While the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority planned to have free paper maps of the area bus system this month, the maps are not expected to be available until the end of February.
The reason for the delay, according to Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein, is that it took longer than expected to design the maps.
Metro hopes the bus rail maps will help customers better navigate the bus system, which spans D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The system is confusing to many in the area, including some AU students.
“Maps definitely would help,” sophomore Evlyn Drew said. “I like to know where I’m going, so I don’t end up in a bad spot.”
Originally it was thought that times posted on the maps could help, but Metro said that would make the maps far too large due to the large number of buses.
Some students might not be affected, like freshman Greg Higgins. “I’ve never used the bus system, so the maps are really of no help to me anyway,” he said.
Freshman Scott Goldstein said he might ride the buses more if they accepted Metro’s rechargeable plastic SmarTrip cards, instead of exact change. According to Metro’s Web site, this idea is being tested on certain bus routes in the District, Maryland and Arlington, Va.
“The idea is to eventually expand the cards to all of the buses,” Farbstein said.
For now, bus system maps are sold for $1.50 at the Metro Center and Pentagon stations, as well as the Metro headquarters on F Street between 5th and 6th Streets NW.
They can also be downloaded for free from Metro’s Web site, http://www.wmata.com.
Metro is also currently working on a number of other improvements to its subway system, including the addition of new signs to Gallery Place-Chinatown, the transfer station between the Red line and the Green and Yellow lines.