Metrobus service on “moderate snow plan”

Photo tweeted to us by @aadragna


“Due to current weather and road conditions, Metrobus service is operating on a “moderate” snow service plan, meaning that many Metrobus routes are only operating on major roadways to keep buses off of hilly terrain, narrow side streets and other problem areas.


Bus service is experiencing delays due to weather road conditions. Please allow additional time and use extreme caution when traveling.  For your safety, never stand in the roadway while waiting for a bus.  For delay and detour information affecting individual routes, check the bus alerts page or sign up for MetroAlerts.”

Update 2:40pm:

“In the interest of safety given current road conditions, all Metrobus service will continue operating on a “moderate snow plan” for the remainder of the service day. Under the moderate snow plan, service is provided along most major arteries; however, some Metrobus routes do not operate and others are detoured to keep buses off of hilly terrain, narrow side streets and other problem areas.”

31 Comment

  • I guess that means southbound Wisconsin Ave. is no longer a major roadway, since it was shutdown at R street-
    road clearly had not been salted or plowed

    • But the side streets were worse…thank goodness my driver ignored the shutdown and continued on Wisconsin.

      • Seriously?! They shut down Wisconsin at R? Thank God I stayed home from work sick today, that would have drove me nuts.

  • SFT

    How DC, how? How are we always so unprepared for snow? The kiddo and I got in the car this morning heading to his nanny-share, but I had to turn around. The streets weren’t salted and people were driving on the on the wrong side of the road. Every. Single. Winter.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      I agree. For the money it costs to shutdown the government for one day, it could purchase one badass fleet of trucks to clean the city and prevent future shutdowns. Also, why not put plows on these buses (there may be a logical reason for not doing this, but I can’t think of it)?

      • SFT

        Because they hit people and cars way too often to arm them with weapons like that!

      • I’d venture that bus engines are not powerful enough to carry a full load of people and clear snow off the roads (which is VERY heavy). I think snow plow trucks utilize 4 wheel drive in order to maximize traction; the buses are rear wheel drive-only. It would be a mess.

      • Emmaleigh504

        DC gov rarely shuts down and the feds aren’t going to just hand that money over to DC or buy stuff for DC to deal with snow.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          DC govt usually follows the feds… As far as the money is concerned, the feds give DC a huge budget, so why not give the area more so federal workers can make it to work instead of shutting down 5 times a year?

  • west_egg

    Limited bus service means a lot of people won’t be able to work at all (or will be forced into their cars on already-bad roads). Between this and the winter storm warning in MoCo, it’s clear that the feds and schools should’ve closed today. But that’s an easy call to make now and I have a lot of sympathy for the people who make those decisions. Last year they got crucified for closing in response to similar forecasts that amounted to light rain. Unfortunately I think we need a “lesson” like this every few years to hush the naysayers.
    My question: WHERE are the snow plows? Does our new mayor not understand that snow removal is one of the most important metrics for city administrators?

    • Tsar of Truxton

      It seems like this is the “boom” scenario for this storm. Most were predicting like ~1 inch last night and now they are saying 2-4. Last year, it seemed like everything ended up in the “bust” scenario. Obv. it is difficult, but they should make the call in the morning at like 5 a.m. The big issue last year was closing the night before the snow started and then it would not come. I know this is inconvenient for people who need to find child care, but that is how they do it in the North and people seem to do okay.

    • epric002

      winter storm warning expanded to most surrounding DC areas: “Per National Weather Service a winter storm warning is in effect until 1 p.m. Four to six inches of snow is now expected. Stay off treacherous roads while crews continue to plow. ETD/OEM”

  • Well, that’s unfortunate. I hope they go back to a normal schedule by the end of the work day, or I’m going to have a hard time getting home. Metro’s decision isn’t unreasonable, though. The bus I was on this morning (which is one of those routes no longer running at all) was sliding around alarming. But I would like to get home tonight….

    • burritosinstereo

      yeah, I just saw that the 64 is not running at all anymore. I guess I’m stuck at work until further notice 🙁

      and well ALL KNOW that if WMATA had announced the snow schedule at say, 6am, OPM would have called for at least a delayed opening.

  • DDOT was completely unprepared for this. Where in the past we’d see press conferences and salt trucks lined up along the streets in advance of the snowfall, we’re seeing nothing. Not a good start for the Bowser administration, but for anyone who has lived in Ward 4, the lack of response shouldn’t be all that surprising.

  • west_egg

    Northbound 13th St NW closed by police @ I Street NW due to snowy hill east of Franklin Park.

    • About a half dozen buses were just stuck there at about 8:45 a.m. Didn’t seem like anybody was doing anything. What was the plan, just “wait it out.”

      • west_egg

        There was a bus stuck there for a while; they made it out a few minutes ago, but the road is still closed.

  • The 16th Street buses were a disaster this morning, as usual. I estimate that twenty to thirty people were getting left behind at every stop south of Spring Road. Today’s bad weather aside, the marginal improvements to the 16th Street route are not working. We need a dedicated bus lane.

    • 16th st buses were also severely impacted by the fact that the above photo shows 2 buses who blocked all southbound lanes. I went 2 stops on the S2 (from Columbia Rd) and got off at this mess, since it took 20 minutes to go those 2 stops. Walked the rest of the way.

      • My 16th Street experience was completely different. Then again I left much earlier than normal before all the shenanigans. This brings to mind a question. IF 16th Street had a dedicated bus lane, would the streets be treated faster? Would a bus lane get first priority for snow removal? Will there still be dedicated bus lanes during snow emergencies?

        • I’m not getting the sense that many people here altered their commute (e.g. leaving early) like you did in anticipation of bad weather conditions despite expecting everyone else in the region to be prepared. David G’s situation strikes me as pretty absurd: if you think 16th street bus service is usually “a disaster”, why would you expect it to be anything else when a snowy morning is forecast? Wouldn’t you come up with an alternate plan the night before?

          • I actually did alter my plan. I usually ride a bicycle to work. I avoid taking the 16th Street bus whenever possible precisely because if functions so poorly. Unfortunately, on days like this, it is my only alternative (except, potentially, teleworking) because of where I happen to live.

  • All of the H line is really messed up too. Might be shut down by now. No one can get up the hill on Porter and there was about four buses lined up unable to go anywhere. Looks like Porter wasn’t even treated last night and is shut down.

    How did you not know this was going to happen and plan accordingly?

    • The H is stuck in the 600 block of Columbia, too. One bus couldn’t get up the hill, and there’s one or two more backed up behind him.

  • Quite an inauspicious start to Muriel’s mayoralty. Gotta clear those streets!

  • Does anyone know when, exactly, they made changes to the moderate and severe policies w/r/t routes/detours? Both major and very extensively used bus routes closest to my home ran in *severe* emergencies last year (though detoured), and a third ran (detoured) in moderate. Now NONE of them run even in *moderate* situations. It’s going to be a long, cold slog home with NO bus service anywhere within many, many blocks of my house (all the buses that serve any bus stop within 3 blocks of my house are completely cancelled, and a few are running 5 blocks away, but I’d apparently have to go out to the suburbs to catch one back into the city…).

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