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Route 1 BRT Will Be Called 'Metro Way'

Blue buses will utilize bus-only lanes connecting Crystal City and Potomac Yard.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will call the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway “Metro Way” and the vehicles utilizing the region’s first network of bus-only lanes will get a blue color scheme, according to Greater Greater Washington.

A public survey posted in March was used to help WMATA determined the branding and color scheme.

The Route 1 BRT will ultimately connect Braddock Road and Crystal City Metro stations, with a future extension to Pentagon City. Construction began in July 2012. Metro Way is expected to open for service in Spring 2014.

The MetroBus 9S route will utilize the transitway, as will a new 9X route. The buses will run every six minutes during rush hour and every 12 to 15 minutes during off-peak hours.

In June 2012, Alexandria and Arlington County reached an agreement to potentially bring streetcars to the Arlington section of the transitway by 2019 and the Alexandria section by 2021.

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jens-va May 13, 2013 at 02:37 AM
But then how will the Potomac Yard Metro station fit into this transit plan?
Drew Hansen (Editor) May 13, 2013 at 02:57 AM
The BRT will have a stop near the Potomac Yard Metro station, if the station is approved. Planners have yet to decide where the PY Metro station will be located. As it stands, the BRT route will cut between Route 1 and Potomac Avenue on E. Glebe Road in mixed traffic, presumably to link up near the Potomac Yard Metro stop before continuing north into Crystal City.
Dave May 13, 2013 at 01:05 PM
I'd like to examine actual data that suggests this is a good idea because, intuitively, this short bus-only lane (or a street car) appears to be a complete waste of money.
Drew Hansen (Editor) May 13, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Thanks for the comment, Dave. This is an interesting article from earlier this year about some BRT's that haven't succeeded: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/03/limits-bus-rapid-transit-cape-town-case-study/4968/
B DelRay May 13, 2013 at 06:03 PM
I totally agree and have been saying the same thing all along - the BRT is a waste of money. IMHO, this was a shovel-ready project that sounded nice (at least to some people - or why are they doing it all), but I don't see it changing the travel habits of Alexandrians. And now they are spending money on new bus color schemes.... The other article on BRTs was interesting and one key takeaway is "officials need to show greater sensitivity to city-specific context rather than chasing a technological ideal." In a well thought out scheme a BRT might make sense, but the Alexandria BRT will only have dedicated lanes for less than a mile and will be stuck in rush hour traffic for much of its route. Other buses and metro covers the same territory already and I don't see the new residents of $800k Potomac Yards townhomes taking the bus.
GeorgiaP May 14, 2013 at 08:21 PM
In response to B DelRay: 1. I too have trouble seeing the benefit of this system to the residents of Alexandria - I cannot grasp how a route that short will be a benefit, especially if a metro stop is built in Potomac Yard. 2. I doubt it will cut down on the traffic on route 1 as the congestion typically occurs in Crystal City (beginning right before the McDonalds and continuing until the split between 395 and 110). 3. I'm not quite sure why the price of the homes in Potomac Yard is an issue here - the homes in DelRay are just as expensive, if not more so. 4. I live in Potomac Yard and if any form of public transport could get me to my job in the same amount of time as driving, I would in fact take it. I'd much rather read a book during my commute than spend it getting pissed off at the driving skills of others.
B DelRay May 14, 2013 at 08:45 PM
To GeorgiaP - I think we are in agreement. The only reason I raised the issue of home prices in Potomac Yard (FWIW others have raised this same issue) is that part of the rationale for the BRT in the first place is that it is "supposed" to ease the congestion resulting from all of the new high density PY development. There isn't much new development in Del Ray and it is much less dense (regardless of price). The BRT is also "supposed" to encourage people to give up their cars and take public transportation - but taking the bus to the Metro is both time consuming, costly and an inconvenience, whereas driving is easier. Statistically, home prices are higher near Metro stops, but I've also read that owners of more expensive housing near Metro are also less likely to take the Metro - sort of a paradox - people pay more to be near the Metro, but then they don't take it. I would imagine that even fewer middle to higher income people take the bus.

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