Two hearings Monday on Metrobus changes

September 16, 2013

Metro is looking at ways to adjust schedules and routes for the Metrobus fleet. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

The transit authority has scheduled six public hearings on dozens of proposed changes in Metrobus routes and schedules. Monday night’s hearings are in Prince George’s and Falls Church.

Prominent among the proposals are alterations in two airport bus lines and in the main transit link to National Harbor, but others will get attention too.

One comment I didn’t get a chance to publish in today’s online chat said: “Please don’t cut the 80 bus. The 80 bus is the only midday bus except the 30s and the X1 that goes to Foggy Bottom. Please don’t cut it in half.”

The 80 route is the North Capitol Street Line, but it’s a long route. The service area includes: Fort Totten Metrorail station, Providence Hospital, Brookland station, Catholic University, Washington Hospital Center, Union Station, Gallery Place station, McPherson Square station, Farragut Square, Foggy Bottom station, Constitution Hall, the State Department, George Washington University and the Kennedy Center.

The proposal would reroute southbound travel using the North Capitol Street underpass at New York Avenue and the Virginia Avenue underpass at 23rd Street. Also, every other weekday trip in both directions would operate between Fort Totten and McPherson Square only, rather than continuing on through Foggy Bottom.

The schedule would be adjusted so that between Fort Totten and McPherson Square, buses run every eight to 10 minutes during peak periods and every 12 minutes midday. Between McPherson Square and the Kennedy Center, they would operate every 16 to 20 minutes during the peaks and every 24 minutes off-peak.

Metro’s thinking: The ridership is lower west of McPherson Square, shorter trips would improve the buses’ running time and reliability while maintaining the level of service in the core ridership area.

That’s a pretty typical account of the many changes in this package. They aren’t driven by budget-cutting. Rather, they would shift around the bus fleet and adjust the schedules, sometimes just to conform with the realities of traffic congestion that throw off schedules and anger riders.

Not all the proposed changes will fly. It’s likely that the package presented to the Metro board this fall will contain revisions to the plan. Use this link to see a full listing of the proposals.

Hearing schedule

All hearings are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Each session includes an open house at 6 p.m.

  • Monday: Oxon Hill Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill; Bailey’s Elementary School cafeteria, 6111 Knollwood Dr., Falls Church.
  • Tuesday: Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; D.C. Department of Treasury, second-floor conference room, 1101 Fourth St. SW.
  • Wednesday: The Atrium at Treetops, 8181 Professional Pl. #200, Hyattsville.
  • Thursday: LaSalle Elementary School auditorium, 501 Riggs Rd. NE.
Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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Lori Aratani | September 16, 2013