Tag Archives: WMATA

WMATA Recommits to New Potomac Crossing

Image courtesy of the Washington Post.

As reported in the Washington Post, WMATA leadership is recommiting to the concept of constructing a new Potomac river crossing between Rosslyn and Georgetown.

This is a topic GM has discussed previously. In short, the construction of the Silver line out to Dulles and beyond will eventually put too much pressure on the tunnel between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom. As ridership increases, Metro will have to come up with a new way to get Virginia riders across the Potomac. Short term solutions involve sending more Blue line trains over the 14th St. bridge, but ultimately a more radical solution will be necessary.

The solution Metro has floated multiple times before involve the construction of a new tunnel between Rosslyn and Georgetown, with the tracks continuing under M St. heading eastward through downtown. Most plans called for the Blue line to take this new route (otherwise known as the “separated Blue line”). But some proposals involve the Orange or Silver lines taking it instead. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Elvert Barnes.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by csuspect.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • DCist weighs in on the West Heating Plant sale.
  • Glover Park is really fighting hard against the proposed changes to the D1 and D2 bus routes. The changes wouldn’t hit Georgetown as hard since reductions in the D1 service would be offset by increases in the D6 service.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Ehpien.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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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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All You Need to Know About the Georgetown Metro Stop

Last week when GM was writing about the debate over Georgetown University’s Ten Year Plan, he mentioned that ultimately the best way to tackle the transportation challenges facing the university and the neighborhood would be for both parties to get behind the effort to bring a Metro stop to Georgetown. This comment led a reader to write to GM and ask what the status of that effort is.

Rather than just answer that question, GM thought he’d take this opportunity to write about all he knows about a Metro stop in Georgetown: why we don’t have one and why we may yet get one (eventually).

Why There is No Georgetown Metro

If you take anything away from this article, please let it be this: the reason there is no Metro station in Georgetown has absolutely nothing to do with neighborhood opposition. Nothing. No “rich Georgetowners wanted to keep out minorities”-conspiracy. No matter how much it fits with the popular stereotype, it’s just not true.

As rigorously documented in Zachary Schrag’s Great Society Subway, the planners behind Metro simply never seriously considered putting a station in Georgetown. The reason: the Potomac. To get under the river, the Metro tunnel has to start heading down far enough away so that it’s not like a roller-coaster.

Commercial Georgetown is very close to the river and on a steep hill, which wouldn’t give the tunnel much distance to reemerge from underneath the river. Thus a Georgetown station would be extremely deep. It would be physically possible to build, but it would be extremely expensive.

And the Metro planners didn’t see a reason to spend that sort of money on Georgetown. In the 1960s when the plans were developed, Georgetown had little office space and few apartment buildings. It simply was not a destination of suburban commuters. Since that was the audience for which the Metro was primary designed to serve, Georgetown was not considered a worthwhile station location.

That’s it. No matter how affirming of all the stereotypes of Georgetowners the myth is, it’s absolutely false.

Why There May Someday Finally Be a Georgetown Metro

In 2013, the first phase of the new Silver Line will open. As planned, the Silver Line will branch off of the Orange Line at East Falls Church and head out to Tyson’s Corner and onwards to Dulles and beyond. Since the Silver Line will share tracks with the Orange Line from East Falls Church to Rosslyn and the Blue and the Orange Lines from Rosslyn eastward, the Silver Line will ultimately add a significant amount of riders to already overburdened rails. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

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Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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WMATA Proposes to Stop Weekend Late-Night Bus Service

Yesterday, Georgetown Current’s Carol Buckley alerted GM to the draconian plan that WMATA is floating to close a massive budget gap. Among other changes, the proposal would stop all weekend late-night bus service between Georgetown and Dupont Circle and cut early morning service as well.

What WMATA is specifically proposing is the following:

  • D2
    • Cut off all bus service at 12:44 Friday night and 12:55 Saturday night (that’s four different buses each night).
  • G2
    • Cut off all westbound service from Howard at 11:44 Friday night and 11:47 Saturday night. Cut off all eastbound from GU at 12:18 Friday night and 12:22 Saturday night.
    • Add one minute to morning peak headways and three minutes to evening peak headways
    • Add a whopping 10 minutes(!) to all Saturday and Sunday headways (i.e., now buses will come every 40 minutes all-day instead of every half-hour). Continue reading

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That’s It For D Series Changes

Last week GM detailed some changes to the D Series bus schedule. One thing that confused him was that WMATA had been contemplating changes for the D Series for quite some time. Yet the changes announced last week appeared to be part of a systemic not targeted change. The website for the D Series study is now essentially wiped of all mention of the D Series Study.

GM reached out to WMATA and got confirmation that the changes announced last week are indeed the end result of this year’s study. Following his inquiry a press release was issued clarifying the matter.

This is a little odd since the changes announced last week only partially resemble the changes considered last winter. Here’s how the two plans break-down:

The Original Plan:

  • Extend the D2 to Union Station (this was pulled from consideration last March)
  • Cut the D6 up into two pieces, with every third westbound D6 ending at Dupont
  • Extend the D4 all the way from Ivy City to Sibley
  • Small rerouting fixes

The Plan Announced Last Week

  • Keep D2 the same, but stop the D1 at Federal Triangle
  • Introduce two short trip D6 routes that split the overall route at Farragut
  • The D3 no longer will go to Georgetown (it’s a reverse commuter route that primarily is designed to serve DCPS students), it will stop at Dupont
  • The D4 will not reach Georgetown; it will end at Franklin Square
  • D5 will extend its nighttime hours. WMATA is a little tricky about describing this. In the release they describe it as “Two additional westbound buses will be scheduled to depart at 3:20 and 6:55 p.m. from Farragut Square.” That would sound like they’ve added two new buses to the schedule. In fact they only added one more bus; they extended the schedule a little further more by extending the headways (i.e. the wait between buses).
  • No short cuts announced Continue reading

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WMATA Announces Dramatic Changes to Metrobus Routes

Today WMATA announced a raft of changes to Metrobus routes throughout the region. Some of the changes directly affect Georgetown residents. They will take effect December 27th. If you ride the D Series, keep reading.

The D1

The most dramatic change affecting the D Series is that the D1 will now only go from Glover Park to Federal Triangle instead of Union Station. As WMATA announced:

The route will be changed to operate between Glover Park and Federal Triangle. Eastbound buses will follow the regular route from Glover Park to 13th and E Streets, NW, then continue via 13th Street onto Pennsylvania Avenue to the terminal stand on the west side of 10th Street, NW. The westbound route will begin at this terminal stand and continue via Constitution Avenue, 12th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, 13th Street and resume the regular route.

Two new buses will be scheduled to leave eastbound from Glover Park at 9:05 a.m. and westbound from Federal Triangle at 7:05 p.m. The bus schedule will change.

This announcement seems to indicate that two buses will leave at the same time from Glover Park at 9:05 AM and from Federal Triangle at 7:05 PM.  Those are odd times to double up the load. Wouldn’t it make more sense to double up buses before 9:00 AM and closer to 5:00 PM? Continue reading

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