Metro has announced routing and time schedule changes that will begin today on several metropolitan area bus lines. Along with minor schedule changes on six Maryland lines and additional runs on the Pentagon-Washington shuttle, Metro officials announced that a new bus line will begin operating next Sunday along Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues NW.
In other adjustments to some of the city's approximately 390 bus routes, Metro officials said that buses along three existing District routes, the "X and L" lines and the "A9" line, will run less frequently.
Metro spokesman Al Long said the new route, No. 39, is expected to serve about 1,000 people a day. It will operate between Friendship Heights and the Van Ness-UDC Metrorail Station, during rush hours only. It will travel via Wisconsin Circle, Wisconsin Avenue, Albemarle Street, Connecticut Avenue and Veazey Terrace. Several of the new "articulated" buses with accordion-like pleatings in the middle probably will be used on the route, Long said.
Metro is increasing the number of trips made by the No. 13 shuttles from the Pentagon to Washington. The five No. 13 lines, which travel from the Pentagon to Seventh and Independence, are among the most heavily used of the city's routes, Long said. Three additional trips--and several minor time changes--have been scheduled to meet the demand of approximately 2,800 riders who use the route every day.
Other District and Maryland routes will be running more slowly beginning today. The five "X" lines that travel Benning Road between Capitol Heights and Lafayette Square will be running every eight minutes rather than every six, and they no longer will make a detour on the Benning Road Viaduct, Long said.
Riders of the "L" lines along Connecticut Avenue will have to wait longer for their buses as well. Metro says the line, which runs between Chevy Chase Circle and downtown, is underused. The off-peak schedule will reduce frequency from every 15 to every 20 minutes on the L2 and L4 routes. Rush-hour frequency on the L2, L4 and L4/ lines also will be reduced slightly from its present five minutes or less, Metro officials said.
The South Capitol Street route, the "A9," which runs from South Capitol and Southern Avenue to the Southwest Terminal at L'Enfant Plaza, will be running every five minutes, instead of every four.
Long said bus frequency and route changes are usually decided after bus users complain of overcrowding, long waits or lack of service. "Bus checkers" also ride the routes to see that the lines are used sufficiently, he said. Some of the buses scheduled to be taken off the Connecticut Avenue "L" lines will be transferred to the new Friendship Heights-Van Ness-UDC line, which was planned after neighborhood requests, Long said.
Schedules will be modified slightly for: C1 Wilson Lane; F4-F6 Prince George's-Silver Spring; J1, J2, J4, J6 Bethesda-Silver Spring; Q2, Q4, Q8 Veirs Mill Road; T4, T6 Bethesda-Rockville; and Y5, Y6, Y7, Y8, and Y9 Georgia Avenue-Maryland routes. New timetables available from Metro reflect the changes in spacing and frequency.
Riders who want further information on this week's changes should call 637-2437. New timetables are sometimes available at Metro stations connecting with major bus lines, Long said, but riders can also call 637-1261 and request that timetables be mailed to them.