The Afton Express is a public commuter bus system that connects the Shenandoah Valley to the Charlottesville area with daily transit service provided Monday through Friday. First launched on September 1, 2021, the Afton Express has seen great success and has proven to be a safe, convenient, and affordable way for people to get to work, medical appointments, and other services.
The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) is pleased to share the first Annual Report for the Afton Express. This report provides an overview of ridership and performance during the first 16 months of operations (September 2021 – December 2022). The report also includes highlights from the first year, a summary of rider impressions collected during a rider survey last fall, and a glimpse of what is to come in the future.
The report can be viewed on the web here: 2021-2022 Afton Express Annual Report
Operated by Virginia Regional Transit (VRT) as a route in the BRITE Bus system, the Afton Express provides four trips from the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro (SAW) region to Charlottesville and Albemarle County in the morning; and four return trips back to the Valley in the afternoon/evening. The Afton Express offers low fares, discounted multi-trip farecards, plush seats, and on-board WiFi to provide riders with a comfortable and convenient commute.
Afton Express has been funded through a demonstration grant provided by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) matched with local funds from the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Charlottesville, the counties of Augusta and Albemarle, and the University of Virginia. This service would not be the success it is without the support of our regional partners.
As ridership steadily increases, the team at the CSPDC and VRT are gearing up for a planned expansion of services to launch in February 2023. This expansion includes a fifth trip in the evening to provide later service and a new stop at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville. The goal of this expansion is to make service available to commuters whose work schedules vary from traditional business hours.
The proposed expanded schedule was released for a 21-day public comment period on December 27th. Once the CSPDC has reviewed the feedback provided during this comment period, final adjustments to the schedule will be made and the expansion will be implemented.
CSPDC staff and our transit operators at VRT are looking forward to the future of the Afton Express and are excited to continue delivering quality and reliable service in 2023. To stay up to date on what’s happening with the Afton Express, be sure to follow us on Facebook and check our website for route maps, schedules, and other information.