Greater Greater Washington

Is Falls Church going in circles on transit?

Falls Church will discuss the possibility of building a streetcar on Tuesday. But this same city recently canceled its bus service, GEORGE, for lack of ridership. Why would a streetcar succeed where the bus failed?


GEORGE routes. Image from City of Falls Church.

City leaders now seem ready to up the ante on transit without facing the lessons of GEORGE. It didn't fail because Falls Church doesn't need transit; rather, its routing didn't efficiently serve the areas where the most likely riders live or work. Nor are city leaders willing to focus more development in those areas to build the ridership to support transit.

Falls Church ran the GEORGE bus from 2002-2010 in two long loops anchored at the East and West Falls Church Metro stations (neither of which is actually located within the boundaries of Falls Church). The winding paths looked more like scenic tour bus paths than quick transit routes.

For example, GEORGE riders rightly wondered why the trip from EFC to the State Theateronly a 15 minute walkinvolved a leisurely 14-minute loop through Falls Church neighborhoods. This was GEORGE's fatal flaw. Its routes were designed to serve political purposes.

GEORGE wasn't primarily designed to get the most commuters to Metro as fast as possible or to deliver customers to downtown businesses. Instead, it meandered down the streets of as many Falls Church homeowners as possible to convince them their tax dollars were being well spent, whether or not those streets wanted or needed transit.

One omission is particularly revealing. During peak hours, the EFC loop didn't go all the way to Wilson Boulevard, instead turning right on the residential road of Roosevelt Street. That forced an extra walk to the retail shops at Eden Center and the large apartment and condo buildings of The Madison and Roosevelt Towers, whose patrons and residents were GEORGE's ideal customers.

By targeting low-density, car-reliant neighborhoods, GEORGE was also competing against Falls Church's heavily-subsidized incentives to drive. Falls Church and its neighbors have made big investments of land and infrastructure to provide taxpayer-underwritten parking at both EFC and WFC. Why wait for and pay for the bus if there's free or discount parking waiting at the Metro stop?

Rather than facing up to GEORGE's issues and seeking to streamline service, city leaders pulled the plug.

"Nobody did the market research to see if it was viable," Charles Langalis, a member of the city's Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation told TBD last year. "It was recommended that the city go to work on a marketing plan, some promotional work for GEORGE, but that never materialized, either."

Now with neighboring Arlington moving forward with plans to build a streetcar down Columbia Pike, a discussion on Tuesday will ask whether Falls Church should make a similar move:

The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters of Falls Church will co-sponsor a luncheon discussion Tuesday November 15 on proposals for developing trolley-car transportation in the city. The event will occur from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Italian Café, 7161 Lee Highway.

Panelists will include Steven Del Giudice, chief of the Arlington County Transportation Transit Bureau, Falls Church Vice Mayor David Snyder and former Falls Church City Council Member Dan Maller. Panelists will review basic information about trolley plans as well as routing options and potential benefits to the city.

Even though they're neighbors who even share a court system, Arlington and Falls Church couldn't be more different when it comes to development and transportation choices. Arlington's population has grown 36% since 1980 by focusing dense residential development around transit, and several new developments have already sprung up down Columbia Pike in advance of the streetcar.

But Falls Church's firm opposition to development has limited its population growth to just 18% since 1980. Even near its neighboring Metro stations, single-family homes and low buildings with large surface parking lots remain the dominant features. On Broad Street downtown, apartments are rare and one-floor retail dominates. Exactly where is there enough density for a trolley?

And even if new density were to spring up tomorrow, would Falls Church's single-family homeowners be willing to let their leaders invest tax dollars to help apartment and condo dwellers? After all, if Falls Church residents would rather sit alone in their cars, angry that traffic remains so bad but happy their tax dollars aren't being wasted on that stupid bus anymore, how are those same people going to be convinced to back a more expensive trolley?

It's loopy.

Miles Grant grew up in Boston riding the Green Line, and has lived in Northern Virginia riding the Orange Line since 2002. Also blogging at The Green Miles, he believes enhancing smart growth makes the DC area not just more environmentally sustainable, but a healthier and more vibrant place to live, work and play. 

