Archive for the ‘bus’ Category

Fairfax Snow Summit

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

I posted the following on

I bike at least 2-3 times a week from Herndon to Tysons Corner, except after it snowed. Since the snow I have biked once, because the clearing snow for cars has take priority over other forms of transport, in fact the snow clearing for cars has had a negative impact on peoples ability to walk, bike or take a bus. During snow clearing side walks are used as a dumping area for snow from roads, huge piles of snow are formed at cross walks forcing pedestrians to walk on roads that are already narrow from snow on the roads. Bike paths were not cleared and bus stops had 4 foot high snow piles making the dangerous to use. I tried crossing the toll road using Wiehle Ave, and was forced to turn back because of a 10 foot snow mound on the bridge blocking the path. which was created by VDOT clearing Wiehle.

I see a huge amount of money being spent of clearing roads for cars, but I don’t see any focus on clearing roads to allow people to use mass transit. We should be focusing on creating snow routes that are chosen based on there use Transit not cars. We should then make it a priority to clear side walks and bike paths to allow people to forgo using their car and walk or bike to a transit line, where they can take mass transit. We should be focusing on clearing side walks to allow children to walk safely to school.

Can you survive with only one car?

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

The choice to have a car is personal one,  I grew up in a two car family, but do you really need a two huge cars? I know people who have gone out and bought a new SUV because they were having a baby, on pressing a little more, it turned out the the stroller wouldn’t fit in the old car, which seems a little odd to me. For our family the only reason we have two cars, is that both are paid off and not costing us anything other than fuel and insurance, but we have made the commitment to walk and bike more. This year I have biked over 1400 miles while commuting to work and I intend on continuing that trend.

Faab recently posted a story about one less car in Virginia and how Paul  made the choice to sell the family’s second car which echos the bike manufacture Trek‘s message of biking any trip under 2 miles with their 1 world 2 wheels program. They hope to increase the number of trips taken in the U.S. by bike from the current 1% to 5% by 2017.

When we look at other reasons why people have two cars, a common reason is to ferry their children back and forward to school.  20%  to 25&%  of morning rush hour traffic is attributable to parents driving their children to school. We should be looking at is how to create safe routes to our schools, especially for those living within two miles of their school where bike trains or creating a walking school bus is possible. This would also reduce our reliance on the need for the 1700 school buses in Fairfax county which is facing painful choices on how to cut it’s budget.

Obama for public transit

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

A Greater Greater Washington Post echoed my concerns I had when I heard coverage of Obama’s stimulus package.

As a country we need to be looking towards the future. To make the US better we need to be thinking smart about the money we invest in transportation projects. We should be looking at ways to move more people in less space, and we need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. We should be looking at building an integrated transit system that combines high speed inter city rail links, with regional commuter lines, local buses with dedicated lanes in congested areas, and biking facilities to accommodate biking from you home to the closest transit hub. With all this we can be a country where we can be one or no car family.

Instead I hear this

“[W]e will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.”

So we get more bridges with more lanes, creating more pollution, more accidents, and more deaths.

Where is the change in that? That just sounds like the status quo to me.

CVS to sell Metro Smartrip Cards

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

As of the 23rd of December you will be able to buy a SmarTrip card from 190 CVS locations in the DC, MD, and Washington area. The cards will be available for $10 which include $5 which can be used for fares for Bus and Metro Trips as well as Metro parking. You can also purchase the cards at Metro Stations and select Giant Stores.

You can add value to the card at either a fare machine at a Metro station or using the fare box on a Metrobus. I am assuming that you can also add money to you card using the fareboxes on the regional buses that accept SmarTrip.

Should we have rapid bus lanes?

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Greater Greater Washington has an article up on why we should add rapid transit bus lanes.

WMATA believes that the future of Greater Washington’s transportation rests on priority bus corridors throughout the region, like the MetroExtra (#79) bus from Silver Spring to downtown DC. With Metrorail running out of capacity by 2030 and serious core expansion costing billions, Metro sees rapid buses as the best chance for a real capacity boost.

This has been adopted in many countries include the UK where I grew up, and if the DC area can move away from a car focused transport policy, then rapid bus lanes might actually become a reality.

Silver line passes another hurdle

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

The Dulles Rail Silver Line extenstion passes another hurdle by getting the sign off from the FTA for the federal contribution of 900 million to the $1.63 billion needed to build the first stage of the Metro rail extension out to Dulles Airport.

Metro has also started procurement of 64 new 7000 series metro rail cars that will look significantly different from the existing fleet. The rail cars would have a stainless steel exterior. The exterior brown paint and stripes would be gone. The Fiberglass seats would be replaced with stainless steel ones and carpet would be eliminated. They are also considering interactive linear maps, and automated announcements stating the station names. While I am all for the automated announcements, I remember the 6000’s doing it when they first started rolling out, so why don’t they do it now?

With the silver line looking like it might actually be built Track Twenty Nine has some very interesting diagrams on the capacity issues the Silver line will create at Rosslyn Station.

Metro is considering routing some blue line trans across the bridge to DC rather than going to Rosslyn as they currently do. When you add the silver line in the rosslyn tunnel it doesn’t look like metro will have any other choice than to reduce the blue line service to the station unless they expand or build another tunnel into DC.

Maryland cuts public transit routes

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The Baltimore Sun is reporting on MTA’s plans to cut some routes on commuter buses, and MARC trains.

The Maryland Transit Administration is proposing to eliminate six commuter bus routes, reduce the number of rides on others and cut back on its increasingly popular MARC train service as a result of severe revenue shortfalls, the O’Malley administration announced today.

Was it only last year that MARC were talking about introducing weekend services

Its a shame that MTA doesn’t really understand how to build a sustainable public transit system. They have all the right bits, MARC, MTA Buses, Light Rail but they don’t link well together.

I wish that the DC/VA/MD Olympics bid had been come reality as it would have enabled the DC Baltimore area to build a high speed rail link between the cities. I have seen the benefit of linking major cities with frequent high speed rail and there is no reason why DC and Baltimore couldn’t see similar gains from such a service.

Looking for a new commute

Monday, October 27th, 2008

While working in DC I was able to to put my bike on the 980 bus in Herndon and then bike from West Falls Church to DC. While traveling in China last month my contract came to an unexpected screeching halt. So I now find my self looking for a new job and as a byproduct a new commute.

The Strongest contender at the moment is in Tysons Corner, but they don’t have shower facilities which will officially suck in the summer.

So now I am looking for the best way to get there by bike. My first thought was W&OD trail from Herndon to Gallows Road, then up Gallows to International Drive. Another option might be to hit 123 north. On looking at the Fairfax bike map more closely I came up with a third plan but I don’t really know the roads so not sure if there are any gotchas that I am missing.

Also if anyone has any leads on shower facilities near Tyson’s Mall please let me know, I checked with fitness first, but they don’t offer a shower and locker only plan.

Fairfax Connector Union to go on strike

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The union representing employees of the Fairfax Connector bus system voted last night to strike today, meaning that service will be sharply reduced in south Fairfax County, a spokesman for the county said.

Affected bus routes include those serving the Huntington, Franconia-Springfield, Pentagon, Van Dorn Street and Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro stations, Burke Centre VRE, and VRE EZ-Bus. The route numbers of buses that will run hourly are: 101, 151, 152, 171, 310, 321, 322 and 401.

In addition, the following routes will not run today: 161, 162, 231, 232, 301, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 331, 332, 380 and VRE EzBus North and South.

Fairfax Connector bus service in north Fairfax County (Routes 402-980 and all RIBS) is not affected, the Connector said. More information may be available on the Connector Web site.