Starting Monday WMATA will add 9 morning trips on 16th Street bus corridor

Photo courtesy of Kishan Putta


Starting Monday, March 25, Metro will add nine new southbound trips on 16th Street NW during the morning rush hour.

The new “short trips” will serve only the southern portion of the S-Line bus corridor, where customers frequently experience extremely crowded buses and difficulty boarding. The additional buses will start service at 16th St NW at Harvard St NW, making all S2 stops on 16th Street to H St NW. At H Street, the buses will turn left to 14th St NW.

Because the buses will start enter service at Harvard Street NW, passengers at bus stops south of Mount Pleasant should find it easier to find room to board.

The additional nine trips will operate weekdays from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. Currently, the lower portion of the 16th Street Line is served by 57 bus trips during this period, including limited-stop MetroExtra service on the S9. The additional nine trips will bring this total to 66.

Metro bus planners worked cooperatively with the Dupont Circle ANC to address the issue of crowded conditions on S-Line buses. The additional service is considered a “late add” to upcoming service changes and, as such, will not appear in printed timetables until June. Metro’s online trip planner will reflect the additional trips.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of improvements to bus service as part of Metro’s $5 million “Better Bus” initiative. Earlier this week, Metro announced new MetroExtra limited-stop service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue starting March 24, as well as new Saturday MetroExtra service on Georgia Avenue NW.

In December, Metro extended the hours of MetroExtra service on 16th Street to provide additional capacity during the late-evening hours (between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.).

20 Comment

  • What they aren’t telling you is that all nine buses will depart from 16th and Harvard with 60 seconds of each other and then leap frog each other all the way to the end of the line.

    • lol.

      Does anyone know why they do this? It’s seriously the most annoying thing in the world.

      Space out the buses so they come more frequently instead of in clusters of three at a time!

      • Um, they don’t “do” it. It happens because all buses aren’t able to travel along the route at exactly the same speed and sometimes they get bunched up.

        • “sometimes” – that is hilarious. Try every time.

          Today, 11:15, 3 buses show up after waiting for 20 min. 11:15 is not rush hour, traffic was light, and still there is bus bunching.

          Real time GPS tracking could help track such bunching… but only if the driver can’t turn off the system.

          • No, I was right. It’s sometimes. Most of the times I’ve taken 16th street buses there was no bunching going on.

            And if you think that rush hour is the only time when bus bunching can occur then you haven’t spent much time thinking about why it can occur.

          • seeing as I have lived off 16th street for almost a decade.. I think I get how often the buses bunch together.

            And yes, I have considered and read and attended discussions on how and why it occurs SO OFTEN. But thanks for your absolute condescension, anonymous, you must be a traffic engineer, right?

          • If you “get it” then why did you say “every time”? That’s a demonstrably false statement! Condescension on my part wasn’t required (I’ll apologize for that) but the frustrated-WMATA-rider-making-any-old-complaint schtick is very tired.

          • You are correct Anonymous: it is not “every time”. It is however far far far more frequent than “sometimes” you stated. I should have said “every day and not only in rush hour”.

            If GPS were actually enabled on every bus (so drivers cannot turn it off), and WMATA provided the figures, there could be an accurate assessment of the number of times per day buses bunch. There could be studies of the number of buses that leave early from their depot, the number of buses that leave late from the depot and much more.

            “frustrated-WMATA-rider-making-any-old-complaint schtick is very tired.” So is listening to WMATA for the last 2 decades on how bunching cannot be resolved at all.

        • That doesn’t explain why it happens near the beginning of the route. For instance, it often occurs with 52/54 buses heading north on 14th around L Street. That’s just a few minutes into the route.

          My theory is that the drivers coordinate it so that they don’t have to make as many stops, leaving them more time to smoke cigarettes at the end of the line.

        • Here’s a nice little chestnut from your link:

          Deliberate acts
          According to the article “Progress Has Passed Metrobus” by Lyndsey Layton (Washington Post, December 27, 2005) bus bunching may sometimes be deliberately caused by individual bus drivers, so that the bus ahead of them picks up more passengers and decreases their own workload.

      • bus drivers hang out and chat with eachother and then all leave at the same time…seen it happen

  • Props to the Dupont Circle ANC. Are the ANCs in Petworth doing anything simlar to add a few more 63 buses in order to address crowding during morning rush hour?

  • If ANC’s would focus on stuff like this, instead of small business persecution and moratoriums, that would be great.

  • Good idea. I’m usually able to get on the bus at 16th and Irving. But by 16th and Euclid, and definitely by 16th and U, it is packed and all the poor souls who live around there have to just watch in sadness as a full bus drives by them. In other news, please add more S9s and fix the GPS locators on the 50% of S buses that don’t work.

  • God forbid they give 14th street some love

    • 42/43 routes too! Same idea. Speaking of which, we don’t need so many damn 42’s. Way more people need to get too and from downtown at rush hour than to be dropped off right at Dupont circle. God forbid they’d have to walk 2 blocks.

  • Excellent news, I was really happy to see that WMATA was receptive to the feedback and responded so quickly. Buses start routinely passing stops as early as Irving in the morning so this is absolutely needed.

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