If you’re looking for a late-night transit option on weekends, here’s some good news: Some bus routes are staying in service later starting next week.
Metro is adding night trips to some routes to help late-shift workers get home now that the subway system shuts down earlier on weekends. The transit agency is also restructuring some routes as part of service changes going into effect Sunday.
Dozens of routes across the Washington region are affected by the changes, which includes the elimination of some trips, changes to bus stops and some adjustments to timetables.
Extra late service will be added on routes from downtown to Ballston, Chevy Chase and Bethesda, and to service between the District and College Park.
The addition of late night trips responds to requests for transit alternatives after midnight, particularly after a moratorium was issued on Metrorail late night hours in June as part of the agency’s year-long SafeTrack maintenance program.
The changes will go into effect just days after the Metro board of directors voted to cut late-night service hours for a two-year period starting next summer. Under the plan, rail service will shut down at 11:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday nights, 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and 11 p.m. Sunday nights.
Before the Safetrack service reductions, Metro ran until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and midnight Sunday to Thursday.
The Metro board is also considering a plan to expand night service on a larger bus network. But that plan could cost about $2 million, and would require hiring 35 additional bus drivers. In the meantime, Metro officials say they hope the bus enhancements to go into effect this month will expand options for some riders.
In the District, the L2 route that serves the Connecticut Avenue NW corridor from downtown to Chevy Chase Circle will be extended to serve the Friendship Heights and Bethesda Metro stations on Friday and Saturday nights. Buses will run every 30 minutes between midnight and 2 a.m.
Riders should also expect a few adjustments to late night on these routes: 80 (North Capitol Street), D2 (Glover Park-Dupont Circle), E2 (Ivy City-Fort Totten), 94 (Stanton Road), H6 (Brookland-Fort Lincoln), U7 (Deanwood-Minnesota Ave. Station) and W8 (Garfield-Anacostia Loop).
Also in the District, bus schedules will be adjusted slightly to improve on-time performance on routes 62, 63 (Takoma-Petworth), 90, 92 (U Street-Garfield) and V1 (Benning Heights-M Street).
The N4 serving Massachusetts Avenue will add an eastbound trip from Friendship Heights Metro to Farragut Square at 7:41 a.m. to reduce crowding.
The P6 (Anacostia-Eckington) to Rhode Island Ave. Metro will no longer serve the bus stop on H Street at Sixth Street NW. The X1, X2 and X9 buses will stop at new bus stops on the H Street (Hopscotch) Bridge at the bus/taxi entrance to Union Station.
In Maryland, Metro is boosting Friday and Saturday late-night service on the J2 bus route between Bethesda and Silver Spring. The service will operate every 60 minutes, with one additional eastbound trip and two additional westbound trips between the two Metro stations.
The Route 82, which runs during peak hours and after midnight between the Rhode Island Metro and Mount Rainier, will be discontinued. Metro said the College Park route N0. 83 will pick up the No. 82 trips. Some late-night trips on the No. 83 will run between Rhode Island Ave. and College Park stations.
Some routes, including the C2 and C4 (Greenbelt-Twinbrook) and the K6 (New Hampshire Avenue) will begin to serve the new Takoma-Langley Crossroads Transit Center in Langley Park.
The Laurel line (89, 89M) will see some slight changes in the route and timetables. In Beltsville, buses will operate via Ammendale Road between Baltimore Avenue and Virginia Manor Road.
Bus schedules will be slightly adjusted to improve on-time performance on the following routes: C21, C22, C26, C29 (Central Avenue); J2 (Bethesda-Silver Spring); J4 (College Park-Bethesda Limited).
In Virginia, riders of Columbia Pike route No. 16E will see late-night weekday and Saturday service extended from the Pentagon Transit Center to Franklin Square. This will provide riders that extra connection from downtown after Metrorail closes.
The 38B (Ballston-Farragut Square) line is adding two late-night round trips on Friday and Saturday. The 38B buses will start using a new bus-only tunnel at Rosslyn Metro between North Moore and North Lynn streets. Buses on the Chain Bridge Road route No. 15 will also start using the new bus-only tunnel.
Bus schedules will be slightly adjusted to improve on-time performance on the Wilson Boulevard-Vienna route 1B and Lincolnia-Park Center-Pentagon routes 7C, 7P, 7W and 7X.
Riders of the 21A (Landmark-Bren Mar Park-Pentagon) Line will see more frequent morning service. Buses will run every 15 minutes to reduce crowding.
Click here for a full list of changes.