News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Buspocalypse Now: RA Writes Letter Protesting Reston Bus Cuts

151776-Broken-Down-Bus--The-PUSH-0.jpg.jpegThe Reston Association has sent the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors a letter criticizing the proposed cuts to most Fairfax Connector service in Reston, suggesting fee hikes and reduced service as an alternative.

Sadly, the RA didn't make fun of the proposed Particleboard Beltway, which, to be fair, is the awesome idea from the brilliant minds at the airport authority, not the county. Instead, in the letter, RA President Robin Smyers makes the same point we've made before: that cutting mass transit in areas slated for higher density goes against the purpose for the higher density in the first place.

The Reston community has been working closely with the County in preparing for the advent of rail to the Dulles Corridor and associated transit-oriented development at three stations – Wiehle Avenue, Reston Town Center, and Herndon/Monroe. As you are aware, building bus ridership before, during and after construction of rail is essential to the success of the transit-oriented, urban commerce centers planned throughout the Dulles Corridor, and to the overall mass transit system of Fairfax County. The upward momentum in bus ridership that has been achieved over the years may be severely thwarted by cutbacks that would inherently limit commuters’ choices and ability to meet their travel needs. Once this momentum is lost, it may take years to rebuild. Efficient and effective bus service is essential to Fairfax County being able to accommodate burgeoning growth in travel demands in the future, particularly in communities such as Reston.
Rather than eliminate routes outright, the RA is recommending that rates go up, frequency go down, and that fees be instituted at the park and ride lots to help keep the buses rolling.

Meanwhile, the Save Our Buses group continues collecting signatures on a petition it hopes to present to the Board of Supervisors later this week. Obviously, they'll have to drive it over there.

7 comments:

  1. I'll say it: Good for Smyers. Exactly right.

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  2. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonApril 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Whether you actually ride the threatened bus lines or not, if you live in Reston I'd suggest you give serious consideration to signing the petition to save them, because their elimination will affect every single one of us living here. We all know how bad traffic congestion is right now (took my wife 30 minutes yesterday to get from North Point to Lawyers Road in p.m. rush hour). Eliminating the neighborhood buses will initially add at least several hundred more cars to roads like Wiehle and Reston Parkway as commuters will now have to drive to park & ride lots, assuming they haven't given up on the buses entirely. And if the buses from the park & rides become so full that people have to wait in line for the next one, it will mean more people turning to their cars instead.

    I'm not sure what impact the petition to save the buses will have -- there are 505 signatures as I write this (an ironic number in a way, given that 505 is also the route number of one of the few buses that will remain in Reston) -- but I'd like to think that the massive number of signatures on the Save Browns Chapel petition helped sway that decision. You can find the petition to save the buses at:

    http://www.gopetition.com/online/34495.html

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  3. I know that most people are at work in the afternoon or taking care of the kids, but there's a BoS Planning meeting at 3 pm today. If you want to get your voice heard on this issue, you may have the opportunity.

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  4. I think it sounds good BUT the missing ingredient is the actual cost of operating the system. I heard once a few years back that actual cost of operating the metro was around six dollars per ride. What if the bus is higher? Could you really operate a bus line if the cost is way up there? Could Robin find out?

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  5. Once again, the RA is illegally exceeding its authority!

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  6. 12:57

    No, they're actually fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to each of their RA members.

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  7. Gee, that's pretty much what I said at the March 1 Meeting and Fairfax denied that a majority of cuts were in Reston. What a pants load. Just increase the cost and keep it running. Pretty poor management in FF. RA should be much more vocal. Perhaps our dues would be better spent on legal action against the county than funding a tepid lake that someone uses to cool their home.

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