Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How About NOW For That BRT?

We've heard a lot about 'Bus Rapid Transit', the perennial gimmick of the transit-impoverished. Could there be a better time to make the central principles work than in a civic snowstorm emergency? Give the buses space to work in. Clear the streets of other traffic.

Reports from Monday's commute in Seattle show 3-4 hours commutes on the bus. This is wrong. Some thoroughfares should be kept open for buses only- doubling their speed, which in this case would be the very achievable increase from 3 MPH to 6 MPH, effectively doubles the number of buses available to passengers. Every rider is one potential stalled car that's not on the road.

This would send the strongest possible signal to improve productivity, because people could come to work in a snow emergency. As matters stand now, workers are being advised to stay at home. Nobody wants to do that, it just happens because we do not have an all-weather transportation system.

When it snows, convert some streets to handle fleets of buses, traveling faster than a man can walk, carrying people to and from the business of the city. It just might work.

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