Tuesday, September 9, 2008

local bus service

At the RAFOM meeting this Monday, county officials discussed Arlington transportation issues. County Board Member Chris Zimmerman noted the growing importance of public transportation in Arlington. The DC-area metro system is the second-largest system in the country. Arlington also has its own bus service, Arlington Transit (ART), that is becoming increasingly important. In FY 1998, its first year of operation, ART had 2 routes and carried about 120,000 passengers. In FY 2008, ART had 11 routes and carried 1.2 million passengers. So total passengers on ART has grown by a factor of ten in ten years.

A few ART points of note:

  1. ART is getting 12 new 35-foot low-floor buses. These will be more durable, will have greater passenger capacity, and will offer passengers a more comfortable ride.
  2. Construction of Central Place across from the Rosslyn Metro will require relocating some bus stops on N. Moore St., which will be turned into a one-way street.
  3. ART routes 61a and 61b, which have a bus stop across from the Quarterdeck (N. Queen & 12th St), have low ridership on Saturdays. On average, only 40 persons are carried in total during the Sat. 8am to 4pm route operation (bus every 20 minutes, total of 24 trips). Given that the bus service costs about $75 per hour to run, that's not economical. ART is looking for ways to either attract more riders or streamline this service.
If you didn't know about ART route 61 Saturday service, which is our local neighborhood bus service, now you do. If you have ideas on how to the make the Saturday service more attractive, contact ART.

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