The District Department of Transportation is launching a series of changes in the Circulator bus system, eliminating one route, adding another and making further adjustments in the service.
The Convention Center-Southwest Waterfront Circulator is being eliminated. A new Metrobus, Route 74, started operating this week along the Seventh Street corridor between the Washington Convention Center and the Waterfront neighborhood. The 74 bus costs more to ride and offers less frequent service, but the District said the ridership on the Circulator was too low to continue it.
DDOT said it will add a route Monday serving neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River for the first time. The route will run from the Potomac Avenue Metrorail Station to Skyland via Barracks Row (Eighth Street SE), but the exact route has not yet been published..
Union Station-Navy Yard
Also effective Monday, DDOT will adjust the route of the Navy Yard-Union Station buses. They no longer will travel west on Constitution Avenue and north on Louisiana Avenue to reach Union Station.
Instead, they will stop on Columbus Circle at the flag poles adjacent to Union Station before turning right on F Street NE and right again on Second Street NE to reach Constitution Avenue.
That means they no longer will stop inside the Union Station garage. Stops on Louisiana Avenue and D Street also will be eliminated.
Bus stop consolidations
On the Georgetown-Union Station and Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn routes, some stops that are close together will be combined or eliminated.
Stops at 18th, 19th and 20th streets along K Street NW will be combined into one stop at K Street and 19th Street NW, heading west toward Georgetown. Stops at 18th and 19th Streets on K Street NW will be combined into one stop at K and 19th streets NW, heading eastbound toward Union Station.
Stops will be eliminated at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street NW, both eastbound and westbound; at Wisconsin Avenue and N Street NW heading westbound, and at M and 31st streets NW heading eastbound.
A stop will be added at 35th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, where the Georgetown-Union Station buses turn around to head back toward Union Station.
The consolidations and eliminations of some stops seem like good moves for the overall service, though they will be an inconvenience for some riders.
The Circulator needs to come closer to maintaining the bus-every-10-minutes service that is as much a part of its reputation as the distinctive style of the buses.
Riders transferring from Arlington Transit (ART) buses to the Circulator will start receiving a free transfer when paying with their SmarTrip cards. Those transferring from the Circulator to ART will pay 50 cents.