Bus riders in Northeast Washington got a nice addition to their transit options Monday. Metro launched the G9, a limited-stop bus connecting Ward 5 residents to downtown.
The new bus route, paid for by the District, is a rare addition to the region’s bus system at a time when Metro is turning to service reductions to balance its budget. Some bus routes, primarily in Maryland and Virginia, face elimination or reductions in service starting in July as part of the agency’s coming budget.
Funding for the G9, however, was secured in the D.C. budget last year.
The new route is the result of studies that found that Rhode Island Avenue, a priority bus corridor and one that has seen significant residential and commercial growth in recent years, would benefit from rush-hour, limited-stop service.
— CM McDuffie's Office (@CM_McDuffie) March 20, 2017
The service is expected to help alleviate crowding on the G8 line, which also serves Bloomingdale, Eckington, and Edgewood, D.C. Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), said in a message to residents.
“Today’s a great day for businesses and residents up and down Rhode Island Avenue,” McDuffie tweeted Monday, shortly before boarding the inaugural ride.
Metro anticipates as many 1,100 passengers daily will be served by the G9, as it travels along Rhode Island Avenue from Eastern Avenue to Franklin Square in downtown. Buses will run every 15 to 20 minutes weekdays only, from 6 to 9 a.m. to downtown and from 3 to 7 p.m. to Ward 5.
Because it makes limited stops, the G9 is expected to offer more efficient and convenient commuting during rush hour. It also will provide the only transfer-free ride available from Woodridge, near Mount Rainier, Md., to downtown.
The G9 will not cross the state line because there is no space for more buses at the Mount Rainier transit plaza, Metro said. The existing bus bays at Mt. Rainier are fully occupied by existing Metrobus and The Bus routes, spokesman Richard Jordan said.