Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Transit Planner's Nightmare: The 2008 Inauguration

With over 4 million people coming to town and an estimated 10,000 charter buses rolling in, where do you park all the buses? How long is a line of 10,000 buses you ask according to some officials is would stretch around the entire Capital Beltway and then stretch to Baltimore end to end.

The Washington Post reports:

"The sheer size of the charter bus contingent, carrying as many as a
half-million people, has an enormous cascading effect on the rest of
transportation planning. Widespread street closures downtown will prevent
charter buses from dropping passengers off at events, so officials need to
figure out where buses will park. The parking locations, in turn, will
affect where and how many people squeeze on to packed Metro trains

The Metro can't accommodate everyone, so officials also have to prepare for
others to walk to events or set up shuttle bus service from outlying areas to
downtown. However even at full capacity the Metro can not accommodate the crowds
expected at the inauguration.

"The transit agency will run an unprecedented 15 hours of consecutive rush-hour rail service on Inauguration Day. Even so, Metro officials say they can accommodate only 4,700 buses, or roughly 235,000 people, at Metrorail station parking lots, according to senior planner Jim Hughes. More than that would overwhelm the system. Although Metro has about 60,000 parking spaces at 42 stations, charter buses take up two regular spaces, and Metro also wants to keep spaces open for the region's nearly 6 million residents.

If Metro takes 4,700 busloads of people, that means city and regional officials need to find parking for the remaining 5,300 buses. "

If you plan to be in Washington D.C. like I do for the Inuaguration, be prepared to walk...far...in the cold.

No comments: