Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at

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VRE glad federal government is back in business

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The re-opening of the federal government is a welcome sight to the Virginia Railway Express, which experienced a 31 percent drop in riders during the shutdown.

“By all appearances VRE ridership has returned to the levels we were seeing in September,” VRE’s Mark Roeber wrote in an email Thursday. “That is great news because VRE’s ridership in September was the highest since February 2012.”

On Thursday, the first day federal workers returned to the job after the two-week shutdown, VRE’s rider trips were projected to be more than 19,600, according to Roeber.

That’s a big jump compared to the number of commuters using the trains during the shutdown.

The first week of the shutdown, VRE ridership dropped to an average of 14,420 a day. The second week was worse, with the total average dropping to 13,560 rider trips a day.

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