New Metrobus changes go into effect this week

Metro is introducing limited-stop bus service in Southeast Washington as part of service changes going into effect this week along some routes across the region.

The changes also include additional morning rush-hour buses in the 16th Street corridor and extended late-night bus service in Greenbelt. They are part of Metro’s Better Bus initiative, a $5 million investment to improve on-time performance and reliability in some of the region’s busiest corridors.

Metro officials say the efforts would make service more frequent, increase capacity and expand hours of operation as the region continues to grow and the agency experiences more demand for bus service.

In Southeast, the A9 bus will serve limited stops along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue before making its way to downtown Washington. The introduction of the A9 MetroExtra is a boost to bus service in the Anacostia-Congress Heights corridor, one of the busiest in the region with about 14,000 passengers daily.

Metro’s director of bus planning, Jim Hamre, said agency officials hope that the route, with only 17 stops, will provide faster and more reliable service on the line.

The transit agency is also adding more morning rush-hour trips on the S-Line in Northwest Washington, where riders have complained for years about being left behind by crowded buses along 16th Street.

Nine additional S2 bus trips will serve the southern portion of the S-Line. The new trips will start at 16th and Harvard streets, providing more room for riders south of Mount Pleasant. In December, Metro expanded its
limited-stop night bus service along 16th Street
.

“It is not a total solution, but it is something that we can do now with the buses we got and the funding we have,” Hamre said.

Along Georgia Avenue NW, Metro is extending the popular MetroExtra to the weekend. The 79 limited-stop bus will now run Saturday as well. With the additional service, Metro hopes waiting passengers will see a regular or limited-stop bus every seven to eight minutes.

In Maryland, Metro is extending late-night service on the G12 and G16 routes, known as the Old Greenbelt line, which connect the Greenbelt and New Carrollton Metro stations.

Buses will run about two hours later, until about 11:30. Metro officials say the change is in response to feedback from local residents who have asked for later service.

Also, the New Hampshire Avenue K6 bus will run more frequent during the midday hours on weekdays, servicing bus stops every 20 minutes instead of every 30 minutes.

Small adjustments to trip times are also taking place on the T18 route, which serves Annapolis Road in Prince George’s County and the Veirs Mill Road line (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6) in Montgomery County.

The W4 route, Deanwood-Alabama Avenue, will end at the Deanwood station in the District, no longer serving portions of Prince George’s County.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.

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