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traffic on broad st is already horrendous at rush hour, I couldn't imagine room existing for a trolley. Restoring bus service might make more sense, but I can't believe GEORGE was so badly planned. They didn't even connect the two metro stations! There needs to be much more development along the corridor between seven corners and west falls church before anything like a trolley is even conceivable. I'd much rather have wider sidewalks and more storefront development.

by americancyclo on Nov 14, 2011 11:32 am • linkreport

Not that I would expect you to delve into the transportation planning literature, but you could consider writings on intra-community transit and transit planning, such as mine, and determine whether or not the context for Falls Church is relevant.

I have written about this issue before.

- http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2009/04/earth-day-and-intra-neighborhood.html

It's possible a streetcar would make sense, if GMU were part of the question. But how many of GMU's students are commuters and can their transportation modes be significantly switched to transit?

ANyway, Falls Church evidently needs a transportation plan too.

- http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-case-for-intra-city-vs-inter.html

- http://www.scribd.com/doc/34657145/Metropolitan-Transit-Planning-Towards-a-Hierarchical-and-Conceptual-Framework

by Richard Layman on Nov 14, 2011 11:56 am • linkreport

I like how both GEORGE routes seem to try to maximize the number of left turns required. It's like they hired NASCAR drivers or something.

by Michael Perkins on Nov 14, 2011 11:57 am • linkreport

You got layman'd!

by anon on Nov 14, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2011/11/07/29221/

... of interest

by Richard Layman on Nov 14, 2011 12:20 pm • linkreport

"Traffic is bad, therefore we cannot add transit"

I think we have a contender for the GGW Annual "missing the point" award.

I always thought that you'd attract a fair number of riders simply by running a circulator/BRT-type service straight up and down Rt 7. Start at Tyson's, end at King St, and don't stop at more than a dozen stops along that route. Keep enough throughput for a bus every 10-15 minutes at all hours.

Yes, this means that it doesn't stop directly at either Falls Church Metro. I'd propose an additional small unscheduled shuttle bus service that continuously runs people from either Falls Church Metro out to Rt 7 and back. I think that such service could be very useful in its own right, even for people not connecting to the previously-described Rt 7 Circulator. Both Falls Church stations are far too isolated from the Route 7 businesses and residences.

There's certainly enough traffic along that corridor to support 4 buses an hour. I know *many* people who live in this area who would *love* more transit service, but find the current situation unacceptable due to incredibly long headways and/or multiple confusing and overlapping routes.

by andrew on Nov 14, 2011 12:45 pm • linkreport

I'm not sure it's fair to characterize Falls Church as being firmly opposed to new development. There's been quite a lot of infill in recent years between Washington Street and West Street, at a scale very similar to what Arlington is doing along Columbia Pike.

George's circuitous route was a big problem, but in 30 years we'll be talking about Falls Church as a smart growth success story.

by BeyondDC on Nov 14, 2011 12:48 pm • linkreport

BeyondDC is correct that the city has approved a lot of dense (for Falls Church) and pedestrian-oriented development, not just on W. Broad, but also near the East Falls Church station and on S. Maple, where the duckpin alley used to be.

It's true that sensible intra-city transit is a missing piece, but to attribute that to anti-development policies is puzzling.

I don't live in Falls Church, so I don't have any insights into what explains this incongruity. But I don't sense that your Falls Church correspondent does either. Reading his posts makes me feel I know less, not more.

He seems interested in opining without first doing any homework, and I don't find that to be terribly constructive.

by c5karl on Nov 14, 2011 1:17 pm • linkreport

I live in Falls Church and would LOVE improved transit planning in that area. I'm 1.3 miles from the metro -- kind of a hike if I'm trying to get to my destination without getting all sweaty. The closest bus stop to my house that goes to a metro station is about .5 miles away. It takes a while to get to the metro station and, as I look it up now, another bus isn't scheduled to get there for 70 minutes. If I actually worked in DC, I'm not sure I could live where I live now. The parking lot fills up early, so the only reasonable option is biking.

