the X2 bus to Minnesota Ave? RT @Robin_Esq I need a low budget adventure trip. Suggestions?
— EEZY E (@EEzyLiving) January 14, 2014
In which I highlight tweets from around the area and analyze why they’re important.
This is the best response to an otherwise innocuous and genuinely curious tweet I’ve seen in a long time. This young lady, is looking for some advice to do something fun. And the reply she got was a reference to the infamous bus line that runs from McPherson Square to Minnesota Avenue. If you’ve never ridden it, you can be forgiven for thinking that some of the stories sound ridiculous.
The X2 is one of Metro’s shorter lines, but it cuts through a major thoroughfare, making it an extremely popular route. On one end is downtown, a mostly commercial area, which is why many commuters ride it. It passes through Gallery Place, a popular social area and min snakes along H Street from Northwest into Northeast. Then ends up east of the Anacostia River ending at the Minnesota Avenue Metro stop.
And because of the demographics of the city, that means most of the people who ride it are lower income residents, typically black. Now, to this tweet specifically: this isn’t necessarily about the race of the riders, that just happens to be the case. But the line that still features articulated buses is undoubtedly a wild one. Over the summer, a woman assaulted a driver, who then fought back, The Post’s Clarence Williams reported.
The X2 Metro bus took a strange turn Wednesday night, as a young woman and the male bus driver fought at the end of the woman’s route. The woman ended up with an arrest for assault and wounds on her face. And there was plenty of bewilderment to go around.
One tweet in particular sums up a pretty popular opinion about it.
— Auntie Peebz. (@thepbg) January 11, 2014
Now, when I’ve ridden that line, yes, it is often overcrowded and prone to incidents, because a driver can only see and control so much on such a lengthy vehicle. But some see it as a downright scary experience. After that assault happened, local blog Frozen Tropics put out a call for people to share their X2 stories.
“Though most rides are uneventful, I’ve seen homeless men holding their 40 ozs aloft while swaying and singing/shouting like drunken sailors. I’ve seen people smoke on the bus, down an early morning doubletake when I spied a man with a full skull tattoo…on his FACE,” she wrote in June. “I’ve seen fights, met angry New Black Panthers, heard my share of amateur rappers, and watched people consume and [discard] all manner of food.”
And the comments that follow are a laundry list of tales from riders, some fearful, some enthusiastic about what they’ve seen transpire.
- “I saw was a woman pull a knife on a guy and threaten to stab him. Apparently, this ladies daughters started making fun of him for selling books and he told them to shut up. The lady didn’t think this was nice so she pulled her blade while her kids cheered her on,” a commenter named “js” wrote.
- “[One] time the bus got so crazy, the driver got off at 8th and H St. saying, “I’m gonna get me a new career!” commenter mobileunit wrote.
- “A young lesbian couple having an argument over the other’s percieved infidelity. They are having the loudest argument ever, putting each other’s and other’s business out for all to hear. It was literally the funniest conversation, and I was laughing so hard I was crying,” an anonymous poster added.
WMATA recently added more service to the line to alleviate some of the over-crowding that many riders complained of. Meaning, it’s not going anywhere. But as the city gets younger and whiter overall, I wonder how a line like that really affects what newcomers think about the city. Eventually, the X2’s reputation of being a place to watch folks act up will fade.
I wonder if anyone will miss it.