“The 54 Bus Not Stopping at 11th and E Street”

bus
Photo by PoPville flickr user Rich Renomeron

“Dear PoPville,

I live in Columbia Heights and commute by bus in the evening. I catch the bus at 11th & E N.W. At that stop I can catch the S2, S4 and the 54 buses. Sometimes I like to wait for the 54 because it’s faster. However, the drivers have a bad habit of just driving off and not picking up passengers at my stop. Short of laying down in the road and getting hit by the bus I don’t know what else to do to get the drivers to understand that I want to be picked up. I wave my hands wildly and stand right at bus stop but they shoot by me like they’re in the Indy 500 and just keep on going. It’s happened to me at least 6 times since the summer. I’ve written three complaints to Metro and all I get back is the generic “we’ve received your message and will get back to you” kind of response.

My question is: is anyone else having this problem with the 54 bus or is it just me?”

10 Comment

  • I have this problem on the 52 at 14th & D Street, except there we’ve got the big commuter buses, small transport buses and various government officials who think they are god’s gift to humanity all parking and blocking the bus lane as well as one lane of traffic. Every day we (myself and others at the stop) have to walk into traffic to get the driver to stop and pick us up. It is an incredibly dangerous situation, one made worse by them discontinuing the Constitution & 14th stop claiming it was hazardous due to construction at the Commerce building (across the street!). At least at the Constitution Ave stop we weren’t competing with all the other madness going on at D Street.

  • I take the 54 bus almost every night from 11th and E, and have never had this issue. Occasionally, I have to walk into the road to catch the bus, but the bus always stops.

  • Are the buses full? I think drivers are allowed to drive by a stop and not pick up people if they believe the bus is too full. I’ve had that problem with the S buses and the 52 up 14th before.

  • I have this problem on southbound routes. Particularly the farther north you go, stops start to be every. Single Block. Which is annoying for riders and annoying for drivers. However, annoying should not mean skipping, say, 14th and Randolph just because you stopped at 14th and Shepherd and will stop at 14th and Spring. One driver told me they did so because there was another bus right behind him (there was, but it was a 53, which has a different route at the end).

    My larger problem with the route is that they do not run enough buses in rush hour, as they are completely packed early in the route; that an express bus is desperately needed in this corridor; and that I dearly wish that someday DoT will make 14th St NW in front of Target for buses and taxis only.

    • “One driver told me they did so because there was another bus right behind him” — This happened to me once when I was waiting late at night to catch a northbound 42 bus at Connecticut and Jefferson.
      .
      That route had roughly 30-minute headways late at night. I was outraged that the bus didn’t stop for me and I ran after it, finally catching up with it on Connecticut just south of Dupont Circle.
      .
      I asked the bus driver why he hadn’t stopped for me. He said, “There was another bus coming.” (If there was, it must’ve been a good 5 minutes behind him, because there was no later bus in sight.) I said, “Maybe so, but _I_ didn’t know that.”

  • I had the same issue at that bus stop a few months back; it was 11:00 in the morning and clearly the bus was not full. I complained to the next bus driver that came along who gave me the number for the dispatch office; I called and complained but never heard anything more back from them. I think some drivers are just not paying attention to who is at the bus stop.

  • I have also run into this issue with the 64 and 63 buses in the morning near Grant and Sherman Circle respectively. A group of us will be waiting on the stop, see the bus coming, watch it stop and unload passengers one block before the designated stop, and look on in bewilderment as it completely blows by us without slowing down. The bus isn’t even full. And there’s not a bus behind it for at least ten to twenty minutes.

  • last night on a northbound 54 the driver recognized a person near the OPs stop and announced that he (the driver) would not stop to pick up the passenger because he/she had caused problems on his bus before… hope that wasnt you!

    • I’m the writer of the post and I can assure you that I’m no trouble maker. Only a 60 year old secretary trying to get home from work. I’ve had the 54 bus blow past me at least 6 times in the past 6 months. Once while waiting for the light to turn green, the driver attempted to pull over to the curb but he was blocked by two other buses. One was a commuter bus and the other was an S2. He knew that I wanted to get on the bus because I had waved at him as he drove up to the stop. As soon as the light changed he took off through the intersection going at least 40 miles an hour. The 11th & E Street stop is like the second stop on the route so the buses are empty when they get there. I don’t like the attitude of these drivers who think that they don’t have to pick you up if they don’t want to. Sometimes passengers come up to the bus after it’s pulled away from the stop and they’ll knock on the window – but the driver won’t let them on. What kind of crap is that? Or they’ll say wait at the stop and don’t walk out into the street. But if you don’t walk out into the street and get into their faces and demand that they stop they’ll drive right past you. I don’t really know of any other job where an employee can say, “well, I didn’t feel like it so I didn’t do it.” Also, I’ve been on the bus and watched them just drive by people at the bus stops. And I know that they see the people standing there, they just choose not to stop for them. As I said, short of running out into the street with the risk of getting run over by the bus I don’t know what else I can do to get the driver to stop. Sometimes I wave my hands or if I have a newspaper I use that. I do everything I can to get the drivers attention because just like everyone else I want to get home. Waiting for the next bus isn’t an option when the bus right in front of me should stop. Sometimes when I get on the bus I can tell the driver is pissed that he had to stop. If you’re providing a public bus service shouldn’t you be serving the public by stopping and picking up passengers?

  • I had this problem over by DAR Constitution Hall. The driver literally changed lanes to a more central lane when he saw me there waiting and waved me off to say no he wasn’t picking me up. Luckily a police woman was there directing traffic after a concert (the concert ended about 30 minutes before and there were about 10 people left on the sidewalk), and the police woman made the driver stop. Then he just yelled at me that he doesn’t have to stop if he doesn’t want to and there were “too many people on the street to stop because it was dangerous”. I contacted metro and, of course, heard nothing. Which is to say there isn’t much you can do to get them to stop.

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