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Bike, Bus or Car Challenge

Reston, Va. residents battle traffic just like the rest of the D.C. metro area but they decided to actually find out which method of transportation is quicker during rush hour — bike, bus or car.

The Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling posted:

It turns out that the fastest way to get to the Reston Town Center from the neighborhood near South Lakes High School, about 3 miles away, is to ride a bicycle. Bruce Wright of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) made the trip in just over 13 minutes.


The winner Bruce Wright (left) took 13 minutes on a bike. He is congratulated by Kathleen Driscoll McKee who took 52 minutes taking a bus. Photos by Mike McKee.

Another bicyclist who took the same route but rode at an easier pace, Kerie Hitt, also of FABB, arrived next 3 and a half minutes later. Delegate Ken Plum’s trip in his hybrid car took him 19 minutes. Taking the long route with a ride through Hunter’s Woods Village Center on the RIBS 2 bus on her way to the Town Center was Reston Association President and School Board candidate Kathleen Driscoll McKee. She had a leisurely trip of 50 minutes.

“This was a good simulation that demonstrates real alternatives to the automobile for short trips in Reston and the rest of our community” noted Delegate Plum. He also said that short car trips are the least efficient, even for his hybrid car, which only averaged 30 mpg on the 3 mile trip.

The group was met at the Pavilion by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins who is a long-time supporter of transportation alternatives for Hunter Mill District residents. She has supported Bike to Work Day in Reston from the beginning in 2002. The last several years she has appeared at the event on her folding bike. Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20. The Reston event will be held at the Town Center Pavilion. Susan Stillman, who is a member of the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee and a FABB member, rode from Vienna to greet the group at the Pavilion and to congratulate Bruce.

According to Bruce, “Riding a bike for transportation is a viable option for many people. What we showed today is that bicycling and driving travel times are very comparable for short trips, and bicycling costs much less and is better for the environment. I didn’t use any foreign oil on the trip.”

While RA President Driscoll McKee had the longest trip, she noted that the RIBS 2 bus was nearly full during the trip. The fare was $1.50. As a bus rider she could read, check her email, or otherwise make productive use of her time. To schedule her trip we used WMATA’s Trip Planner, entering an origin, destination, and either arrival or departure time and selecting from the options. When Metrorail arrives in Reston local bus routes will be modified to provide more frequent service for accessing the Wiehle and Reston Parkway stations, making them a much more attractive alternative to driving and paying to park.

See coverage of the event on the Reston Patch, including a video segment.

See additional photos from the event. Photos by Mike McKee.

Reston will be one of many cities and areas participating in the D.C. metro area’s Bike to Work Day celebration on Friday, May 20 that is hosted by WABA.

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