Dear PoP – Help Save the G2 Bus

Baby on Bus
Photo from PoPville Flickr User (and LOOK! Editor) Matt.Dunn

We’ve spoken about the importance of saving the Yellow Line but budget woes may also hurt certain bus lines. A reader writes:

“WMATA is proposing to cut service to the already infrequently running G2 bus from Howard University to Georgetown University. As someone who just moved to Bloomingdale neighborhood, I find the G2 bus service extremely useful, as its the only way for me to get to work. It is the best way – aside from walking – for us to get to a grocery store (whole foods) as there are no other full- grocery store options. G2 is also the only bus that not only goes to Georgetown but to Dupont circle as well.

The plan can be seen here.

Send to: [email protected] by April 6.”

12 Comment

  • I like the G2 as much as anyone, but to say there’s “no other full-grocery store options” than Whole Foods is a little silly when Giant is 3/4 of a mile closer. I know, some folks don’t like their produce (and I don’t buy meat or fish so I don’t know how those are) and the lines are long…but no longer than WF. The prices are as good as other chain supermarkets in the city, the selection (including a fair amount of organic stuff) isn’t bad, and it’s pretty convenient to Bloomingdale.

    So there might be lots of reasons to keep the G2 at its current frequency, but “woe are we; there’s no food except Whole Foods” is a doomed argument.

  • And the G2 literally goes right past that Giant.

    I can see how the late-night cuts could hurt, but I don’t think those will affect anyone’s grocery shopping.

  • Cutting the G2 would be horrible. I lived on U St. when I was a Grad Student at Georgetown, there was literally no other way for me to get to class.

    I think by running all the way across NW the way it does the G2 really connects the city and it would be a shame if that was lost.

  • just because giant is a grocery store, doesn’t mean you buy quality produce there.

    also it goes beyond grocery stores, it’s the only bus that hoes across town. there are just no other alternatives

  • the plan is for service to be reduced by an unspecified amount (“•Reduce the frequency of service at certain times on the following bus routes”) rather than actually end service.

    for example, I’m pretty sure that the G2 runs special Friday night “late” buses – presumably the reduction could come there and the regular service that people depend upon for jobs/shopping etc. may be entirely unaffected. Maybe. Hopefully. 🙂

  • Good grief, talk about reaching to find things to complain about.

    First of all, the proposed G2 service changes will not restrict any District resident’s access to food. GreaterGreaterWashington conveniently posted a map of the District’s food deserts and this route does not pass through any of them.

    Second, the proposed services changes propose extending the time between buses by THREE MINUTES. Jeez. Three minutes. This is not the end of the world. Eat an edamame while you wait.

    Third, most of the G2 line is within walking distance of various metro stations and there are other Whole Foods stores that you can shop at that are near the metro if you absolutely must by your carrots at WF.

    What we should all be concerned about are the service cuts that will affect the people least able to adapt to them. Poor people. People with disabilities. People who do not live near other transit options.

    WMATA is proposing pushing back the start of metro service by a half hour. This will affect a lot of service-sector workers who start their day while most of us are in dreamland. Many of their jobs make getting to our jobs easier for the rest of us–making our coffee, directing rush-hour traffic, taking our kids to school. They are proposing cutting the E6 route altogether, which will cut off the Knollwood Retirement Home entirely. There are NO other transit options for that population. They are proposing cutting the E36 route that serves Eastern High School entirely, just in time for the school to re-open in the fall.

    Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in neighborhoods like Bloomingdale and shop at Whole Foods need to be vocal and advocate for people who are less fortunate than us, who cannot attend public hearings because they are at their second or third job or already do not have sufficient public transit options to get to the meeting. They need us to speak up for THEM, not to selfishly demand more for ourselves at the expense of the people who need transit the most.

  • THIS! Thank you, Ogden.

  • Yeah, there are bigger battles to fight. The WMATA board needs to grow a pair and make some demands on the members of the compact and the federal government (50%of whom rely on WMATA rail/bus to get to work).

    The yellow line cuts are absurd. My three neighbors and I bought 3 abandoned buildings on the same corner and are spending a ton (my repairs are the most modest – judging from their shells, total economic activity is just shy of $1m).

    If we had known these cuts were coming, I doubt any of those buildings would be renovated, and DC would have lost all of that economic activity. Multiply that potential effect by all of the young Petworth, Shaw, U Street, Columbia Heights investors and this is just a bad idea for the city.

    My bus line, G38 is being cut back too. Whatever, an extra 5 minutes isn’t going to hurt that much.

  • Cutting the G2 during the rush hour time period when the bus runs very frequently is a pain, but the fact that during off periods the bus runs every 30 minutes (and that’s if it actually comes) is the real problem. If the G2 ran every 10 or 15 minutes instead of every 30 minutes during the slow times, I’d use it all the time. But, planning when I leave to make a bus that only runs twice an hour is ridiculous, it’s almost always faster to walk. When a bus comes as infrequently as every 30 minutes, it’s nearly useless.

    The Whole Foods debate is stupid. The G2 also runs right by Giant, which is where a lot of us prefer to buy our food also, so whether you want better produce at high prices, or cheaper groceries at better prices, the G2 is how we all get food home often, and when it only comes every 30 minutes, it’s too much of a hassle to be worth using the bus at all.

  • What difference does 3-5 minutes make? Sometimes a lot. I take a bus and metro to get to work (50+ minutes) versus driving (25-30 minutes). Add an extra 3-5 minutes to both my bus ride and my metro ride and then my commute will be 60-70 minutes. This is when I contemplate giving up on public transportation and driving to work.

    I understand that Metro is reluctant to increase fees, especially when it hits low income people. However, do they not also understand that longer wait times will result in fewer people taking the bus or train, which will further cut into their budget?

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