A major rerouting of Metrobus routes in a broad area of Northwest and especially Northeast Washington is planned starting in November, when the Metro-rail route to Silver Spring is opened for passenger service.
Dozens of District bus routs will be shifted to connect with trains at Brookland, Fort Totten and Takoma, the three rail stations to be opened within the city on the Silver Spring route, if the Metro board agrees after it holds hearings on the staff proposals.
Similar changes will be made on routes serving Maryland, with many being terminated at rail stations instead of going all the way downtown.
The bus changes being proposed in conjunction with the opening of the Silver Spring rail route are separate from another set of changes, already decided on, that will be made in July. The July changes will be made in conjunction with the opening of the Metrorail line from Stadium-Armory station through downtown Washington ro Rosslyn and National Airport in Arlington County.
In the changes now proposed for November, many major bus routes, including the 11th, 14th and 16th Street lines, the Rhode Island Avenue line and the Georgia Avenue line would be affected.
Because Metrorail trains will run only 14 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays only, many of the proposed bus reroutings would leave residents of affected neighborhoods stranded from direct bus service downtown at hours the trains are not running.
For example, Metro plans to stop running - at all times - the inner part of the No. 82, 84 and 88 bus routes (the Rhode Island Avenue line) between the Rhode Island Avenue train station and downtown Washington.
People who live along those bus routes, both in the District and in Prince George's County, would have to transfer either to a train or to another bus line at the Rhode Island Avenue station.
As part of the change in November, Metro plans to begin running a new bus route called E-6, that would start at the Brookland train station near Catholic University, go down 12th Street NE, pass the Rhode Island Avenue train station and continue downtown. People getting off the 82, 84 or 88 bus would tranfesfer to the E-6.
In general, under the Metro bus-train transfer plan, there are no plans for running new Metrobus routes through District residential neighborhoods to carry residents to the nearest rail stations.
There are two notable exceptions: (1) a route that would run between the Silver Spring and Takoma train stations by way of 16th street, the Walter Reed Hospital ground and Butternut Street and (2) a route paralleling the Metrorail route between Takoma and Fort Totten stations.
Most people who might want to get too a train station would be required to take a large main line bus on a route that also would take the rider downtown without transferring. If the passenger were to stay on the bus, the fare would be much lower, and the trip often slower.
A resident of the Walter Reed area will pay $1.45 to get by bus and train in rush hours to the Southwest Mall office area, a trip that now costs 40 cents by bus, but may rise to 50 cents.
The return trip to the Walter Reed area, by trin and bus, would cost 95 cents (the train fare only), since there would be a free transfer from the train to the bus.
That means that a round trip by train and bus will cost $2.40, compared with 80 cents by bus today (and possibly $1 in the near future).
These fares have not been offically adopted by the Metro board, but hearings on them already have been held and there has been no sign on the board that there is opposition to their adoption.
A separate set of hearings will be held next week on the changes of bus routes described in this article. For space reasons, the descriptions of the proposed changes must be condensed. Details are provided in a 153-page Metro document called Docket B77-2, which can be inspected at public libraries or at Metro headquarters, 600 5th St. NW. Metro's marketing office also will anser questions by telephone at 637-1328.
The hearings, all to begin at 7:30 p.m., will be held next Monday at the Prince George's County Service Building, 5012 Rhode Island Ave., Hyattsville; Tuesday at Montgomery Blair High School, 501 Dale Dr., Silver Spring, and Wednesday at LaSalle School, Riggs Road and Madison Streets NE, Washington. District residents can testify at any of the hearings.
Following is a summary of several major changes that are proposed by the Metro staff. Note again that the changes are summarized and very much condensed, and not all changes are shown in this article:
14th STREET - Routes 56, Summit Hill, and 58M Takoma, would be discontinued. Route 50 would be extended north to Walter Reed and east on Butternut Street to the Takoma train station. No change in No. 52 and 54.
GEORGIA AVENUE - Route 70, the main local route, which now goes from Silver Spring Armory to Southwest Mall, would be changed to run from the Silver Spring Metro station on Colesville Road. In rush hours only, No. 70 buses would run only from Georgia Avenue and Kennedy Street NW to the Southwest Mall. A new route, No. 71, would run from Silver Spring to the Southwest, and would be an express (no stops) south of Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues. The No. 72, Takoma, and No. 74, Soldiers Home, branches of the Georgia Avenue route would be discontinued and replaced by other routes.
11th STREET - Route 60, which now ends at 11th and Monroe Streets NW, would be extended by a series of northeastward jogs to the Fort Totten train station. It would replace parts of the No. 72 and 74 bus routes.
ECKINGTON - A new B-6 bus route would replace the downtown end of the 82, 84 and 88 bus routes on Rhode Island Avenue at all times. However, instead of going to the area west of the White House (generally Potomac Park terminal), the route would run most of the day to 10th and E Streets NW. Rush hour buses would run to Potomac Park.
MILITARY ROAD - The T-4, T-5 and T-6 bus lines, which now rn from Northeast Washington to Rockville, would be split into separate District and Maryland routes, with the District end at Friendship Heights. In rush hours, however, the District routes would be extended to Bethesda. The District routes would have new numbers.
AVONDALE (NE) - Routes E-1, E-2, E-4, E-6 and G-4 would be consolidated into a single route, G-4, which generally would follow the route of the present E-2.
FOGGY BOTTOM - Starting in July (the Metro board already has decided to do this), most U and X buses from Benning Road -H Street NE will end at Union Station, where most passengers would transfer to trains. Two new bus routes would be operated from Union Station to the Kennedy Center, replacing both the U and X buses and the western end of the 80 series bus lines, some of which are being terminated at the Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail station, as reported above.
PETWORTH - Major changes, complicated to explain, are planned for the J-1, J-3, J-6, P-1, P-3 and P-4 routes. The basic service of the J-6 route would be maintained within the District, but renumbered P-2. Service in Maryland would be directed to Metrorail stations.
NEW HAMPSHIRE AVENUE - The District and Maryland portions of the line, now operated as a single long line, would be split. The K-4 would run from the Fort Totten train station to 10th and E Streets NW.
16TH STREET - Instead of going to the Silver Spring Armory, all buses would go to the Silver Spring Metrorail station on Colesville Road. The S-4 would go out 16th Street and Colesville Road; the S-2 would go out Alaska Avenue to Eastern Avenue, then Eastern to Colesville (no longer going out Georgia Avenue).
WISCONSIN AVENUE - A new service will be introduced from the Dupont Circle subway station to Rockville, providing local service on Massachusetts Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue to Friendship Heights. It will be numbered T-4 and T-6.
UNION STATION-SOUTHWEST - Shuttle line M-3, which runs during rush hours, would be discontinued. It is used chiefly by Maryland commuters arriving or leaving on suburban trains at Union Station. Riders chiefly would use the subway, but would have to transfer at Metro Center station.