Bus-Only Lanes Needed During Safetrack Closings
Press release issued June 3, 2016
The Action Committee for Transit today called on local transportation departments to establish bus-only lanes whenever buses replace closed rail lines during the upcoming Metrorail maintenance surge. Bus-only lanes, ACT said, will ensure that these "bus bridges" will work as efficiently as possible to replicate Metrorail service. This will help keep Metrorail riders on public transit rather than adding more cars to the roads.
"Our region's roads are already congested," said ACT president Ronit Aviva Dancis. "They will get significantly worse when Metro's Safetrack maintenance surge reduces the number of rail commuters."
The area's transportation departments are putting too much faith in telecommuting, Dancis said. She pointed out that workers who skipped work or telecommuted during Metrorail's one-day shutdown on March 16 will rarely be able to do the same for weeks-long Safetrack shutdowns. And for many workers, ranging from surgeons and plumbers to security guards and waiters, telecommuting is simply not an option.
Bus-only lanes on the bus bridges should supplement, not replace, bus-only lanes on all bus routes which can be used by rail riders as alternatives.
"Our region depends on Metro to keep moving," Dancis said. "We applaud WMATA's determination to take all necessary measures to make sure our transportation system works properly. Now it is time for local area transportation officials to do the same by providing bus-only lanes during Safetrack."