Bi-County Transitway? Never heard of it

Even those who know about Purple Line don’t know many details

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

While lobbying groups spend time debating the pros and cons of the Bi-County Transitway, many area residents who depend on the public transportation system remain uninformed.

Despite publicity through community meetings, open houses and stories in the media, commuters in Takoma Park and Silver Spring this week admitted to having little or no knowledge about either the transitway or its dynamics. Even some who had heard of the Purple Line, which is a more popular name for the proposed mass transit project, did not know many of the details.

Some, like John Lewis of Takoma Park, are new to the area, and are still adjusting to the local bus system.

‘‘I haven’t heard anything about it. I just moved out here from Washington, D.C.,” said Lewis, who was waiting for a bus Tuesday morning at the intersection of Piney Branch Road and Flower Avenue.

Deaphap Williams and Prosper Detchoua, both veteran commuters from Montgomery County, knew nothing about the Bi-County Transitway.

‘‘No, I didn’t hear about it,” Detchoua said.

Other commuters, like David Keyes of Takoma Park, were uncertain whether or not the Bi-County Transitway was the same as the Intercounty Connector, the highway project which will link Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

‘‘I don’t really know much about it. Is it like the ICC?” Keyes said.

Some commuters at the Silver Spring transit station near the Metro expressed awareness of the proposed Purple Line, though most were unaware of its connection to the Bi-County Transitway.

The few commuters who were aware of the Bi-County Transitway spoke of it as a positive addition for the commuting community.

‘‘I think that it will be very good,” Takoma Park resident Pedro Bela said.

Yemeserach Girmm of Silver Spring learned about the Bi-County Transitway after being asked to sign a document similar to a petition indicating her support for the transitway’s construction.‘‘I think that it’s a plus. It will open things up, especially for those coming into the county,” Girmm said.