Archive for January, 2011

Fort Totten Real-Time Parking Pilot

January 21st, 2011 3 comments

Embedded sensor, currently being tested at Fort Totten Kiss and Ride hourly metered parking spaces.

Embedded sensor, currently being tested at Fort Totten Kiss and Ride metered parking spaces.

One of the challenges Metro faces is how to best support Parking customers. Good data on parking space utilization at metered Kiss and Ride spaces can be hard to come by and finding a metered parking space at many stations can involve guesswork. To address this lack of space availability information, Metro is beginning a 1-year pilot of sensors in parking spaces at the Fort Totten Metro Kiss and Ride parking lot to capture data on space availability and usage and to facilitate payment. These battery-powered sensors will be mounted flush with the pavement in each parking space, and communicate information on availability and usage. These space sensors will last 5-7 years on their internal batteries, and provide nearly real-time information. Read more…

How to Access Secure “Bike Garage” at College Park?

January 18th, 2011 29 comments

Portland TriMet's secure bike parking facility at Sunset Transit Center

Secure bike parking at TriMet Sunset Transit Center. Image from TriMet, click for original context.

Metro would like to pilot a secure bicycle parking facility at College Park station, and we want your feedback on some of the particulars related to its operation – namely, how bicyclists should access this “bike garage,” and what it should cost. We want this pilot project to teach us the ins-and-outs for building more similar facilities in the future.

Why are you building secure bike parking? Because we want you to feel safe leaving your bike at a Metro station, and sometimes our existing racks and lockers aren’t sufficient. This is a top request from our riders – since bikes are not allowed on-board trains at busy times, you need a safe place to leave your bike.  Also, bike parking is a very cost-effective way for us to give you access to the station, especially compared to the cost of auto parking. Read more…

Categories: Planning Studies Tags: ,

New Bicycle Section on Metro website

January 14th, 2011 3 comments

Metro’s website has a new Bike and Ride section! The rules haven’t changed, but we’ve tried to make our policy about bicycles on Metrorail and Metrobus more clear, and to put the most frequently-requested items on the main page. Hopefully this will reduce confusion and encourage bicyclists! All the nitty-gritty details about bikes and transit are still there, of course.

What do you think of the changes? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories: Planning Studies Tags: ,

Bus Guidelines Phase 1: Consolidated Bus Stops

January 14th, 2011 3 comments

As described in a previous post, Metro has recently completed the first phase of implementing the new bus stop design and placement guidelines.  This first phase included consolidating bus stops along four routes in the District of Columbia.  As noted before, these routes were chosen because they have the highest number of stops per mile within the Metrobus system.

Below is a complete listing of the bus stops that were removed.  As suggested before, please let us know in the comments of other corridors or segments of bus routes that you feel have stops too often. Read more…

Categories: Planning Studies Tags: ,

TAG Meeting #5: Analysis of New Rail Lines, Enhanced Surface Transit and Walkability Strategies

January 13th, 2011 5 comments

October 21, 2010

In the fall, we continued to provide the TAG with model results of several strategies designed to support the goals of increasing core capacity, providing adequate access and enhancing surface transit.  The model results of these strategies highlight the myriad methods that can be employed to meet the goals of the RTSP and their varied impacts, ranging from moderate to significant.

TAG Meeting 05 – October 21 2010 FINAL (PDF, 3.86MB)

Implementation of the Current Long Range Plan

January 6th, 2011 5 comments

Metro’s Transit Service Expansion Plan (TSEP) of 1999 is comprised of four major elements that form the backbone of a regional transit system. This post is intended to highlight the status of projects implemented under the two elements of the plan that call for expansion of the region’s fixed-guideway transit system.  The first involves selectively adding stations, entrances, and station capacity to the existing Metrorail system.  Specifically, the plan calls for two new stations, four new station entrances, and expansion of station capacity at four existing stations.  The second element of the Metro’s current plan that emphasizes system expansion focuses on the expansion of fixed-guideway systems – whether the mode is Metrorail, light-rail (LRT), other rail technology or busways.  The areas served by this element of the plan are illustrated on the map shown.  Under this element, the goal is to provide for at least 50-percent expansion of the region’s fixed guideway systems over the 25-year planning horizon.  Below are two tables that outline the status of the station and fixed-guideway projects in the plan.

How would you rate the implementation of the system expansion elements of the 1999 plan?  Do you think the region is on-track to reach the goal to provide for at least 50-percent expansion of the region’s fixed guideway systems set in the 1999 plan?  More importantly, do the projects that are yet to be completed represent the best ones to expand the region’s transit infrastructure over the next 15 or more years?

Read more…

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Metrobus Bus Stop Consolidation Program

January 3rd, 2011 6 comments

As bus service providers, we must wrestle with often-conflicting goals: providing fast, yet accessible, bus service.   Our customers expect that once they are on the bus, the service will be fast and reliable, but that when they want to board the bus, a stop will be as close to their origin or destination as possible.

Metro often receives complaints that our buses stop every block, making travel times slow.  And with stops on virtually every block, it is difficult for our schedulers to accurately determine how often the bus will stop, making the establishment of time points for accurate scheduling more art than science.

However, most times when we propose to remove an underused or poorly placed stop, the few people using the stop will mobilize, often lobbying their elected officials to have it reinstalled.  Everyone wants faster service; they just don’t want it at the expense of their stop.

Read more…

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