About a dozen residents attended a meeting Tuesday night to tell planners their likes and dislikes on two proposed bus routes for the D.C, Circulator to run east of the Anacostia River.
Many residents said they were eager to see the D.C. Circulator expand because they prefer the buses over Metro’s. Some said the Circulator buses are cleaner, newer, and stop less than Metro’s buses, which many complained are late and make too many stops. Also, the DC Circulator costs $1 to ride versus Metrobus, which costs $1.50 using an electronic fare card and $1.70 using cash.
“The number one reason we want it is that they’re on time,” said Barbara Harris, who has lived in Southeast for more than 40 years said at Tuesday night’s meeting. She said having the Circulator buses would give her more options for going to the grocery store and to H Street in Northeast Washington.
The meeting at the library near Eastern Market was the second one held to hear from riders on establishing the service, which is paid for by the District and managed by Metro.
There are two proposed routes.
One would run from Alabama Avenue and Naylor Road SE to the Potomac Avenue Metro station. The other would run from Alabama Avenue and Stanton Road SE to Eighth and L streets SE, near the Navy Yard area.
Juan Thompson, who lives in Southeast Washington, said he liked the fact that the proposed routes would help residents travel to shopping areas where business owners are planning renovations or looking to reach new customers.
“These routes can get you to Skyland, Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Avenue where merchants are screaming for customers,” he said. ”It gives them another mode of transportation to get their customers to them.”
Some residents said they wanted to see more neighborhoods east of the river served by the Circulator. But the city only has six buses and “a fixed amount of money,” said Scott Kubly, associate director of the District Department of Transportation.
Other residents said they were concerned the routes would not serve the Anacostia Metro station and parts of the routes would overlap areas where Metro’s buses already run.
“The 92 [Metrobus route] is running some of the same routes,” said Christopher Jerry, vice president of the Fairlawn Citizens Association.
Still Jerry said he was relieved that some service is coming.
“We had no Circulator before and now we’re getting one,” he said. ”My general concern is that one part of the city had it and the other part didn’t.”
Another public meeting is scheduled for Aug. 2 at the Anacostia library to hear public comments on the Circulator routes. The new routes would go into effect in early October.
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