Letters to the Editor: Buses on I-66 Shoulders: Transit’s New Champion?

fcnpletterswebLetters to the Editor: April 30 – May 6, 2015


Buses on I-66 Shoulders: Transit’s New Champion?


Allowing buses to use the shoulder on crowded I-66 is smart.

It is low cost, requires little or no additional construction, is unobtrusive and can be implemented quickly. According to a cooperative research study last year from the Transportation Research Board and Federal Transit Administration, “A Guide for Implementing Bus On Shoulder Systems,” it has been a success in the dozen or so communities around the country where it has been installed.

Beyond the obvious capacity and fuel saving benefits of opening an unused lane to commuter buses when traffic snarls, it also highlights public transit’s role in unclogging our region’s (and the nation’s) roadways.

A faster commute on the bus will attract more riders. More riders mean less cars on our roads, and fewer cars mean an easier ride for everyone.

Such logic extends to other transit projects in the region – the Silver Line, the Purple Line, streetcars, bus rapid transit, even bike share programs.

Some projects will advance. Others may not fit quite as well yet.

Each time a bus on the shoulder breezes by traffic stuck on I-66, however, it will remind stalled drivers why the region needs reliable and extensive public transportation.

Michael Townes

Transit Market Sector Leader, HNTB Corporation, Arlington


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