The County Council debated Rapid Transit Systems the other day, and there appears to be two different points of view on Bus Rapid Transit.
According to Bethesda Beat, Mark Elrich said, “And here we are, seven years since I put this thing on paper and Virginia is rolling out BRT lines and we’re at planning. I think we need to see some kind of urgency because people are going to eat our lunch if we do not provide transit. If we cannot be competitive and move people, we’ll get killed.” Taking a different point of view, Hans Riemer suggested that the pilot projects suggested by the County executive could enable the county to “have a limited-stop system operating in 2016.”
A fast, efficient, reliable BRT is part of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan. I’d argue it is an essential component of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan. But if it’s not done right, if it becomes regular bus service with pretty new buses that’s just a bit better than Ride-On, the needs of the residents and businesses in the Pike District will not be served.
What are your thoughts? Is some Rapid Transit better than none or will only true Bus Rapid Transit meet our needs? Do buses need dedicated lanes or will the ability to change traffic signals be sufficient? What do you think is the right answer for transit and rapid transit in the White Flint 1 and 2 sectors?