Transportation planners talk about mode share, trip mitigation, and relative arterial mobility all displayed in charts and graphs. But there is a human element to using transit. Why would you shower, dress, and walk down the hill to stand here while your neighbors whip past in their BMWs, warm, dry, singing along to Norah Jones, and a swigging a latte?
Montgomery County has a great local bus system, the Ride Ons, which course through neighborhoods connecting to central business districts, Metro, and regional buses. They are clean, relatively prompt, and reasonably priced. Seniors and students get a price break, increasing access, and some of the fleet is running on compressed natural gas, encouraging good green behavior.
But in a County that is consistently measured as one of the country’s wealthiest, our bus stops are not that great and perhaps it’s because we are so wealthy. We drive to work while the buses are reserved for our kids and their babysitters.
But we also have some gumption. Communities around the County have, independently of MCDOT, tried to make bus stops more welcoming.