Category Archives: Transit

Several Circulator Changes Starting Next Week

This caught GM a bit unaware: Next week DDOT is making some changes to the Circulator route through Georgetown. It primarily involves eliminating stops. According the the Post:

Stops will be eliminated at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street NW, both eastbound and westbound; at Wisconsin Avenue and N Street NW heading westbound, and at M and 31st streets NW heading eastbound.

A stop will be added at 35th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, where the Georgetown-Union Station buses turn around to head back toward Union Station.

DDOT has long disliked the fact that the Circulator goes up Wisconsin Ave. and blames this segment for delays on the line. It has repeatedly either tried to eliminate stops or eliminate the extension altogether. All the attempts at stop elimination have been rolled back (GM remebers, for instance, that the Wisconsin and R stop was eliminated a few years ago, only to return). Continue reading

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WMATA Planning Some Changes to Georgetown Bus Routes

As reported by GGW, WMATA is now considering some changes to a host of bus lines. Metro is characterizing the changes as “adjustments” but in many cases a better description would be “cuts”. And some of those cuts will fall on Georgetown bus riders. But some proposed changes may actually benefit them.

First the bad: Metro wants to cut back weekend late night service on the D2 (Glover Park-Dupont) and the G2 (GU-Howard U). From Metro’s memo, what qualifies as “late night” is not specified. But GM hopes it is after midnight, at least.

Also on the bad side: Metro wants to extend the headways (i.e. the wait between buses) on the morning D1 route (Glover Park-Fed Triangle) from 8 to 10 minutes. Continue reading

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The Only Way You Should Get To and From Nats Park

Photo by Kevin H.

Last Saturday, GM took a trip out to Nats park to watch the Nationals get beaten up by the Phillies. But on the way home, he finally gave the new American River Taxi a try, and he can report that it’s the only way to get to and from the stadium.

GM had to buy scalped tickets because the game was sold old. As a result he had to show up late to the game (tickets are a lot cheaper at that point), so taking the taxi out to the park wasn’t an option (it arrives before the game).

After the final out of the game, GM got up and left the stadium with the rest of the crowd. But rather than heading back to the Metro, he made his way over to the First Base Gate. From there he crossed over Potomac Ave. and entered Diamond Teague Park.  Two water taxis were waiting for the crowd: the American River Taxi (which is a small pontoon boat) and the Potomac River Boat Company (which runs down to Alexandria).

GM hopped aboard the Dolly Madison (the name of American River Taxi’s boat). About 10-12 other passengers ended up accompanying him. After the stadium’s gates were closed (approximately 10-15 minutes after the last out) the ship set off. Tickets are $9 one way and can be bought on the boat. Continue reading

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Another Metro Line Through Georgetown Considered

Back in January, GM discussed the long range plans that a WMATA group was considering that would, among other things, bring a metro stop to Georgetown (actually, two metro stops). The new stations would be part of a plan to create a new cross-town Metro tunnel underneath M St. to accommodate the added traffic on the Silver Line.

Recently this same group considered another radical plan that would also bring a Metro stop to Georgetown. It would be called the Brown line and it would travel roughly parallel with the Red line from Friendship Heights down to Georgetown. From there it would travel across town south of the Blue/Orange lines before turning back north to head up through Petworth and on to 16th St. Heights.

This line is actually quite like another Brown line that was suggested by David Alpert three years ago (although even he hasn’t included it in fantasy maps he’s done since then). The WMATA group considered the impact that such a line would have on the overcrowding of the other lines. Among other impacts, the group estimated that the new Brown line would add approximately 20,000 more daily trips and increase the percentage of DC and Arlington residents using transit from 70% to 74%.

Of the various proposed new subway lines, GM thinks this one has the least utility. There isn’t much density around Ward Circle, nor is there much hope of adding much. Wisconsin and Mass is an even more screwy location for a Metro stop. Sure, people would use it to get to National Cathedral, but there just aren’t enough residents in the immediate vicinity to justify that. A Metro stop in Glover Park, on the other hand, would make a lot more sense, but this map doesn’t include one.

The idea of sending a Metro across town under Constitution Ave. was considered as an alternative route for the split Blue line. And the study group found that it would result in less ridership than a route under M St. GM thinks the same considerations would apply to the Brown line too. Continue reading

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Google Adds Bus Stop Info to Maps

About two weeks ago, Google finally added WMATA transit information to its DC map. So now you can quickly find out how to get from Point A to Point B in the District using the bus and/or metro.

One of the side-benefits to this improvement is that Google maps now shows where all the bus stops are. As you can see above, there are a lot of them in Georgetown. Unfortunately, if you click on the the little icons for each stop, it doesn’t give you any information other than the name of the stop. It would be nice if it were to at least tell you what bus-lines service the stop and where they go. But it’s still nice to be able to quickly locate where a stop specifically is if you only know generally where one is. Continue reading

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Carrying Pizza on the Bus: Rude?

Pizzeria Paradiso Pizza by Joe Beone.

So, GM asked this question a long, long time ago, and he got some advice at the time, but he’s got more readers these days, and he needs some reassurances: Is it totally rude to carry a pizza on the bus?

See, GM has a Thursday night ritual. On the way home from work, he calls and orders a pizza from Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont. He picks it up when he gets out of the Metro and catches a bus home.

So for about five minutes GM is sitting on a relatively (or sometimes completely) full bus holding a hot pizza. It’s never anything elaborate, just a plain margherita. But it’s still a hot pizza and it can probably be smelled by anyone within a few feet.

Is this rude? Should GM just suck it up and walk the mile home?

OK, and if pizza’s ok, what’s not?

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More on the Future Georgetown Metro Station

Earlier this week, GM went over all that you need to know about a Georgetown Metro station. That same day, GGW pointed GM to a little bit more information on the possibility of finally bringing Metro to Georgetown.

GM originally wrote that other than a couple statements about the need to build a new split Blue Line through the central core–which would include a new station in Georgetown–little progress towards planning has been accomplished. That wasn’t quite right.

WMATA has convened a group of regional transportation and land use experts to form the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). TAG has been meeting for a little over a year to plan for the long term future of Metro.

Already the group has issued several reports of the problems Metro faces in the future and the possible solutions. Most interesting, for Georgetown, was the presentation published last October. This presentation discussed, among other solutions, the split Blue Line (as well as a split Yellow Line).

The presentation puts a little meat on the bones in terms of the numbers behind why a new line is needed and how it will help, but there are a couple other interesting points too. For instance, the group is contemplating two Georgetown stations, not just one:

Continue reading

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