“Metro plans to increase capacity on 16th Street and Georgia Avenue with longer buses”

Photo by PoPville flickr user washingtonydc


“To relieve crowding and accommodate growing ridership, Metro is planning to add more 60-foot articulated buses on two of the system’s busiest bus corridors, starting August 25.

On the S1, S2 and S4 routes, which serve the 16th Street corridor, Metro will increase the number of trips operated with articulated buses by 45 percent — from 68 trips during rush hour today to 99 trips starting August 25. Each hour of rush hour, five bus trips that currently operate with standard 40-foot buses will be converted to the longer 60-foot buses.

Articulated buses provide 55 percent more seats than standard 40-foot buses, as well as more room for standees. The longer buses will provide additional capacity when it is needed most: on a typical weekday, about 60 percent of Metrobus ridership occurs during rush hour, and more than one-third of the ridership occurs between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m.

On the 70 route along Georgia Avenue, the number of trips using articulated buses will nearly double — from 89 today to 172 starting August 25. The longer buses will operate throughout the day, with approximately 5 more trips running with longer buses each hour from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m.

“We are pleased to be able to find an innovative way to shift more longer buses to these busy corridors,” said Jack Requa, Metro Assistant General Manager for Bus Service. “We will continue to work with our partners to meet future ridership growth.”

The additional capacity is made possible by reassigning equipment and increasing service frequency on other lines. For example, some of the articulated buses are coming from the Y Line, which will be converted to standard buses that will operate more frequently. Y Line rush-hour service will increase from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes with a total of 30 new trips per weekday.

Georgia Avenue and 16th Street are two of the busiest bus corridors in the Metrobus system, carrying more than 40,000 combined passenger trips on a typical weekday (approximately 20,000 trips on each).”

31 Comment

  • I am not so sure this solves the problem. Longer buss means more people but more people getting on and off per stop, making stops longer, ect. I would love to see them consolidate stops. For example: people at V street and 16th can walk an extra block down to U street or up at cresecent street. How about getting rid of the M street stop in the afternoon? I cant tell you how many times iv been on a bus (start at 16th and I) that waits at K street light, then the next light, then the next light at M Street….that is why it is so slow.

    • V street is a great stop. I hate crowded stops where there are 30 people getting on the bus and its a herd of fighting to be first.

  • Do the articulated buses make anyone else nauseated or is that just me?

    • For the love of GOD, they need police to enforce 3rd lane cutters, double parkers, and people who block bus stops, because these buses create HUGE roadblocks when those things happen. They also need to instruct these extended bus drivers to pull fully into the loading zone at stops if they are clear. They’re not running a train FCS!

    • maxwell smart

      Oh no, I am with you. I will wait until the next bus comes rather then getting on the articulated bus. The road conditions on 16th street combined with a longer bus with little to no suspension = instant headache

  • Yah!! Now if we can only get an S9 express bus that goes all the way downtown.

  • There are way too many stops on the S1, S2, S4 on 16th (I ride between U and M every morning). They’re all so close together. Whenever I can catch an S9 and skip everything between U and P, I’m so happy.

    • the s-9 is also very slow too – its not that much faster on the way back from work. I ride between euclid and H street every day. If they removed the S9 Stop at M street (or moved it on the other side of the light there) it would speed things up a ton

      • maxwell smart

        the M street stop (at least in the morning) is where about 50% of the bus off-loads so I don’t think getting rid of that stop would be a good idea.

        • I just think they could consolidate in the afternoon the two stops the M street Stop and the stop just before that (between M and K street). Its very redundant and those lights really pile on additional minutes to the ride. 1 or the other would be sufficient.

      • I ride it from McPherson Square all the way to Silver Spring. It is significantly faster than the S2 / S4 north of Euclid, and mind-blowingly much faster north of Park.

    • maxwell smart

      I’m sorry but I don’t have any sympathy for someone who is riding the bus from U to M street complaining that there are “too many stops” and it’s “too slow”

      • agreed – you can walk from U street to M street faster than waiting for the busses. I always shake my head at people who do that.

        • lovefifteen

          I ride the S buses every day. Sorry, but no one can walk from U St to M St faster than the bus will take you. That’s just nonsense.

      • Silly disabled/elderly/people with children/heavy things to carry! Why don’t they all just do us a favor and croak already, or at least move to Kansas?

        • maxwell smart

          You know, if that were the people riding the bus from U to M street then I would not have made the comment to begin with; however that is not the case – it’s people who are capable of walking a few blocks AND who could take any of the S-bus options because the distance they are traveling makes the benefit of the S9 over the S1, 2 or 4 irrelevant.

          • It’s 13-14 blocks. that’s more than a “few”.

            15-18 minute walk v. a 5 minute bus ride.

            Not faster at all, ever (excluding wait time for the bus).

          • To be fair, you have no idea who is capable of walking a few blocks and who is not. Not all disabilities/ailments are visible.

  • While I guess this is good, I would hardly call the idea “innovative”.

    • I had the same reaction – innovative, really? It took them this long to think of adding longer buses?

  • bus lane or gtfo. this only helps the U street residents and could quite possibly make things worse for everyone else (as noted by other commenters: longer stops).

    • agreed – i always try to avoid the articulated if possible. I know its a longer trip and that turn onto K street (for s1) can be hard for the articulated and take forever! LESS STOPS is the KEY. Even if its just for rush hour if they eliminate half the stops between U and M street the capacity would instantly speed up. People need to walk an extra block if they are the only one standing at the stop.

  • Any discussion of creating bus-only lanes? Wouldn’t solve the problem of getting stuck at lights, but would prevent some of the holdup of getting in and out of the flow of traffic at stops. I see this as also being a more effective (and certainly less costly) solution than streetcars, which can still get stuck in car traffic without a dedicated lane.

    • People need to make note of spots where that happends. It always happends going home at the M street stop. There are cars at the light, and cars parked on the shoulder and the bus can never squeeze betwen the two. So it has to sit in the light, stop let everyone on, then by the time everyones on its a red light….then a few people running for it once it turns green…holding up further…you get the idea.

  • These busses suck. My guess is that they will only create more problems as the articulated busses will hang out into the other lanes, thus blocking traffic.
    What an incredibly stupid idea. Just create a friggin bus-only lane! How is this so hard?!?!

    • Bus-only lane would require DDOT action. WMATA and DDOT don’t seem to coordinate between one another very well.

  • Funny to read the responses. You’d think this is being proposed as “the answer”. There continues to be back & forth regarding the bus lane for 16th Street, which would be a better solution. Eventually, Georgia may get a street car. Consolidating stops only goes so far in reducing travel times–if stops have decent numbers of people, bunching them together means long stops at the consolidated stops. I used to do the 16th Street lines and, indeed, the existing stops were well used during peak hours.

  • What about the X2?

  • Grammar nitpicking alert! A person standing on a bus is not a ‘standee.’ What the heck does that even mean? A standee is cardboard poster. The suffix -ee refers to the the object of the verb, so a standee would be…someone being standed to? Would be great if they could fix this to say ‘standing passengers.’ That’s easy enough. No need to invent words that: a) already mean something entirely different; b) don’t even make sense with the suffix addition.

    • lovefifteen

      Sorry, pwc, but you are mistaken. A standee is person who is standing. Here’s the definition from dictionary.com:

      standee: “a person who stands, as a passenger in a train, a spectator at a theater, etc., either because all the seats are taken or because standing room is cheaper than a seat.”

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