Bus Stops: Better Fewer, But Better

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"Bus Stops: Better Fewer, But Better"

I noticed in Hamburg that many German bus stations smartly include signs that provide information (provided by GPS I assume) about when which buses are arriving. This seems like a strategy that’s full of win—very useful to riders and beyond its practical usefulness it’s just psychologically reassuring in a way that can make the bus much more appealing to casual users:

Rathausmarkt Bus Station, Hamburg, Germany (my photo available under cc license)

Rathausmarkt Bus Station, Hamburg, Germany (my photo available under cc license)

In Berlin having acquired some experience riding the 100 and 200 bus lines over the past couple of days I can say that another good idea from German bus service is that the buses seem to stop less frequently than our buses in DC. Fewer bus stops means faster travel times which are good on their own terms and also allow for more frequent service (since a given vehicle can make more trips per day if it goes faster) which is great as well. Washington is doing some experimenting with limited-stop bus service on Georgia Avenue and 16th Street but beyond those extreme cases it seems to me that most bus lines could easily afford to have 1/3 or 1/2 of their current stops eliminated and they’d still be stopping pretty darn frequently.

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