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 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?
GM compared the current schedule versus the new one. Both morning schedules have eleven departure times from Glover Park. For the return trip, the new schedule adds one more westbound departure (there is no westbound D1 in the morning and no eastbound one in the evening).
But if they’re going to chop the line in half, couldn’t they have decreased the headways? It takes far fewer buses to go half a route. So in reality, this change is a major service reduction.
Here’s what WMATA has to say about changes to the D6:
The weekday schedule will change. Buses servicing the route between Sibley Hospital and Stadium-Armory Metrorail station will be scheduled every 22 to 25 minutes with shorter route buses servicing in between during the afternoon peak period. Eastbound short trip buses to Stadium Armory will leave Farragut Square (on 17th Street) at 3:14, 3:39, 4:02, 4:25, 4:45, 5:09, 5:32, 5:54, and 6:13 p.m. Westbound short trips to Sibley Hospital will leave Farragut Square at 4:47, 5:11, 5:37, 5:59, 6:23, and 6:47 p.m.
What this means is that there will continue to be buses going all the way from Sibley to RFK every 22 to 25 minutes. But on top of these buses, two shorter routes will be added during peak hours. One will go from Farragut Square to RFK and the other will go from Farragut Square to Sibley.
From the perspective of a Georgetown resident who takes the D6 downtown every morning, this shouldn’t affect their commute route. But it will affect their schedule. And if you work east of Farragut, it will affect your schedule severely.
Currently D6 buses pass through Metro Center on their way back to Georgetown at these rates:
- 5 o’clock hour – 7 buses
- 6 o’clock hour – 4 buses
- 7 o’clock hour – 2 buses
While there will be about that many buses per hour leaving Farragut Square under the new schedule, only these buses will be going all the way from Metro Center:
- 5 o’clock hour – 2 buses
- 6 o’clock hour – 3 buses
- 7 o’clock hour – 2 buses
That’s a 46% reduction in service. If you ride the D6 to and from downtown everyday, you may want to consider switching over to the D2-to-Red line option.
Speaking of the D2, thankfully for this D2 rider there are no changes to this route.