Public bus lines might seem fixed to bus shelters, but changing those routes could give people greater access to jobs, medical services, and more.
That’s one way that bus networks in the D.C. area could be improved, a consultant told transportation stakeholders during a virtual “Bus Champions” roundtable held yesterday (Tuesday) by MetroNow, a conglomeration of commerce and transit advocacy groups.
The coalition is calling on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to follow through with a 2019 initiative called the Bus Transformation Project, which envisioned buses as the dominant mode of transportation for the region by 2030.
Scudder Wagg, senior associate of Jarrett Walker and Associates, a public transit consulting firm with offices across the country, discussed how bus network redesigns can improve communities by maximizing access to different destinations, creating more freedom and opportunity.
But speakers on the roundtable also acknowledged that such changes can disrupt commuters and even ruin what were once manageable trips for elderly riders and those with disabilities, so planners need to consider potential accommodations and ways to minimize disruptions.
Wagg noted that transit reworkings can be controversial, but in places like Alexandria, which implemented a redesign last year and introduced free fares, the overhaul resulted in increased ridership, Mayor Justin Wilson said.
In a similar vein, Fairfax County is exploring a reduced-fare option for low-income riders. For the time being, it has eliminated transfer fees between Metro trains and Fairfax Connector buses, except for express routes and the Wolf Trap shuttle.
Foursquare ITP President and CEO Lora Byala said the transportation firm recently led a revamp of the BaltimoreLink system that resulted in service to 28% more carless households, 32% more single-vehicle households, and other benefits.
Her firm also worked with Fairfax County on a route optimization study involving the Herndon and Reston areas involving the extension of the Silver Line Metrorail, where new stations could open this year. Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors is slated to vote on proposed service changes for that corridor on Feb. 22.
To prevent policy efforts from creating more disruptions than solutions, consulting firm speakers noted the importance of showing options to the public and engaging with riders throughout the process. Other kinds of travelers, such as drivers, can also provide insights, Byala said.
For WMATA, the pandemic has staggered many planned initiatives, such as evaluating a bus network redesign, according to a progress report by MetroNow released in January.
The report concluded Metro was on track with some initial efforts but behind on public outreach.
Previously, WMATA said it was coordinating with local jurisdictions for work on restructuring the region’s bus network to create a “customer-focused system that improves access to destinations, increases ridership, and makes efficient and equitable use of resources.”
The wait for new restaurants at The Boro in Tysons is over at last. Circa bistro (1675 Silver Hill Drive) and Él Bebe (8354 Broad Street), a Mexican restaurant and…
Jimmy Bierman is running for the seat of Dranesville District supervisor (courtesy Stephen Barrett and Moore Campaigns) The Dranesville District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has its…
Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected] We…
George C. Marshall High School in Idylwood (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) A special education teacher at Marshall High School in Idylwood has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a student…
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.
The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.
Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.