Is the Kennedy Center a place for people with little money to enjoy themselves? It has made an effort, with half-price tickets for students, people with low incomes and other special groups, not to mention the standing-room tickets available at the last minute for many performances. But with recent changes in Metrobus schedules it is becoming harder and harder for poor people in some parts of Washington to get to the Kennedy Center. A new shuttle has been added recently to bring people in from Georgetown and Foggy Bottom, and that may help some who have access to a subway station or who want to avoid the regular weekend overload in Kennedy Center parking facilities. But two bus lines that used to run directly to the Kennedy Center have been canceled or curtailed in recent months: the 46 line last fall and the H6 line as of Monday. Both used to run through the Mount Pleasant and Columbia Road area, which has quite a few people who are interested in the arts but not affluent. The subway does not come anywhere near this part of town and is not likely to in the 1980s.
When the 46 line was canceled, the Kennedy Center got a lot of complaints from patrons who used to ride on it -- not only low- income riders, but also elderly people and others who prefer not to drive. Metro has taken no action on these complaints.
The 81 line, which goes down New York Avenue, is now the only one running directly to the Kennedy Center outside of rush hours. "I can get to the Kennedy Center now by taking three buses," says one music-lover in Mount Pleasant, "but frankly it's quicker to walk the three miles."