Perhaps you’ve seen the colorful Virginia Breeze buses passing through Martinsville or Danville early in the morning or during late afternoon/early evening and have wondered if they were some sort of charter operation just passing through. It would be nice if Greyhound served us, you may have thought. Another thought that may have come to mind might have been whether such a service could ever exist, or could even be feasible. The truth is, Greyhound did serve Danville until about 2016, at which time it ended service there.
While Greyhound no longer provides inter-city bus services to the West Piedmont Region, the Virginia Breeze, through a partnership between Megabus and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), does!
The Virginia Breeze operates two separate routes in our region – the Capital Connector and the Piedmont Express.
The Capital Connector begins in Martinsville, from which it travels east to Danville; to South Boston; Farmville; Richmond; and Washington, D.C. The Piedmont Express begins in Danville and travels north, along the U.S. Route 29 corridor, to destinations such as Lynchburg; Charlottesville; Culpeper; Dulles International Airport; and Washington, D.C.; among a variety of smaller localities in-between. The following tables show both the “From” and “To” schedules of the Capital Connector and the Piedmont Express between Martinsville, Danville, and Washington, D.C.
An important item to note is that while the Capital Connector, which departs Martinsville, does not travel along U.S. Route 29 or to Dulles International Airport, you’ll be able to transfer from the Capital Connector to the Piedmont Express (which travels along the U.S. Route 29 corridor and to Dulles International Airport), which departs Danville about 30 minutes after it arrives there.
All buses have been configured with modern amenities to make your trip comfortable and to enable you to enjoy your trip. In addition to roomy seats and a restroom, buses are served with Wi-Fi and outlets to enable you to plug in your personal devices.
Fares and baggage policies
According to the Virginia Breeze website, fares range from $15 to $60, meaning that the Breeze is an affordable means of traveling throughout Virginia – and it may even be less expensive than driving, particularly when wear-and-tear is factored in. The Virginia Breeze allows one free checked bag and one carry-on that fits above the seat.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), which operates the Virginia Breeze, maintains an Open Data Portal, showing a variety of performance measures for the Breeze, among other transportation services. The Capital Connector, which serves both the Cities of Martinsville and Danville, has shown a steady increase in ridership from both locations over a period of one year, according to the following graph entitled “Capital Connector Monthly Boardings from Danville and Martinsville.” Even so, ridership appears to fluctuate based on the time of year.
The following graph, entitled “Piedmont Express Monthly Boardings from Danville,” shows a similar trend of growth over time, though as is the case with the Capital Connector, ridership fluctuates based on month.
One certainty about riding either the Capital Connector or the Piedmont Express is that you’ll almost certainly have plenty of room to stretch out and to social distance, especially if you’re concerned about avoiding illnesses, particularly during the winter. If you were to ride the Capital Connector in August of 2022, for instance, there would have only be an average of about 19 passengers per day, which means that there is plenty of room on these buses – meaning that right now, you should not have to worry about booked trips.
Where do I pick up the bus?
In Martinsville, the Capital Connector stops at the Village of Martinsville shopping center, along Commonwealth Boulevard; this is where Kroger, Marshalls, and Belk are all located. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re not on the wrong side of the plaza when the bus arrives. The bus arrives in the large parking lot to the left (west) of Belk department store – between Belk and Goodwill, toward the back end of the lot. You’ll see a sign for the Virginia Breeze mounted on a light pole. See the map below for the approximate location of the bus stop.
In Danville, you can pick up both the Capital Connector and the Piedmont Express at the Danville Transit System Hub, located at 515 Spring Street in Danville’s River District. See the map below for a detailed location.
For additional information about the Virginia Breeze, and to purchase tickets online, please visit https://virginiabreeze.org/.
If you currently or plan to carpool, vanpool, use transit (for work or non-work trips), walk, or bike to your destinations, or if you telework, don’t forget to become a RIDE Solutions member for FREE by signing up at www.ridesolutions.org! Each time you log a carpool, vanpool, transit, walk, or bike trip, or a telework session, you’ll earn points toward discounts on shopping (including online shopping), dining, services, and activities, or you can use your points to enter raffles to win gift cards!
RIDE Solutions is a division of Commute!VA, a Virginia statewide resource for commuters, which is operated by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).