Interestingly enough, WMATA reported that the East Falls Church metro station has the highest number of bike to train commuters in the system. I suspect many of those bikers would gladly take transit, especially in the winter or on rainy days if given a good option.

by Sarah on Nov 14, 2011 1:19 pm • linkreport

The political tone of Falls Church will change as a result of last week's referendum vote to hold city elections in November. The current council is skeptical of the Broad Street development promoted by its predecessors. With more voters, a more favorable attitude is likely to return.

by Ben Ross on Nov 14, 2011 1:27 pm • linkreport

Not that I would expect you to delve into the transportation planning literature, but you could consider writings on intra-community transit and transit planning, such as mine

Richard Layman is the most self-promotional person I've ever seen on this board. Other commentors can come and add some thoughts without trying to pat themselves on the back for some input (that no one ever paid attention to) every other paragraph.

by down on Nov 14, 2011 1:32 pm • linkreport

I chose to live in E Falls Church, Arlington Co, because it was easier to get to the metro station, instead of living in Falls Church city when I moved there in 2009 from MoCo. Even though a place in F.C. was larger for less money, I thought about the pain of getting to EFC station every day using GEORGE's dysfunction. I couldn't be happier with my decision to not live in F.C. -- it would be nice if they re-designed GEORGE to make it useful instead of tearing up Route 7 to put tracks in.

by Matt Glazewski on Nov 14, 2011 2:42 pm • linkreport

I'm in Fairfax county, but just over the line. We chose our house becuase it is next to the W&OD and less than a mile from WFC Metro. My wife works in the city itself and I bike in to DC, or bike to metro whenever I can. I dread any car trips on weekdays between 5 and 7pm. We had a recurring meeting at 7pm on King St a while back, and traffic was a complete gong show. I'd be curious as to how much traffic is due to residents of the surrounding area, and how much is heading out towards tysons and 237. We might be able to get people out of their cars with transit, but would a system within the city of falls church be enough? I believe the car traffic is mostly passing through, but I don't have any hard facts. anyone have data on that?

by americancyclo on Nov 14, 2011 3:02 pm • linkreport

Sidepoint: who wrote this article? There isn't an author listed.

by Froggie on Nov 14, 2011 4:22 pm • linkreport

@Froggie:
Miles Grant is the author. I've fixed the byline. I'm not sure why that disappeared. Might be a site glitch. We'll look into it. Thanks for alerting us to the problem.

by Matt Johnson on Nov 14, 2011 4:31 pm • linkreport

This is what the slow death of the suburban experiment looks like. These municipalities know that they need to change in order to stay competitive in the decades to come, but old habits die hard. So there's a lot of flailing that goes on.

Looking forward to a streetcar plan, followed by a sharply curtailed streetcar plan, followed by a bus that's painted to look like a streetcar that runs from 9pm to 4:30pm every weekday.

by oboe on Nov 14, 2011 5:16 pm • linkreport

Interesting take. I am planning on writing a blog entry sometime this week maybe about how the suburbs, at least the ones focused on the future, are changing. Esp. e.g., the Mosaic District in Merrifield. I was talking to a restauranteur who will be opening a place there, and he was very convincing about what's happening there, such as an Angelika Theater branch, etc. that's tough competition. The city can no longer take for granted that it is the locus of the most interesting and cutting edge culture in a region (cf. Silver Spring where now on one block they have AFI, a theater, and across the street, a major concert hall).

by Richard Layman on Nov 14, 2011 6:11 pm • linkreport

George was probably doomed from the start. Initially the city of Falls Church got a grant in about 2000 to start a service using some type of electric powered bus. After several attempts to start the service, they determined that the proposed buses themselves were too unreliable to use in service. So at some point they switched to just using regular buses operated by a contractor. There were two rush hour routes, one serving each metro station, and a midday route that also operated on Saturday. After a few years, ridership on the midday route was not enough to continue that service, probably due at least in part to the roundabout routing referred to in the article. So they were left with just the rush hour route. This was eventually contracted out to Metro for the last several years. The amount of ridership on this service was supposedly quite low as well (though that is disputed by some). In a budget cutting move in 2010, the city decided they would no longer subsidize the route, because by the numbers they had it would have literally been cheaper for the city to pay for taxi rides within the city for anyone who wanted one. So that was the end of George.

by rextrex on Nov 14, 2011 8:54 pm • linkreport

GEORGE wasn't primarily designed to get the most commuters to Metro as fast as possible or to deliver customers to downtown businesses. Instead, it meandered down the streets of as many Falls Church homeowners as possible to convince them their tax dollars were being well spent, whether or not those streets wanted or needed transit.

From the map you show, it looks like GEORGE was a suburban "circulator," designed to ferry people to and from neighborhood attractions (parks, senior centers, community centers, etc.). I don't know Falls Church too well, but that's what similar services in other communities are meant for. And they're usually meant for non-choice riders, so it's expected they'll put up with long headways and left turns. And I'd bet that many people in town who don't use transit didn't even know there was a bus, even if it went by their houses, so I doubt it was a political statement.

by dan reed! on Nov 14, 2011 9:19 pm • linkreport

A bit off topic (sorry), but the Columbia Pike Streetcar, like the George service, suffers from a fatal flaw: lack of a destination at both ends. Why will the most popular bus service in the Commonwealth be uprooted because Chris Zimmerman thinks yuppies are afraid of the bus? (They aren't, see the DC Circulator.) Columbia Pike streetcar = the end of fast, direct bus service to DC (16Y and 16F), months of a ripped up main street, and extreme inconvenience for the thousands of (often poor) bus riders who need to transfer at Pentagon for whom Piketrolley will be of no use. The County needs to work on the Pike, and this White Elephant is an excuse to neglect the hard (but comparatively cheap) work that needs to be done.

by Pike Spotter on Nov 14, 2011 9:38 pm • linkreport

GEORGE was yet another case of Jim Moran throwing federal money at his (my) district. His re-election campaigns seem to consist of nothing more than the extensive list of bills and riders that he introduces to spend our money (whether wisely or not). See this 2004 FCNP article, describing the $1M for GEORGE: http://www.fcnp.com/413/pfprimary.htm

Then, he got another $1.6M for a "multimodal transportation station", which, according to one report, was going to be located at the intersection of Hillwood Avenue and Washington Street (Hwy 29) -- nowhere near any mode of transportation (no Metro, no bike path, not even freaking sidewalks or crosswalks) -- not to mention no one lives there!: http://www.fcnp.com/522/lead1.htm

I frequently walk to EFC Metro (and, indeed, did this morning for a Metro ride for my flight out of National Airport). I have biked literally thousands of miles on our great trails and paths. So, I'm not averse to investment in smart transportation alternatives. But, Moran seems eager to give (and the City of Falls Church to accept) any federal money, whether it's wise or not.

Sorry for the long quote, but Milton Friedman said it best:

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.

by rogerwilco on Nov 14, 2011 10:32 pm • linkreport

@oboe
Given that FC has arguably the best public high school in the country, the suburban experiment is alive and well there. Thats an asset that can't be built as easily or quickly as transportation.

What FC needs to focus on is expanding the 28a and 28x (express) which both run on rt. 7 and are heavily used. According to the tysons master plan,, turning the 28x into something closer to true BRT is on the table but we'll see if that happens.

As for the lack of intracity transit, I don't see that as a big need. FC is small and somewhat walkable (the 25mph limit on 7 is key) and there aren't that many intracity trips. FC should stay ffocused on inttercity transit so they are better connected to tysons and the two metros stations which are beyond the city limits and connects them to arlingtonn/dc.

As for taking the bus to metro its not that bad depending on where u live. I'm 1 mile from WFC and have the choice of the 3t, 28a and 28t to get me to the station.

Also I don't believe that parking spots are subsidized much if at all at WFC. There's a private lot (which never fills up, btw) next to the metro lot and they charge the same as metro.

by Falls Church on Nov 14, 2011 10:54 pm • linkreport

Pike Spotter -- while your point about the DC Circulator and yuppies being willing to ride it is interesting and apt, only the main Circulator route has the ridership that justifies the service levels it provides.

I haven't kept up with ridership numbers, but the Woodley-Adams Morgan route is about 1/2 of the main route in terms of ridership--much better than all the others, but not enough to justify those kinds of headways (i.e., Dan Reed's comments). DK about the new service to Anacostia, but the Capitol Hill route has abysmal numbers. (It makes sense as an intra- and inter-neighborhood circulator that the AM-Woodley-Columbia Heights service would be relatively successful, given the low car ownership, high transit use, and high density in that area.)

A lot of the support for the Circulator has to do with the different type of presumably more comfortable buses, the better marketing and graphic design of the buses. It's about "legibility" and making the service understandable. Clearly, people don't feel the Metrobus system is legible by comparison. And it also illustrates the points made in the entry I cited above about the difference between intra-community and inter-community transit, and why it is important to plan in distinct ways for both types of transit.

WRT bus service on Columbia Pike, as you know, it is one of the most successful bus lines in VA, with ridership levels comparable to the most successful buslines in DC, but choice riders aren't riding, are they? (I haven't used the bus there, I mostly bike when I am in that area.)

I don't see why you think that a streetcar wouldn't do much better (given all the results of streetcars in terms of increased ridership compared to buses), and that there aren't "destinations," If there aren't destinations, where are the riders going now?

