Monday, October 3, 2011

Great transpo news for east of the river

Years ago I worked on a family economic sustainability project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and operated by DC Action for Children.   We asked residents in a working group to identify challenges to economic success.   One of the solutions to the transportation challenge that stands out to me to this day was the need for program-provided transportation.   Not better bus and rail transportation but rather transport by van by each and every social service program operator east of the river.

I understand why big solutions, such as implementing a Metrorail and bus system of use to residents of Wards 7 and 8, are not often the solution identified by people on the ground who face numerous barriers to economic success.   Still, that was one solution I just could not wrap my head around.

So the latest news from Mayor Vince Gray should come as good news to folks living EotR.   The new D.C. Circulator route announced October 3 is "the first to ever provide service east of the Anacostia River. The new route runs from the Potomac Avenue Metro Station to Skyland and the Good Hope Marketplace Shopping Center via Barracks Row."

I have no reason to doubt that the expansion—long overdue, by the way—will be hugely beneficial to residents.   But as a long-time advocate for useful public policies for low-income and otherwise marginalized populations, I know that public policy and practice changes are not necessarily enough to change behavior.   I am hopeful that the Circulator will be the exception.

What is your organization going to do to promote this new transportation option?   Let me know via email and I'll share your plans.

Updated October 3, 8:10 pm.