'Ridership' or 'Coverage' Concepts Considered for Alexandria Bus Network Concept
The city of Alexandria, Virginia is undertaking a Transit Vision planning process to lay the groundwork for the next ten to 20 years of bus service in the city. The city runs its won DASH bus service, but the WMATA’s Metrobus also operates in the city. Connections to the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Metrorail, and external bus operators like the Fairfax Connector and Arlington Transit (ART) will also figure into the bus service equation in the city.
Greg Otten reports a few weeks after the city released a Transit Vision Concepts Report [pdf] on the findings of a community engagement process that included an online survey and several public meetings. The public input process is designed to determine "which of two scenarios the City and DASH should pursue: increased frequency of bus service trading off coverage, or, increased coverage of the city with less frequent bus service. The plan assumes a 20% increase in bus service."
The results [pdf] of the initial public input process showed "that a majority of Alexandria bus riders want fast and frequent bus service," according to Otten. A new survey is drilling down deeper into public preferences between two scenarios, referred to by planners as "Ridership" or "Coverage." Otten explains:
“Ridership” means increased and more frequent bus service in dense areas at the expense of fewer parts of the city being served by buses. The assumption is that more people will ride because there is faster and more frequent service in dense areas. “Coverage” means increased service in some areas at the expense of frequency. More of the city will be served, and thus more people potentially able to ride.
After gathering input on these two concepts, planners will proceed with a design for a new bus network in the city.