Tag Archives: smartrip

Transfers

Once again DC has survived the human onslaught, here to celebrate democracy’s richest tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. Yes Inauguration Day has passed, providing a thorough test of both public transit and the patience of drivers stranded to pedestrian traffic downtown.

All the more remarkable given the fact that last week’s record setting Metro ridership was only a 25% increase over the average daily ridership, meaning many fellow residents (or at least the ones I have talked to) stayed home for Inauguration.  Meanwhile another transfer, in public transportation, has been taking place; since January 4th paper transfers have been eliminated.

Those of you using SmartTrip cards by default may not have noticed the transition at all, since rail and bus to bus transfers were already being discounted.  But metro riders who pay cash need yet more exact change without these paper slips for discounted fares.  So far the changes in the transfer system seem to have generated little debate online, but for those living on the other side of the digital divide who are more likely to be reliant on public transportation this has surely been a significant change.

Feel free to share your stories of paper transfers and bus fares since the switch in the comments.

Pedestrians Welcome

As I recent transplant from the Midwest, I was ready to fully embrace urban life in DC.  I sold my car and traded it in for a SmarTrip card, downgrading from a 2-bedroom home to a 1-bedroom apartment that was literally half the space for twice the rent.  I would live close to work, school, and all the nightlife a bus transfer could afford; it was time to live in a truly walkable community.

I settled on an apartment in Glover Park, where I am never more than half an hour from anywhere and only a 5 minute walk to groceries, the bank, hardware, a pharmacy, dining establishments, watering holes, and most importantly the MetroBus.  This neighborhood has been changing (and quickly), like so many others doubtlessly have over the last decade, reflecting the national trends towards reestablishing our urban centers.

Everyday I found myself spending more time in this place, giving me a true sense of belonging to a community.  But I am also determined to discover the community outside my neighborhood.

To help give order to these adventures around Washington DC is Pedestrian Capable, a blog which will reinterpret what many longtime residents may instantly recognize as fixtures in their neighborhoods.  In my previous residence I helped organize an online magazine/blog with multiple contributors who were likewise discovering their own community for the first time; an endeavor I would like continue in the DC community.  Think of this as an opportunity to discover DC through the lens of the observer and a chance for us to talk about those places and people in DC so well established that other local media would hardly have a news angle to cover.

They say the best way to explore a city is on foot, where neighborhoods rise and fall as blocks, leaving behind clues to their history like watermarks on the shore.  You can miss a lot of DC moving around the beltway, and find so much more on foot.  And that is exactly what we will find together in those areas that are Pedestrian Capable in DC.