Greater Greater Washington will be working with elected officials, DC Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and others in 2019 to advocate for better, faster and more reliable bus service. Buses can get lots of people where they need to go without the need for expensive infrastructure, and with a far lower level of emissions than the same people traveling by car. We heard about this idea for Bus to Work Day and hope you can join! If you plan to, let us know.
As the District attracts new residents and businesses, we must be keenly aware of the restrictions imposed by limited road infrastructure. To reduce traffic congestion, advance environmental goals, improve safety, and expand opportunity for lower-income residents, we must continue to pursue policies and investments that make it convenient for people to forgo the daily use of personal automobiles and instead access safe and dependable transit or other multi-modal forms of transportation.
That is why, in partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), I am introducing a Council Resolution designating Monday, February 4 as “Bus To Work Day” in the District of Columbia. February 4 also coincides with Transit Equity Day, a collaborative effort to promote public transit as a civil right and a strategy to combat climate change. That date also marks Rosa Parks Day in honor of her bus boycott and her many other contributions to the Civil Rights movement.
All Washingtonians are invited to participate in Bus To Work Day. Drivers can enjoy a sociable commute and avoid the hassle of parking. Cyclists can enjoy a break from the winter cold, or maybe bike to the bus stop and take the bus the rest of the way. Metrorail riders can enjoy the natural light and views of the city. Everyone has a reason to get on board with Bus To Work Day!
Boosting bus ridership is a surefire way to get cars off the road, thereby alleviating congestion and reducing emissions that pollute the air. Buses emit 80% as much carbon monoxide, 10% as many hydrocarbons, and 75% as much nitrogen oxide per passenger per mile than an automobile with a single occupant.
Taking the bus also improves overall traffic safety and advances Vision Zero, the District’s goal to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries by 2024. The National Safety Council estimates that riding the bus is more than 170 times safer than automobile travel.
I plan to catch the 59 express bus at 14th Street and Buchanan Street, NW at 7:45 am on Monday, February 4. I look forward to sharing my commute downtown with Ward 4 residents. What is your plan?
I invite you to find a bus stop and route that works for you by using WMATA's trip planner at wmata.com/schedules/trip-planner. Be sure to have your Metro SmartTrip card or bring exact change for the bus. Also, remember to post about your commute on social media using #BusToWorkDC and #BusDC.
We'd love to see the GGWash community make a statement that we value bus service. Can you ride the bus on Bus to Work Day, Monday, February 4? Tell us! We'll follow up with you to find out how it went, and hopefully use the information about everyone's rides in follow-up bus advocacy in 2019.