WMATA Details the Ways it Wants to Degrade Bus Service, Part 1

As discussed by GM back in December, WMATA is proposing to seriously degrade bus service for Georgetown (in fairness, they’re degrading bus service across town too). Over the weekend the agency released more details on what the service cuts will specifically mean, and, frankly, GM’s alarms are more than justified.

The most significant cut is the elimination of the G2 route through Georgetown. The earlier discussion mentioned the “consolidation” of the D2 and the G2. But, at least in Georgetown, the proposal is to completely cut the G2:

Current riders of the G2 are expected to walk to catch the D2, which will keep its current route through Georgetown. This is a huge cut for residents of west Georgetown. If you ordinarily catch the G2 bus west of Wisconsin, WMATA thinks you ought to have to walk up to a half mile more to take a bus. The same is true to a slightly lesser extent in east Georgetown. And on both sides there is a decent elevation change to boot.

WMATA pitches it as a benefit to riders who can now take more bus lines from the same stops. But that’s extremely disingenuous. As described below, despite cutting the G2, the D2 will come no more frequently, at least on weekdays. And WMATA wants to eliminate the D1. So current G2 bus riders will get to walk a half mile for the privilege of occasionally catching a D6 instead.

WMATA admits that this change will affect hundreds of riders:

WMATA touts that a whole 8% of G2 riders board within a block of a D2 stop, which is another way of saying that 92% don’t. It also makes clear that 385 people board the G2 at Georgetown University. They’ll be among those expected to walk up to half a mile more. It goes without saying that those with mobility concerns are the most out of luck.

The change would also affect how the D2 travels through Dupont. The eastbound bus will no longer travel all the way down Q St. to the north entrance of the Metro. Now it will travel Q St. to 23 St., and then down to P St. And presumably it will not let riders off any closer to the south Metro entrance as the current G2 stop does at P and 20th.

The bus would then travel along the existing G2 route from Dupont to Le Droit Park. In fairness, this would give Georgetowners slightly more frequent service to 14th St. bars and restaurants. But it would also subject westbound D2 riders to the significant delays that beset the G2 bus as it trundles slowly through Dupont.

As for frequency, WMATA proposes the following:

  • Every nine minutes weekday peak (it’s currently every 9-11 minutes)
  • Every 25 minutes weekday non-peak (it’s currently closer to every 20 minutes)
  • Every 12 minutes on Saturday and every 14 minutes on Sunday (currently it’s closer to every 20 minutes on the weekend)

So basically it would be slightly worse during non-rush hours for weekdays, and somewhat better on the weekend (although that’s assuming they actually deliver on this promise). Of course, it’s definitely worse if you compare the proposed frequencies versus the current schedule for the D2, and the D1 and the G2. So, really, WMATA wants to cut the G2’s trips entirely.

It’s certainly the case that the G2 would be a more useful line overall if it ran more frequently. And for the eastern portion of the line, this change would do just that. But that comes at a cost to Georgetown riders who will be required to walk up to a mile more per day. The correct approach would be to simply keep the G2 as is and add more trips.

GM will discuss the additional cuts tomorrow.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “WMATA Details the Ways it Wants to Degrade Bus Service, Part 1

  1. Pamla Moore

    And how does the Circulator fit into this plan? Pam

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Pingback: WMATA’s Plans to Degrade Georgetown Bus Service, Part 2 | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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