Expanded bus service – 16th St Express and the Circulator in CH?

DC Circulator bus, originally uploaded by afagen.

A reader writes:

“I saw this posted in the MPD 3D listserv today…saying that not only will there be a new 16th st express, but also that a Circulator bus would now be on a route b/w “Woodley Park Metro station to McPherson Square Metro station stopping in Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, U Street, and Logan Circle.

Any tips on what the route might look like? A quick survey of wmata.com for “new circulator route” only came up with press releases concerning the funding but not the route… Any tips on what the route might look like? Do you think it might come past/ north of 14th and Irving?”

From Jim Graham’s Email:

Beginning March 29, a new DC Circulator route will be added to serve Ward One/Ward Two neighborhoods. This express bus will run from Woodley Park Metro station to McPherson Square Metro station stopping in Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, U Street, and Logan Circle. I authored the funds for this expansion of the DC Circulator. http://www.grahamwone.com/?q=node/122

Anyone know the location of the stops?


21 Comment

  • Just what 16th street needs, more buses. I’d like my H8 to come more frequently.

  • The Circulator buses seem like a total waste. I’ve never seen one with more than two riders and usually there is no one but the driver on board. Just what we don’t need is more riderless buses clogging the streets. What has me deeply concerned are the Yellow line cuts Metro is contemplating as related by yesterday’s Washington Post.

  • I’ll look at the routing and see if it is useful but initially agree with the comments posted thus far. If Metro were to look at existing routes in this neighborhood and add especially cross town (the H8 is one of those), it would serve us better.

  • Drewlove couldn’t be more wrong. Since they aren’t technically run by WMATA, the Circulator is far more dependable and well-run by the third party service.

  • I disagree with Drewlove. Those buses are the only convenient means of crosstown transportation there. All of my doctors are only accessible through the circulator! And while I rarely find them truly crowded; they do tend to be full during the busiest hours of the day. I’m indifferent to the idea of having it in the neighborhood, but clearly we need more crosstown service up here.

    I think the idea for a 16th st express is modeled after the popularity of the georgia ave express. It is separate from the idea of another circulator. And could be hugely useful. The 16th st buses are always packed and they take forever because they stop every block.

  • Don’t be so negative, guys. Give it a chance. Everyone needs to be a bit more positive about things on here

  • Just a guess, but to start at Woodley, end at McPherson and hit AdMo, MT Pleasant, Columbia Heights, U Street and Logan Circle in the middle, the route would seem to be something like this:

    Conn Ave to Calvert (Woodley)
    Calvert to Columbia (Ad Mo at 18th and Mt Pleasant at 16th)
    Columbia to 14th (Columbia Heights)
    14th all the way down to K (U St at U St, Logan at P St, McPherson at K St)

    Like the downtown circulator, there will probably be stops every couple blocks.

    The only problem with this route – and again it is a guess – is it doubles up existing bus routes on 14th for much of it the ride. That said, there isn’t a North to South thoroughfare that doesn’t have a bus route already, so I guess they need to pick one.


  • I use the Union Station to Georgetown Circulator quite frequently and love it! It’s cleaner, more dependable and less crowded than WMATA busses. As for this proposed new Circulator route, I think it would be better if it turned left on U from 14th and then took a right down 9th to link up with the other two circulator routes at the Convention center.

  • I love all the additional bus service that is coming to light. I would love it, however, if there was a simpler way to get from Northern Columbia Heights (above Newton) to Dupont. Other than walking clear over to Mt. Pleasant for the 42, this isn’t easy.

    Also, with the Allegro opening soon, and the new bus stop right out front, I’m scared of what is going to happen to the 14th St bus. I guess it means I’ll be taking the 16th St one more often, and thus this new service is timely.

    More requests:

    *I’d love to see the new circulator include Dupont.

    *It’d be awesome if every few 42’s turned on Irving and then came up 16th or 14th St.

  • I like the idea of having a circulator on 16th street. Circulator buses, as others have pointed out, are cleaner and more dependable than WMATA buses.

    Also, if a circulator bus is added on this route, perhaps WMATA will reduce the number of its own buses and redirect those efforts to streets that have a greater need for bus frequency and number.

    And you won’t find me complaining about $1.00 fares and free transfers.

  • Just Guessing: The Circulator will have to do some maneuvering around Columbia and 16th Street, as Columbia becomes a westbound one-way street between there and 14th.

    Anon at 11:14 – I would suggest heading to the 16th St S Buses down to P street, then just walking the leftover down there instead of heading all the way to Mt. P to catch a 42. Im not sure how much less walking this would be, but I find the S buses to be a faster route to Dupont than the 42.

  • It’s implicit in Just Guessing’s route that eastbound Columbia turns into Harvard between 16th and 14th.

    I don’t know what city Drewlove lives in, but in DC the Circulator buses are always semifull.

    This route seems a bit ambitious though. We definitely need a connector between Woodley and Columbia Heights metro stations, but I don’t see the point of looping all the way down to McPherson. If there was an express 42 that skipped the circle, that would the function.

  • Vonstallin

    The circulator is such a sexy bus….one of the best in the country.

  • Drewlove- What time of day are you riding? I use the Circulator to get between Shaw and Georgetown in the morning and evenings, and the bus is usually standing room only.

    PoP- The reason you didn’t find any Circulator info on the WMATA site is because they’re run by DDOT, not WMATA.

    Info on the Circulator Expansion Study is available here:


  • I went to DrewLove’s link…the December meeting has a presentation that maps out a proposed Circulator on the route that Just Guessing suggested and lists the start date as March ’09. Check out page 33.

  • I used the Union Station-Georgetown circulator all the time when I lived downtown. It was the easiest way to get from my old apartment (12th and M) to Trader Joes (25th and Penn). I don’t know when Drewlove was riding, but whenever I take it to Georgetown after work it’s always at least 3/4 full. I’m all in favor for a CH-WP circulator, esp. now that I live in CH.

  • My only gripe with the Circulator buses are that the seats are about 1 or 2 inches too high. My legs below knee just dangle when i sit in the seat, which ironically cuts off my circulation.

  • @anon 11:19

    at one of the mt p transportation study meetings (maybe 5 years ago?) someone in the audience suggested moving the 42 bus nothern terminus form mt pleasant street to to 14th street, because of noise concerns. i’m not sure it was ever considered seriously though.

  • Whoops…if anyone was wondering why DrewLove sent a comment to himself, its because it was from me. I must have pasted his name in the wrong field when writing my resonse. Der.

  • Working on K Street, the Circulator is the best and cheapest way to go east/west downtown. Drewlove: It’s relatively uncrowded because it comes every 10 minutes — i.e., there’s no build-up, it keeps riders uh . . . circulating . . . rather than waiting and then crowding onto buses. Great idea, expanding it to Adams Morgan, MtP, etc.

  • This was my question originally…thanks Chris Loos and The Tim for digging up the DDOT info!

    An good guess, Just Guessing!

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