Four Ideas to Improve D.C. Buses

October 5, 2017, 2pm PDT by James Brasuell
It isn't always easy, especially for politicians and engineers, but there are proven ways to save a floundering bus system.

Alon Levy surveys the public transit scene in the Washington, D.C. region and sees a beleaguered Metrorail system as well a collection of proposed changes to the Metro bus system. "Where Metrorail's troubles lie in complicated funding, safety, and logistical challenges, the buses' are about network design–which happily, is relatively easy to change," writes Levy before proposing a list of four achievable ways to improve the bus system.

Levy notes that Metro's bus system isn't alone in seeking to implement improvements to the bus system, and there are plenty of good projects going on around the country, as well as Canada, to emulate.

Adding more detail in the source article, Levy includes the following list of guiding principles for Metro's bus system reconfiguration:

  1. Schedules should be frequent, and easily usable by riders.
  2. Simplify bus routes, and reduce branching
  3. Give the buses clearer route numbers
  4. Increase bus speed with off-board fare collection, dedicated bus lanes, and signal priority

While political difficult in some case, these challenges have the potential to improve ridership on a system that has seen declining volumes for years, according to Levy.

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Published on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 in Greater Greater Washington