Even if you never set foot on the Metro
(because my fellow passengers and I will MURDER-DEATH-KILL YOU), it serves a very important purpose: it keeps other people out of their cars. Given that there’s very little slack in our road system in many areas, even modest reductions in road traffic make a huge difference, as many Washington-area drivers are learning after the closure of six Blue and Yellow Line stations last week (boldface mine):
Some riders did exactly what officials feared would happen — gave up and returned to their cars. Alexandria officials reported that traffic volumes across the city Wednesday were up 12 percent compared with previous weeks with “fairly consistent” delays between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Northbound travel times on north/south corridors such as Route 1 and Washington and North Van Dorn streets were 25 percent higher than previous weeks in May during the peak morning hour, they said.
Traffic is not an etheric miasma–you are the traffic. While you’re here, did we ever mention that buses can’t replace high-use transit rail? (yes, we did). Guess what?
The transit agency said it would take 20 buses to handle the same number of customers as one fully loaded train. “Even with additional buses, it is not possible to replicate the capacity of rail with buses given traffic conditions and space constraints at bus bays which must still accommodate regular bus service that continues to operate,” the agency said in a statement.
Traffic (which is composed of all youze guys) is a geometry problem.