The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.

Open thread

Open thread

I have two posts which I just haven't been able to quite finish among various other tasks today. Meanwhile, what have you been reading that's worth discussing here on GGW?
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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beyonddc has a good post about cutting corners in the Baltimore Light Rail line.

by Cavan on Nov 21, 2008 4:19 pm • linkreport

We could comment on Harry Thomas making fun of Adrian Fenty for driving a Smart Car rather than a SUV like the Council Member.

by Phil Lepanto on Nov 21, 2008 4:37 pm • linkreport

I was checking out Matt's blog, Track29, this morning and found this insightful analysis of the Blue Line reroute. Worth a glance.

by Reza on Nov 21, 2008 4:49 pm • linkreport

Harry Thomas is one dumb #^#&*$^&%er... Not much activity going on up there. He has done literally nothing for Ward 5. I feel bad for them for having such a useless CM

by SG on Nov 21, 2008 4:56 pm • linkreport

Is the 5A bus to Dulles Airport underutilized? At $3 it's a bargain compared to the Flyer bus but it has such long head times and is overlooked with the Airport Authority's heavy focus on their own $10 Flyer bus.

by airporter on Nov 21, 2008 5:05 pm • linkreport

For people interested in architecture, particularly those who dislike modern architecture Tom Wolfe's From Bauhaus to Our House is a satisfying read.

by Steve on Nov 21, 2008 5:46 pm • linkreport

Airporter: What do you want to know about the 5A? In 2007, it had 22 passengers per trip on average, recovered about half of its costs through fares, and served about 400,000 passengers. The bus probably has around 40-45 seats, so it's a load factor on average of about 0.5, which is lower than "full" but not absolutely empty.

It's in the top ten for highest cost recovery ratio (55%). It's the second best out of ten among express routes for subsidy per passenger ($2.20).

by Michael Perkins on Nov 21, 2008 6:01 pm • linkreport

Michael, how can 5A have a recovery ratio of 55% if 73% ($2.20) of the $3 fare is subsidized?

by Lance B on Nov 22, 2008 8:46 am • linkreport

It's actually a different calculation. Cost recovery ratio is operating revenues / operating costs.

Operating revenues = fares + advertising

In this case, I don't think they attribute advertising revenues to individual bus lines, so it's just fares.

Fare ($2.50) + Subsidy ($2.20) = $4.70 total cost per passenger.

$2.50 is just under 55% of $4.70 (probably the little extra is advertising). The fare per passenger is not quite $3.00 because of the effects of transfers and passes.

Hope this helps.

by Michael Perkins on Nov 22, 2008 12:34 pm • linkreport

A friend of mine flying into Dulles got scammed into getting on the $10 Flyer. That ever happen to anyone else? I told her to look for the red white and blue 5A metrobus, and as she was walking outside trying to find the bus stop, one of their ride "recruiters" came up to her to show her to the Flyer bus. She asked if it was the only bus to get to DC, and they said it was. She may have even asked if it was a metrobus...

So she got snookered into paying 10 bucks to get to Falls Church with a 30 minute metro ride to Mt. P where I live, instead of a 3 dollar ride to L'Enfant and a 12 minute green line ride to my neighborhood. She said they were openly misleading and dishonest. Was the first I'd heard of it. Anyone else hear of that happening?

by Steve on Nov 24, 2008 12:09 pm • linkreport

David, what's your take on this?

For all of those acres, it seems like there should be many more TOD units involved in this... seems unnecessarily low-density for an area accessible to Metro.

by SG on Nov 24, 2008 12:38 pm • linkreport

It is. It's an improvement from what currently exists, though.

Basically what's happening in Montgomery County in a nutshell is that the planners and County Council are starting to get what should be done. However, political realities prevent them from going all the way. The dominant political constituency in the county has a viewpoint with regards to mobility and land use that is very 20th century. Progess will be slow for now except in places like Wheaton and Silver Spring that are off of that core constituency's radar and therefore irrelevant in their view. It's a process that's only beginning.

Ironically, it's a process that will make walkable places like Wheaton and Silver Spring and Bethesda even more vibrant in the future and their current location in the car-dependent un-places more irrelevant as time moves forward.

by Cavan on Nov 24, 2008 12:55 pm • linkreport

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