In a prior post, this blog suggested moving the stop for ART 42 closer to the bus stops for the 16 series of Metrobus (Pikeride) stops in order to give commuters living between the Air Force Memorial and S. Courthouse another option to get home on the bus from Pentagon. (Read the full argument here.)
The post was sent as an email to Arlington Transit, and their email reply was posted on Pikespotter as a comment to the original post.
The timeliness* of the email reply by Arlington Transit should be applauded. But the substance was lacking. Here is their reply (in entirety in italics), with a response in regular text:
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).
Why does the 22A need to be near the ART 42? It is true that the 22A and the ART42 share stops, but it is a total of two stops they share: the first and the last (Ballston, Pentagon). A weeknight rush hour trip between Pentagon and Ballston on the 22A is about 35 minutes. On the ART 42 it is 25 minutes. On Metrorail, the trip between the two stations is approximately 15 minutes. So every rider on the 22A has a faster choice to the only shared stops between the 22A and the ART 42 – how many riders use both buses? In contrast, the riders on the 16 Pike Ride (non-express buses) share around ten stops with the ART 42.
Many stops interface with the PikeRide stops (the 16 has two bays) and there is much competition for prime space.
This argument is genuinely very sympathetic. It has to be difficult to assign the various buses at the busiest bus terminal in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the inaccuracies in the rest of the reply really undercut the credibility and seriousness of this argument in this context.
The Barcroft Apartments are also on the Metrobus 22A, with which the ART 42 and 87 currently share the Pentagon Transit Center bus bay.
This statement is not accurate. Barcroft Apartments are at S. George Mason and Columbia Pike. The ART 42 runs nowhere near this complex! (While the ART 87 was not the subject of the email/post, the location for its stop at Pentagon close to the 22A seems reasonable for the reasons stated in the Arlington Transit’s email; not so for the ART42.)
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.
This doesn’t make sense either. The ART 77 does not stop at Pentagon! It’s like the drafters of the response do not understand the ART routes at all.
So, Arlington Transit should move ART 42 closer to the 16 bus bays at Pentagon. If that’s not possible, Arlington residents at least deserve a learned reason why not.
(*The gap between the prior post and this one was an editorial decision. The reply by Arlington Transit was very timely.)
Note: this post has been submitted as an email to Arlington Transit. And reply will be posted as a reply to this post.