Friends of White Flint

Promoting a Sustainable, Walkable and Engaging Community

P.O. Box 2761

White Flint Station

Kensington, MD 20891

Phone: 301-980-3768

Email: info@whiteflint.org


Bus vs Train

Posted on by Amy Ginsburg

3 Comments

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A common belief is that sophisticated Montgomery County residents won’t take a bus. Sure, they’ll take metro downtown, but Bus Rapid Transit? Many think it’ll never happen.

According to this article on City Lab, the reality is different than the prevailing assumptions. One study showed that quality of service matters most, not the type of transport. Great service on a Rapid Transit System with a dedicated lane will attract riders.  Another study demonstrated that when you ask people what features they prefer in a transportation system, light rail exhibits no advantage over BRT.

What does this mean? If the Montgomery County Rapid Transit System offers fast, attractive, reliable service, people will use it  Of course, smart marketing will also be critical, but heck, if marketers can make kale a desirable veggie, they can certainly sell the many benefits of a sleek, modern, bus-centered transit system.

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3 Responses to Bus vs Train

Ms. Miller says: February 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm

This raises some interesting questions:

(1) How will this bus system be any different than what ride on or metro currently offer?
(2) Will price point be lower than the other transportation offerings?
(3) How will a pedestrian be able to get to the medians of the highways (right now it is kind of dangerous to walk across Rockville Pike or Old Georgetown?
(4) What stops would this bus system compared to ride on and metro?
(5) How much would the citizens of Mo Co be subsidizing in taxes in order to offer this system?
(6) Would the various jurisdictions take more responsibility shoveling the sidewalks? (For example, I notice neighbors do their part shoveling the intersections they are in charge of—However, cities are abysmal in shoveling the areas that gov’t is in charge of)

Ms. Miller says: February 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Corrected a couple of typos—

(1) How will this bus system be any different than what ride on or metro currently offer?
(2) Will the price point be lower than the other transportation offerings?
(3) How will a pedestrian be able to get to the medians of the highways (right now it is kind of dangerous to walk across Rockville Pike or Old Georgetown?
(4) What stops would this bus/train system have compared to ride on and metro?
(5) How much would the citizens of Mo Co be subsidizing in taxes in order to offer this system?
(6) Would the various jurisdictions take more responsibility shoveling the sidewalks? (For example, I notice neighbors do their part shoveling the sidewalks they are in charge of—However, cities are abysmal in shoveling the areas that gov’t is in charge of?—thinking of the intersection that is perpendicular—and, maybe, two blocks from Whole Foods—It is near the opening of a forested walkway. Because of the trees, this sidewalk is very dangerous and needs to be hand shoveled as well as have a safer pedestrian crossing).

Amy Ginsburg says: March 1, 2015 at 8:41 am

Thanks for writing! Here are some answers to your questions.
1) The biggest difference from the current bus system is that it will ride on dedicated lanes so it will be able to whiz through traffic.
2) I have no idea, nor does anyone at this point, what riding the system will cost.
3) Walkability is the top priority for the Pike District, so pedestrians will absolutely be able to easily and safely cross the road, even with Rapdi Transit.
4) The stops haven’t been planned yet.
5) I don’t think anyone knows yet exactly how taxes and fare would work to pay for the system. There’s not a transit or road system in the county or country that taxes don’t subsidize already, though.
6) We’ve actually talked with various property owners and the County this past week about the snow removal so hopefully you’ll see improvement. Also, you’re right that safe sidewalks are critical!
Amy Ginsburg, Executive Director