Plus, while progressives typically argue against streetcar service as oriented to choice riders, I have never understood why progressives don't laud streetcar service as a significant service and comfort upgrade for the transit dependent?

Plus, the streetcar initiative is also about other things, specifically supporting the intensification of land use in the Columbia Pike corridor, and maintaining and positioning that section of Arlington's relevance in the regional real estate landscape as other parts of the region change their complement of transit and improve their comparative-relative positions vis-a-vis other locations--not just across the region, but also within Arlington, compared to the places that have better transit service from the subway system.

by Richard Layman on Nov 15, 2011 6:33 am • linkreport

WRT FallsChurch's comment, I don't know Falls Church very well, only to go to the State Theatre (sorry that I couldn't get out to see Julieta Venegas last week...). Maybe as you say indirectly, there isn't that much need for the kind of intra-city transit system that George represented.

The Tempe Orbit system is the best example of such systems that I can think of, but Tempe is 40 square miles and 13x the population, while Falls Church is just over 2 square miles. Plus ASU is right there in Tempe, and located just across the street from the main transportation center, which now has light rail service too.

by Richard Layman on Nov 15, 2011 6:45 am • linkreport

I love how Pike Spotter claims the streetcar is for yuppies to get you to hate it and for poor people to get your sympathy - within the same comment!

by Miles Grant on Nov 15, 2011 7:06 am • linkreport

I think we probably ought to have this debate elsewhere, but a couple of quick points. Mr Grant - My point about bus service is that the Pentagon is the biggest bus tranfer station in Va., and the trolley won't go there; also, my point about Circulator is it proves that a trolley is not the *sole* means to get people out of their cars. Mr Layman - I don't deny upsides to trolley service; my problem is that a lot of what's great about current Pike bus service (direct-to-DC routes, numerous buses to Pentagon AND P-City, service to several different communities in Fairfax, etc) will all be threatened by the trolley. And Pentagon City is a destination for riders, but small numbers of people will get on a trolley to go to Route 7 strip malls (paradoxically, I'd be one of them). The final point is cost - try cheaper ways to help current riders + attract new riders by buying double-length buses, fixing NextBus, making sensible changes to traffic flow at the Pentagon, installing wi-fi on buses, expand off-peak service, etc.

by PikeSpotter on Nov 15, 2011 9:29 am • linkreport

"This is what the slow death of the suburban experiment looks like. These municipalities know that they need to change in order to stay competitive in the decades to come, but old habits die hard. So there's a lot of flailing that goes on. "

Ive said in the past that FFX (and moco, which i know less well) NEED to change to minimize the odds of a death spiral.

I dont think that applies to City of Falls Church. FC can free ride on smart growth things taking place OUTSIDE their jurisdiction. They dont need to densify to get heavy rail - EFC and WFC metro stations already exist. They will benefit from proximity to the new Tysons, an initiative of FFX county. That will probably increase the value of SFHs in FC, and prevent the kinds of declines seen or likely in older parts of FFX county, in PWC, etc, etc. They can aspire to do what Town of Vienna does - survive as an enclave of high priced SFH's,, with the convenience of urbanism, but with an urban form that is only partly urbanist.

by AWalkerIntheCity on Nov 15, 2011 9:46 am • linkreport

@oboe
Is my beautiful, close-knit neighborhood in Falls Church in the grip of some sort of false consciousness? Maybe you can come and explain why we suburbanites are all actually miserable despite our happiness.

by Paul on Nov 15, 2011 9:58 am • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity:

I dont think that applies to City of Falls Church.

Exactly, what we'll see over the next 20-30 years is a consolidation of small successful nodes. The "beautiful close-knit neighborhood in Falls Church" will succeed where it's able to be an island within an urbanizing sprawl--like Chevy Chase, MD for example.

In general the rise of population is going to make things extremely dicey outside the Beltway unless folks get their act together.

by oboe on Nov 15, 2011 10:26 am • linkreport

As a falls church resident (FFX county, FC mailing address), I have to say that those George routes are pretty silly. I've recently moved to the area and love it - it's much better than the hellzone outside the beltway (Chantilly) I used to live in. I can walk to trader joes and whole foods and to the WFC metro all in <20 minutes. And get to work downtown in under 40 minutes without driving, while still living on a 1/4 lot in a safe and pretty neighborhood.

