Two pieces of news relating to buses in and out of Georgetown to report. First, a few more details on the Circulator takeover of the Blue Bus. Second, a report by WMATA on just how slow our buses are.
As reported yesterday, the last remaining Blue Bus route will be replaced with a Circulator route starting September 1st. All monthly Blue Bus passes will no longer be valid. Normal Circulator fares will be in place (i.e. $1 for adults/50 cents for senior or disabled riders). Free transfers from other Circulators will be allowed for three hours. Free transfers from normal Metrobuses will be allowed for 2 hours. Transfers from Metrorail will by 50 cents.
No word yet on the exact route of the new Circulator. Like the Blue Bus, it will go from Rosslyn through Georgetown to Dupont Circle. But GM doesn’t know whether the Circulator will follow the Blue Bus’s route exactly. GM thinks that the old Dupont terminus is not optimally located (it’s at N and 19th, several blocks from the Metro). But it’s not clear whether another option is available.
Next, how slow is your bus? Don’t know? WMATA does. According to an in-house study, buses through Georgetown are not exactly swift. After reviewing GPS data, WMATA determined that the average speed of buses along Wisconsin, M St. and Q St. was only 5-10 mph. The G2 averaged less than 5 mph. That doesn’t sound good at first, but GM wonders, is it really that bad? He takes the Q St. buses every day (i.e. the D1, D2, or D6) and there is never any traffic slowing the bus down. Maybe 10 mph is just to be expected when you have a stop sign every 100 feet or so. Through in a bunch of turns like the G2 has, and maybe that explains that route’s even slower rate.
There doesn’t appear to be much we could do to speed up the Q St. or G2 buses, but there is a lot we could do to speed up the Wisconsin Ave and M St. buses. The Georgetown Transportation Study called for dedicated bus lanes on M and Wisconsin. Hopefully this study will strengthen the argument to finally bring those lanes here.