Save Routes from Proposed WMATA Cuts
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There are several bus routes slated for cuts in Prince George's County:
B30: BWI Airport-Greenbelt Metro Station
P17, P19: Ft. Washington-Farragut Square
P18: Ft. Washington-Southern Ave. Metro Station
W13: Friendly/Ft. Washington-Farragut Square
W14: Friendly/Ft. Washington-Southern Ave. Metro Station
W19: Indian Head-Southern Ave. Metro Station
Bus routes P17, P18, P19 and W13 serve as commuter express routes during the morning and evening rush hour from Downtown DC to the Friendly/Ft. Washington areas. The W14 and P18 are weekday midday service routes between the Southern Ave. Metro Station and the Ft. Washington and Friendly areas. These routes also serve the Oxon Hill Park and Ride located directly across the street from the MGM National Harbor Casino and the nearby Tanger Outlet. Route W19 is a AM/PM weekday rush hour bus that serves the Indian Head and Accokeek areas to the Southern Avenue Station. With major traffic and commercial and residential growth in the area, it is critical not to slash the routes as they serve as an alternative to driving because many riders of these routes park and ride reducing vehicles in a heavy traffic area. Bus service is already slim to none in these areas, so the elimination of these routes will leave a major void in an area that needs to keep and eventually increase bus service; not eliminate it.
Also on the chopping block is route B30; which serves between the Greenbelt Metro Station and BWI Airport seven days a week. Although low ridership is the reason for the proposed cut, many depend on this service not only for flights but to work at the airport and to connect to local MTA routes. This route also should remain as an alternative to the MARC service in case of rail issues and for those closer to the B30 route. Eliminating this service would lead to a major loss that serves as a connector for many. This route must be treated as a regional route instead of a local route; because it serves as a connector for many to MTA buses in the Baltimore region and other bus services for surrounding counties.
WMATA claims low ridership for these routes but observations prove otherwise. Although the routes proposed for cuts are in certain parts of the county, this is a county wide issue; especially at a time where the county is working toward improved connectivity and accessibility and becoming a prime destination. With public transportation already limited in these areas and in other neighborhoods, it is critical to increase bus service and work toward more solutions instead of additional bus cuts.
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