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Posted at 1:26 PM ET, 07/28/2009

The Purple Line's Flawed Projections

By Vince Rinehart

By Beth Forbes
Bethesda

The July 12 editorial “Green-Light the Purple Line” argued for a vastly expensive light-rail option for the Purple Line over a less-expensive dedicated bus line. The July 19 editorial “Get on the Bus” said the region should develop dedicated bus lanes. Which do you prefer?

By Beth Forbes
Bethesda

The July 12 editorial “Green-Light the Purple Line” argued for a vastly expensive light-rail option for the Purple Line over a less-expensive dedicated bus line. The July 19 editorial “Get on the Bus” said the region should develop dedicated bus lanes. Which do you prefer?

As a civil engineer who has spent more than two decades planning infrastructure in Maryland, I am convinced that the projections for Purple Line ridership from the National Institutes of Health and the Bethesda Naval Hospital were adjusted so that the Capital Crescent Trail alignment would seem as if it were the best option. Despite projecting ridership through 2030, the number of trips by employees of these facilities was limited to the number of current employees who live along the alignment today. If the bus line has a stop near the campuses, new employees will certainly locate along the route in greater numbers, provided there’s an easy, direct way to get to work.

Before the alignment for the Purple Line is chosen, the ridership projections must be reworked.

By Vince Rinehart  | July 28, 2009; 1:26 PM ET
Categories:  Montgomery County, Purple Line, environment, traffic, transportation  
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