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Headaches on the horizon

Metrobus delays
This has been the most common, lingering complaint during Metro's recovery from the two snowstorms: Riders wonder not only when the bus is coming, but also whether there is going to be any bus at all. At this hour, the Metrobus status page is showing no delays.

The problem is that this can change at any time, depending on how the drivers and their supervisors assess current conditions on the streets. Lanes that may be passable for cars are not necessarily so for turning Metrobuses. On-the-spot changes are not usually reflected quickly on the status page. Meanwhile, the Next Bus system, designed to predict the actual arrival time of a bus at your stop, has not been dependable since the snowstorms forced delays and detours.

What to do? There is no sure bet right now. The best bet is to avoid bus routes that pass through congested neighborhood streets, unless your bus has a solid history of success during the past few days. If not, get to the nearest main road. Those roads, the ones most heavily used by commuters, have been the top priority for snow clearing. The buses along the main routes are most likely to be running on time.

This evening's rain is not likely to linger in the D.C. area, according to the Capital Weather Gang, and the temperature should remain above freezing overnight. That's good news for the morning commute. We should be spared any widespread refreezing or flooding.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2010; 8:30 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the Horizon  
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