Metro plans to put additional buses into service on southbound 16th Street NW during the morning rush hour in an attempt to alleviate crowding.
Nine new southbound trips will be added to the southern end of the S routes, the transit agency announced Tuesday. These buses will operate between Columbia Heights and downtown D.C., so travelers between Silver Spring and Columbia Heights won’t notice any changes.
Beginning on Monday, March 25, these buses will run on weekdays from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. The new trips will start service on 16th Street NW at Harvard Street NW, just south of the Columbia Heights Metro station. These buses will make all of the S2 route’s stops along 16th Street before reaching H Street NW. At H Street, they will turn left and head to 14th Street NW.
This is the second recent shift in bus service on 16th Street NW. Late last year, Metro began offering limited-stop bus service until 9:30 p.m. on weekdays.
The change followed reports of overcrowded buses and prolonged waits. As Robert Samuels and Luz Lazo documented last summer for the Washington Post, workers participating in the second evening rush — security guards, cleaners, servers and busboys — spent long stretches waiting for buses that would often arrive too crowded to take on new riders.
D.C. officials spoke out against the overcrowding, calling on Metro to enhance late-night bus service.
Bus ridership has been on the rise in D.C., with a particular increase seen in the 16th Street routes. But these particular issues are nothing new for 16th Street buses. A survey conducted in 2008 found that the biggest issues cited by riders were crowding and frequency of buses.