot until the project is complete.
A slug line administrator said another concern he has is the addition of bus bays to an area that he believes should remain geared toward slugging.
“The only issue we have with this one is that the seven bus bays are going to take 100 parking spaces at the cost of around $6 million,” said Kalai Kandasamy. “Do we want that and is there a demand for public transit? There is no public transportation here. There are no buses here. This is all slugging.”
“At this point, shutting down is going to be a disaster because that is going to interrupt our daily commute,” said slugger Abu Rabbi. “Competing with buses, I don't know because the system here is working perfectly fine and I have heard some people have been slugging for the last 30 years.”
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation said in part, “We understand there are concerns ... The County is committed to providing alternate space for parking and the slug lines during construction, and will continue to coordinate with and engage the slug line users throughout this process.”
If the project moves forward, construction would displace Bob's Slug Line users for about two years.
Fairfax County will provide people a chance to voice their concerns at an open forum on April 9 at Thomas A. Edison High School in Alexandria.