If Friends of White Flint had a nickel for every time we’ve heard “People will never ride Bus Rapid Transit,” we’d never have to fundraise again. But fortunately for the White Flint area, the facts contradict this belief.
In Alexandria, ridership of their Metroway Bus Rapid Transit is consistently 15 to 20 percent higher than projections for initial ridership, even with the recent cold weather.
According to a U.S. Department of Transportation report, BRT systems are extremely effective in increasing transit ridership levels. In Las Vegas, the MAX system is responsible for at least a 35 to 40% increase in ridership along its corridor of operation. The Boston based MBTA route experienced a whopping 66% increase in ridership by switching their limited routes to BRT lines. In Los Angeles, 32 % of their Rapid Transit System trips came directly from new transit travel, indicating that their services attract a large number of “choice” riders.
All this means there is no reason to think that a Rapid Transit System along Route 355 wouldn’t be equally successful in the Pike District.