I agree with @Falls Church - metrobus 28x 28a and 3T already cover a lot of this area. BRT, or more frequent 28a routes would really do the job transporting people up and down route 7. Any meandering around the suburban neighborhoods a block or two away from 7 is largely pointless unless you stop near apartment buildings/condos.

by Nick on Nov 15, 2011 10:38 am • linkreport

@Paul,

Is my beautiful, close-knit neighborhood in Falls Church in the grip of some sort of false consciousness?

Not in the least. Your beautiful, close-knit neighborhood in Falls Church could well manage to seal itself off from the general trend--could become one of the clusters of single family homes. Of course, most everyone thinks that larger social trends don't apply to them. I'm sure the upper-middle class white population who dominated Anacostia up until the early 1960s could never have imagined how quickly things could change either.

But as AWalkerInTheCity points out, Falls Church is exceptional in that it's served very well by Metro, and other services. The vast majority of suburbia ain't so lucky.

This is dead-on:

They can aspire to do what Town of Vienna does - survive as an enclave of high priced SFH's,, with the convenience of urbanism, but with an urban form that is only partly urbanist.

As DC regional poverty becomes more and more a suburban phenomenon, suburban affluence is going to become more and more "lumpy". Of course, then it becomes an issue of how effectively the haves can segregate and protect their school districts from the have-nots.

by oboe on Nov 15, 2011 10:39 am • linkreport

@oboe

How many have nots are there in the region? Given that PG co is much closer to death spiral status than FFX, MoCo, or even PWC (it may in fact already be in its death spiral) PG co is going to absorb a lot of them, with lower to middle class folks fleeing PG for either outer parts of south MD, or into Va - I suspect the weakness of PG is part of whats keeping PWC afloat. Just as there may not be enough TOD lovers to make TOD possible everywhere, I dont know there are enough socioeconomically challenged people to lead to death spirals in PG AND PWC AND FFX AND MoCo AND Loudoun. I think theres almost certainly enough middle to upper middle class to upper class sprawl lovers at least some jurisdiction can do well without going urbanist - certainly Loudoun looks like it can. For FFX and MoCo, its a matter of not taking the chance on being the one standing when the music stops - there will still be chairs for some though, whatever they do

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 15, 2011 11:15 am • linkreport

pardon "lower middle class to middle class"

by AWalkerIntheCity on Nov 15, 2011 11:17 am • linkreport

I work in Falls Church and I don't drive. I used to take the George bus and one day I was waiting for the bus at EFC. It never came. I hopped on the 3B and said something to the driver. The bus driver said "Oh, Falls Church stopped running the George bus as of yesterday." I think it was unfair of Falls Church to not put signs on their busses or at least try to coordinate with Metro to send out an email.

I agree that a streetcar is not a good idea. The busses are never all that crowded with passengers that actually board the bus in Falls Church City. Busses are cheaper, so I'd be in favor of a revamped George bus route.

by Falls Church Commuter on Nov 15, 2011 11:54 am • linkreport

GEORGE was a wonderful system and DID have a good steady ridership but it was run by METRO and they ran the buses into the ground and charged the city way too much. We should have gone with Arlington ARTS much sooner. They have a good transportation department where the city has none and we just trusted METRO. I could go on about how bad our deal was with METRO but we would still have the system today if we had ARTS running it all the way......

by Barry Buschow on Nov 15, 2011 9:34 pm • linkreport

The best thing that Falls Church could do is create a raised greenspace in the middle of Broad street/7 with buffers of bike lanes, plantings, pedestrian bridges near metro, whole foods/trader joe's and dense residential neighborhoods. Run it from Tysons to Baileys Crossroads. Of course, this would take millions and is unlikely to happen overnight. But I agree with Falls Church and Falls Church Commuter that the buses are adequate for now, and that GEORGE is moot, but not for the future. FC needs a plan for long term safe spaces for walkable/bikeable/active movement to connect the different parts of the town. The area is not just wealthy SFHs; if explored, you will see that FC has plenty of dense apartment buildings, townhouses, condos, and all fairly close to amenities like metro and grocery - but not as well linked as it could be, or as it will need to be, to continue as a viable place to live.

by bikergrrl on Nov 16, 2011 11:01 am • linkreport

If the proposed streetcar lines serve major employment centers such as Merrified, Bailey's Crossroad and Tysons Corner, ridership would not be a problem.

by hw on Nov 18, 2011 6:04 pm • linkreport

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