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Metrobus crowding

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  • ecronen
    I get as frustrated as anyone when lurching down Columbia Road in fits and starts on an over-crowded 42 bus as new riders try to cram their way in and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2006
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      I get as frustrated as anyone when lurching down Columbia Road in fits
      and starts on an over-crowded 42 bus as new riders try to cram their
      way in and departing passengers try to fight their way out. It's not
      a model of efficiency.

      I've seen a technique used on another transit system that may work
      here in DC *without* completely upending the existing route maps or
      stop-locations. When I rode Tri-Met buses in Portland, OR the driver
      of a filled-to-capacity bus would flip a switch and the illuminated
      sign above the bus's windshield would say "Arrivals Only." For the
      next few stops, the bus would halt only to let passengers out. When
      the inside-the-bus population thinned out, they'd flip the sign back
      and the regular system would resume. What happened to the (sometimes
      annoyed) people waiting at the stop (often in the rain...it *was*
      Portland)? They'd be picked up by then next bus, one that usually
      didn't take too long to arrive: the "arrivals only" method usually was
      used on frequent-run routes.

      It seemed like this method increased the likelihood that the *next*
      bus would be on-time and not stuffed to the gills, for it kept *all*
      the buses moving along their routes. How many times have you waited
      in line, watching people try to wedge themselves into the first stufed
      bus that pulls up, only to see a near-empy bus pull right up behind
      it? Get on that empty bus and what happens? It's stuck behind the
      unreasonably crowded one at every single stop for the rest of the
      route. See? Switch that first one to arrivals-only and it's smooth
      sailing.
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