Arlington Transit Should Move ART 42 Stop to 16 Bus Bay at Pentagon

ART 42 is the “Ballston-Pentagon” route of Arlington Transit’s fleet of green buses.  It’s a convenient service for Pike transit users, allowing a connection every day but Sunday from the eastern part of the Pike to Clarendon and Ballston.  From the Pentagon until S Courthouse Road, however, it rides along a very similar route as the 16-series of Pentagon Metrobuses.

ART 42

Portion of ART 42 That Parallels Metrobus 16 Routes

As a result, for riders who live or work from the stretch of the Pike from the Air Force Memorial to Courthouse Road, the ART 42 could serve their transit needs the same as a Metrobus.  For example, a rider in Foxcroft Heights who needs to get to the Pentagon is probably indifferent as to whether she does so on ART 42 or Metrobus 16B.  (Technically, the eastbound 42 uses Army-Navy to get to the Pentagon, while Metrobus uses the last bit of Columbia Pike, but the point is that the rider can just show up at the bus stop and decide then.)

Unfortunately, however, for Arlington View, Foxcroft Heights and the residents of the Barcroft apartments (among others), it does not work that way for westbound trips from the Pentagon.  While all of the Metrobuses that run from the Pentagon to S Courthouse on the Pike depart from two, adjacent bus bays at the Pentagon, the ART 42 stops at a bus bay hundreds of feet away.  As a result, a rider waiting for (the more frequent) Metrobuses can’t just jump onto the 42 if it shows up first.  By the time the rider sees the 42 go by and walks over to that stop, the 42 will invariably have left the stop.

The solution is simple.  Arlington Transit should seek approval from Metro to move its stop either to the 16 bays or to an adjacent bay.  This would increase the quality of Pike Ride service for numerous riders at very little cost.

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4 Responses to Arlington Transit Should Move ART 42 Stop to 16 Bus Bay at Pentagon

  1. Dennis Jaffe says:

    You raise good issues here. I’m wondering — just to build on your post — whether the ART 42 bus bay location at the Pentagon offers advantages to riders who are heading to Clarendon/Ballston. Or if there’s some other rationale?

    I’ll drop a line to a County staffer or two to inquire.

  2. pikespotter says:

    Reply from Arlington DES Transit Bureau via email:

    Thank you for contacting ART with your comment regarding the ART 42 stop. I shared your suggestion with the Transit Services Manager, who provide me with the following information: the ART bus stop at Pentagon needs to be near the 22A (and currently is). Many stops interface with the PikeRide stops (the 16 has two bays) and there is much competition for prime space. The Barcroft Apartments are also on the Metrobus 22A, with which the ART 42 and 87 currently share the Pentagon Transit Center bus bay. Moving the 42 near the 16’s would most likely result in the 77 being placed well away from the other services to Shirlington, as there’s only so much adjacent space available.

  3. Pingback: Arlington Transit Should Move ART 42 Stop to 16 Bus Bay at Pentagon (Part II) | Pike Spotter

  4. Pingback: Pike Transit Wish List | Pike Spotter

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