Looking south across Diagonal Street at the passenger pick-up and drop-off, taxi, ride-sharing, and shuttle area of the King Street - Old Town Metro station in Alexandria, Va.

WMATA King Street – Old Town Metro Access Improvement Project

Our Client’s Challenge

The City of Alexandria, Virginia, faced significant growth in bus service and increased ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, which necessitated improvements to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) King Street – Old Town Metro station. WMATA bus facility improvements included expanding pedestrian access points and the passenger pick-up and drop-off lot to improve access to and safety around the station.

The project site sits in the heart of a historic community with significant cultural resources. At 1900 King Street, the WMATA King Street – Old Town Metro Station is in an expanding, mixed-use district confined between King Street to the north and Duke Street to the south, with CSX railroad and Diagonal Road bounding it from the west and east, respectively.

The metro station is just west of Alexandria’s Old Town’s historic districts and its waterfront and is a key transfer point for access to the greater Washington, D.C. region.

Our Solution

The City of Alexandria, in coordination with WMATA, looked to Gannett Fleming for the design services of the King Street – Old Town Metro Access Improvements Project, which includes a new bus loop, pedestrian access infrastructure, and passenger pick-up and drop-off lot to enable pedestrians and bicyclists secure movement through enhanced station facilities while allowing buses to operate more efficiently. The project also includes new energy-efficient lighting and increases the storm sewer’s capacity by installing larger, upgraded storm sewer pipes and underground treatment facilities.

Design features incorporate modern multimodal transit best practices while maintaining consistency with the city’s historic building standards. As the city’s largest transit facility, King Street – Old Town sees thousands of passengers daily using a plethora of transit options, including:

  • Amtrak.
  • WMATA.
  • Virginia Railway Express.
  • Alexandria Transit Company (DASH).
  • King Street Trolley.
  • Capital Bikeshare.

Other transit options at the station include ride-hailing, taxis, private shuttles, and individual automobiles. The renovated bus loop aligns with the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, a comprehensive safety program designed to achieve a transportation system with no deaths or serious injuries.

The WMATA bus facility project’s primary objective was to improve station access through efficient circulation and separation of bus services and passenger pick-up and drop-off area functions to attract additional customers. Other goals included enhancing the pedestrian experience with a safer, more attractive walking environment while increasing bays and lanes for buses and other transit vehicles. The design also included construction planning to accommodate work in a tight, urban environment with heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Key Features

  • Redesigned bus loop with three additional bus bays.
  • Newly designated areas for bicycle parking, shuttles, pick-up and drop-off, and taxis.
  • Real-time transit service displays.
  • Larger, upgraded storm sewer pipes.
  • New on-site stormwater treatment facilities.
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the station.


  • Safer pedestrian infrastructure featuring permeable pavers.
  • Increased multimodal functions for commuters and residents.
  • More efficient traffic flow for public transportation and vehicular traffic.

Awards & Recognition

  • ACEC Metro Washington, 2023, Engineering Excellence Awards, Merit Award.


City of Alexandria


Alexandria, Va.



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