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D.C. Circulator route changes to look forward to

See which routes will be reconfigured

Photo via Shutterstock/melissamn

This year is expected to be a turning point for the D.C. Circulator. In 2018, there are a variety of changes expected for the bus system, changes which hope to improve the frequent bus breakdowns and poor on-time performance.

According to the Washington Post, the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) plans on taking over management of the system from Metro and adding 40 new buses by the end of the year. There are also plans to take away service in low-demand areas and add buses in areas where there is greater demand. A myriad of stops will also be eliminated.

As detailed in this DDOT document, here are the service changes planned for the D.C. Circulator, which won’t be implemented until April 2018:

Potomac Avenue Metro-Skyland via Barracks Row

If approved, this route will no longer serve the Potomac Avenue Metro station or Skyland Town Center. The alternative plan is to connect Union Station and Congress Heights Metro station via Barracks Row and Downtown Anacostia. When it comes to how the hours will differ, the route will offer a permanent Saturday service from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and a new Sunday service from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The reasoning behind these changes is that the current route has a low number of boardings per hour, which the DDOT believes is due to the overlap with multiple WMATA Metrobus routes on Good Hope Road.

The new route name will be Union Station-Congress Heights Metro.


Union Station-Navy Yard Metro

This route will not serve Union Station anymore. The new plan is to connect the Eastern Market Metro station and L’Enfant Plaza Metro station via Barracks Row, M Street SE/SW, and the Waterfront Metro station. On Saturdays, the service will change to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the Sunday service will run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Similarly to the previously mentioned D.C. Circulator route, this one also has a low number of boardings per hour. The DDOT reports that this is likely due to the activity centers nearby not generating demand for all-day, high-frequency service. A trip from Union Station to Navy Yard also seems to take more time on the D.C. Circulator than the equivalent trip on Metrorail.

The new route name will be Eastern Market Metro-L’Enfant Plaza.


Georgetown-Union Station

On Fridays and Saturdays, the segment from McPherson Square to Union Station will run late-night service from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. DDOT plans on changing the start time from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m. and changing the service end time from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. The following eastbound stops will also be removed:

  • New York Avenue at 9th Street NW
  • K Street at 11th Street NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue at 21st Street NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue at 28th Street NW
  • M Street at Thomas Jefferson Street NW
  • Wisconsin Avenue at P Street NW

The following westbound stops will also be removed:

  • New York Avenue at 9th Street NW
  • 21st Street at K Street NW
  • Wisconsin Avenue at P Street NW

Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square Metro

DDOT plans on permanently changing the service start time for this route from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m.


Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn

The service start time will be altered from 7 .m. to 6 a.m., and the service end time will change from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.


D.C. Circulator Proposed Major Service Adjustment Plan [DDOT]

D.C. Circulator will get new buses, streamline routes as part of plan to improve service [The Washington Post]