A Virginia Breeze bus. Courtesy of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The Virginia Breeze, the state’s inter-city bus line, is posting record ridership and is now 30% ahead of its previous high, with two months yet to go, according to the state’s Department of Rail and Public Transporation.

The announcement comes a year after the state launched a new bus line from Bristol, which now is the second most popular of the state’s four routes.

The system’s previous ridership high was 2019, when the bus line served 29,855 riders. Ridership fell during the pandemic but rebounded this year and so far is at 38,948 through October.

Ridership on the Virginia Breeze. Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The Virginia Breeze launched the Highlands Rhythm route from Bristol to Washington, D.C. in November 2021 and it right away became the second most popular route behind the Virginia Flyer, which serves a Blacksburg to Washington, D.C. route. Piedmont Express runs from Danville to Washington, D.C. and Capital Connector runs from Martinsville to Richmond to Washington, D.C.

Ridership on specific routes. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The Department of Rail and Public Transportation also released this information on specific routes:

For the Highlands Rhythm, the top three most popular departure locations for riders traveling north are Harrisonburg, Radford, and Bristol. The top three destinations for riders traveling north are Dulles International Airport, West Falls Church, and Union Station. 

The top three departures locations for riders traveling south are Dulles International Airport, Union Station, and West Falls Church. And the top three destinations for riders traveling south are Harrisonburg, Radford, and Dulles International Airport.

For the Valley Flyer, the top three departure locations for riders traveling north are Blacksburg, Harrisonburg, and Staunton. And the top three destination locations for riders traveling north are Dulles International Airport, Union Station, and Arlington. 

The top three departure locations for people traveling south are Dulles International Airport, Union Station, and Arlington. And the top three destination locations for riders traveling south are Blacksburg, Harrisonburg, and Lexington.

For the Piedmont Express, the top three departure locations for people traveling northbound are Charlottesville, Danville, and Dulles International Airport. And the top three destinations for people traveling northbound are Union Station, Dulles International Airport, and Charlottesville. 

The top three departure locations for people traveling southbound are Dulles International Airport, Union Station, and Charlottesville. And the top three destinations for people traveling southbound are Charlottesville, Danville, and Dulles International Airport. 

For the Capital Connector, the top three departure locations for people traveling northbound are Richmond, Danville, and Farmville. And the top three destinations for people traveling north are Union Station, Richmond, and Danville. 

The top three departure locations for people traveling south are Union Station, Richmond, and Farmville. And the top three destinations for people traveling south are Richmond, Danville, and Farmville. 

The full routes:

Valley Flyer stops in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Lexington, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Front Royal, Dulles International Airport, West Falls Church, and Washington, D.C. 

Highlands Rhythm stops in Bristol, Wytheville, Radford, Christiansburg, Salem, Harrisonburg, Dulles International Airport, West Falls Church, and Washington, D.C. 

Piedmont Express stops in Danville, Altavista, Lynchburg, Amherst, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Warrenton, Gainesville, Dulles International Airport, and Washington, D.C. 

Capital Connector stops in Martinsville, Danville, South Boston, Farmville, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.