Metro is hosting six public hearings starting Monday on proposed changes to Metrobus routes.

The agency is looking at ways to improve service on dozens of bus routes across the Washington region, and wants riders’ input before the recommended adjustments go into effect starting in December.

Metro’s bus chief, Jack Requa, said the adjustments are needed to meet the growing demand for bus service in the region. During the last fiscal year, Metrobus saw an increase of 2.8 million riders compared with the previous year.

In the District, the proposed changes include minor adjustments on Route 96 and adding a new route 98 to replace the existing service the 96 provides between Tenleytown and U Street.

In Maryland, the plan calls for several changes to service in southern Prince George’s County where demand for public transit service continues to grow. The agency is proposing to return the NH1 route to the Southern Avenue Metro Station. This bus line currently runs from National Harbor to the Green Line terminus at Branch Avenue. Metro says redirecting the NH1 from the Branch Avenue Metro Station to the Southern Avenue Metro station will increase ridership and productivity.

Also in the Oxon Hill area, Metro wants to reroute the P18 (Oxon Hill – Fort Washington route) to serve the Southern Avenue Metro instead of the Anacostia Metro station. Metro would transfer this bus operation to the Prince George’s County transit system, TheBus.

In Virginia, Metro wants to turn an Annandale bus line, the 29G, into a local route. If approved, the fare would change from its current $4 to $1.75.

Some of the proposed changes involve the system’s poor performing routes, and aim to make them better by consolidating service. That can include the elimination of some trips or some routes, but generally without taking away service from customers. The changes also are done without additional costs to Metro’s budget.

“It just makes it more efficient,” he said. “We will see improved reliability, improved service to the customers, fewer complaints, and increased ridership.”

After the hearings, Metro planners will return to the Metro board with a final list of recommendations for approval. The changes would be phased in between December and next summer.

Public involvement

Metro is accepting written statements and exhibits. Those may be e-mailed to writtentestimony@wmata.com, faxed at 202-962-1133 or mailed to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Please make reference to docket B14-03 when you submit your comment. The deadline is 5 p.m., Oct. 7.

All scheduled meetings will start with an information session at 6 p.m. and a public hearing at 6:30 p.m.

  • Monday, Sept. 15, Oxon Hill Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Rd, Oxon Hill; Free shuttle to and from Southern Avenue Metro station.
  • Sept. 16, Metro Headquarters Building, 600 5th St, NW, Washington.
  • Sept. 22, Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S Stafford St Arlington; Free shuttle to and from Braddock Rd Metro Station.
  • Sept. 29, College Park City Hall, 4500 Knox Rd, College Park; Free shuttle to and from College Park Metro Station.
  • Oct. 1, Westwood College–Annandale Campus, 7619 Little River Turnpike, Annandale; Free shuttle to and from Dunn Loring Metro Station.
  • Oct. 2, Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library, 3935 Benning Rd, NE, Washington.