five “brand-new 60-foot accordion style articulated buses” unveiled for 14th, 16th and Georgia Ave

Photo by PoPville flickr user evegophotos


“Riders along the busy 16th Street corridor may notice that “new bus smell” on their commute home as Metro today put in service five brand-new 60-foot accordion style articulated buses, replacing some of the oldest vehicles in the fleet.

The new buses are part of a larger order of 21 articulated buses and 274 standard buses that will be put in service over the next year, replacing vehicles that are at the end of their 12-year lifespan.


The 21 new articulated buses will run on three of Metro’s busy north-south corridors: 16th Street (S-Line), 14th Street (50-Line), and Georgia Avenue (70-Line). Combined, these routes carry more than 50,000 passengers on a typical weekday.”

26 Comment

  • These are great. There have been more of them on 16th Street in the last year or so, and it really helps.

  • One thing that I’d like to know – Are these buses still using the loud diesel engines? I live off Georgia Ave and was really hoping the city would transition to natural gas engines to reduce noise along the corridor.

    • They do. And for better or worse Georgia is only going to get busier and louder in the coming years.

    • According to Metro’s press release: Using a combination of Compressed Natural Gas and diesel-electric hybrid technologies, the fleet of new buses offer up to 30% more fuel efficiency than the vehicles they will replace.

  • jack5

    The way they block an entire lane of traffic despite pulling into a designated “no parking” bus stop is great! It’s always a great idea to make lanes more narrow and the buses longer, I tell you what! And the huge black smoke clouds they produce makes the city smell great too, and reminds me of VW…. Almost just as brilliant as the H street trolley ideas… What happened to the CNG buses? Have they all broken down? Keep the great ideas coming guys! Thanks Metro!

    • blocking an entire lane of traffic is a feature. It helps ensure the bus can get back into traffic, otherwise, they must sit and wait until a person driving a likely single occupied vehicle to let the bus back in.

      Perhaps if people who drive cars would not park in bus stops, this could be minimized.

      • Yeah, not feeling a lot of sympathy for single-occupant car drivers who might be momentarily inconvenienced by the bus carrying 80 people.

      • jack5

        I’m perfectly fine with that if they should allow normal parking in the metro bus zone and just let the bus stop in the road, everyone benefits that way… They could build an accessible ramp that leads out to the street easily.

        The problem is that buses block one lane streets when they stop that way, and traffic comes to a stand still, or drivers dangerously go around the buses.

        • From my experience, as a rider of buses almost every day for 3 years throughout DC, the buses often stop this way and block lanes because someone decided to park or stand in a designated in designated “No parking/standing during rush hour” spaces. So I agree with guest1’s last sentence.

      • Except that blocking an entire lane screws up traffic behind the bus, including for other buses. So, as much as you might want to frame this as a car vs. bus issue, it’s really not.

        • Ashy Oldlady

          Yeah, always making it out to be “Car vs. X” does not make for a very productive dialog on transportation issues.

      • What about the fact that buses also block the bike lanes and bully their way back into traffic by forcing cyclists to stop or veer around them lest they get hit despite the cyclist often having the right of way? The longer the bus, the more likely it is that some part of the same bus is going to force me into traffic over and over again on 14th street.

  • It’d be great if they worked more on the un-banana boating of the buses, so that there aren’t periods of 10 minutes with no buses, and then suddenly 4 S2 buses arrive. Then 5 minutes later, two S1 buses arrive together.

  • Not all of the 295 new buses will be the 60-foot articulated models. Only a small number will be. Headline might need to be corrected….

  • This could be great, but I fear bigger buses will be used as an excuse to run fewer buses.

    Have fun!

  • I rode one this morning and it had the new bus smell! Much less crowding. I like ’em!

  • Bendy buses are great because of the increased capacity, but they do take up a lot of the roadway. I was wondering why double-decker buses are not an option. They would increase capacity on the buses, and take up the same amount of room on the roadway as a normal bus. London tried the bendy buses, but they were no match to the double-decker ones.

    • Not sure, but I think D.C.’s overhead wires make double-decker buses a no-go in some locations (though certainly not all of them, seeing as Megabus et al. use double-decker buses).

  • I’d be terrified to drive these.

  • Anonynon

    Bus lane is still needed on 16th, probably not possible on 14th.

  • I thought most cities (most notably, London) had abandoned their bendy-bus fleets, as they can’t navigate tight city streets as well. More frequent buses, if they use efficient fuels and don’t pollute as much, etc. (e.g., propane buses) lead to fewer incidents.
    But then, WMATA has never cared much about avoiding incidents, now, have they?

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