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A Rapid Transit Solution to Traffic

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My name is Lindsay Hoffman and I live in the Randolph Hills neighborhood outside of White Flint. I live with my family, I have two little boys. Getting around Montgomery County, we don't have many choices beyond using our car. It can take me ten minutes, or it can take me a half an hour. That's usually the range. I live near White Oak And it often takes me 40 minutes to drive to downtown Silver Spring during rush hour. White Oak to Rockville every day, and it turned out to be a 2 1/2 hour commute one way, if the buses were on time. Which makes it tough when you're trying to relieve the babysitter or make it up to the office for a meeting. We would have a 21% population growth by 2040, 39% growth in employment, but a 70% growth in congestion. For the last 50 years, we've planned for more and more cars and more and more sprawling development going out in every direction. And we've reached a dead end with that, so the challenge now, and the exciting thing is, to figure out how we can plan for the future. People describe it as a train without the tracks it's a way to provide fast, reliable bus service using dedicated lanes, fare machines outside the bus so you can pay your fare before boarding, the stops are often farther apart, 1/2 mile or a mile apart, so the bus doesn't have to stop as often All of these things ensure a faster, more reliable ride for everybody Existing local bus service is hung up in traffic with the same lanes in slow speeds Bus Rapid Transit is meant to provide a much faster, more reliable service that isn't hung up in congestion. And the system that's proposed for Montgomery County is a 79 mile, 10 route network it goes all over the county it serves the county's major employment centers, it serves residential neighborhoods, it serves the places where we go to hang out, eat, and spend time with our friends and family. Really it's a way that we can bring everyone in the county closer together. One of the advantages of this is what we call level boarding so that there are no steps to board This should be a great boon for older adults and for people with disabilities who live close to these areas where the lines will be to have access to other parts of the county. When I saw the proposed BRT transit system, I was really excited because it went through the major routes that I took to get to Montgomery College and I didn't have parents that could buy me a car, I just didn't have any other option, so I had to take the bus. It's expensive to run a car, to pay for gas, to pay for maintenance but that money could go to other things, like food or having fun with my friends and family but instead I spend it on my car Transportation is a huge part of the contribution to greenhouse gases, but also can be a huge part of solving the problem of climate change. When you have 40 or 50 people in a Rapid Transit vehicle, their carbon emissions per person are much lower than if you had 40-50 people driving 40-50 cars. I think that Rapid Transit is our best option. It's flexible, it is the least expensive of the options, and it can provide frequent, reliable service. It would be nice to have that extra option for getting around, to not have to buckle the kids up in their car seats and go to one shopping center, and then buckle them into their car seats and take them to another shopping center. it'd be nice to hop on a Rapid Transit vehicle. It's going to be easier and cheaper than widening all the roads and building more highways. I honestly think the system is going to be a win-win for everyone in Montgomery County, provided we have the will to do it.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Coalition for Smarter Growth
Views: 51
Posted by: kellyblynn on Dec 11, 2013

Montgomery County, MD, just outside of Washington, DC, has proposed a 10-corridor bus rapid transit system to relieve congestion and increase transit access to county residents. Why does Montgomery County need a Rapid Transit System? What would it look like? Why now?
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