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Rural Crescent bus center meeting is Sept. 25

Prince William County Public Schools is planning a public meeting about its proposed bus center near Catharpin Park in Gainesville.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Bull Run Middle School.

At the meeting, residents can learn more about the site and can ask questions about the project, which will need approval from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

The proposed location sits on 14 acres adjacent to Catharpin Park on Sudley Road, with an entrance on Kyle Wilson Way.

According to associate superintendent Dave Cline, the site will help the school system provide better bus service to the U.S. 15 corridor “without compounding existing traffic issues.”

The McCuin transportation center in Bristow will still be used but isn't big enough for the growing population.

In addition, according to McCuin, it costs $900 per year in gas, plus the cost of driver downtime, for each bus that is sent to the McCuin center.

Keeping 150 buses in Catharpin will save about $340,000 per year.

The site will cost $1.3 million, which will go to the county for improvements at Catharpin Park.

The issue is expected to generate controversy because of increased bus traffic in the area and because the site is in the Rural Crescent, which was set aside by the Board of County Supervisors for agriculture and large lots.

Public facilities, like the transportation center, aren't banned in the Rural Crescent, but they are traditionally subject to extra review and to strong opposition from residents.

- Tara Slate Donaldson

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