City Proposes Eliminating a Third of All Circulator Bus Stops in Georgetown

The District Department of Transportation is holding a virtual public meeting tonight to discuss plans that would eliminate a third of all the Circulator bus stops in Georgetown.

The proposal is described in this map below:

The red dots represent bus stops on the chopping block. Specifically the proposal would eliminate stops at Wisconsin and R, Wisconsin and P, M and Thomas Jefferson St., and M and 28th St. This would reduce the number of stops in Georgetown from 18 to 12.

There is always a give-and-take when it comes to bus stop locations. Having more of them is more convenient for people who live or work nearby any particular stop, but they slow down the bus for all the other people who aren’t using that stop. The Circulator in particular has a somewhat fraught relationship with this dynamic. The service was introduced by the city in 2005 to be a simpler and quicker alternative to the Metrobus. Part of that speed was supposed to derive from it having a lot fewer stops than the Metrobuses that it ran alongside (like the 30 series).

But in Georgetown, it has mostly maintained roughly the same density of stops, particularly on Wisconsin Ave. But now it looks like DDOT wants to end that. (Of course, DDOT has long fancied getting rid of the Wisconsin Ave. leg altogether, so it could be worse!).

GM’s not certain he supports DDOT’s reasoning here, at least not for each proposed cut. The outbound stops at P and R seem silly to cut. With the line ending its run at Whitehaven, how many people are genuinely delayed by having to sit through those two stops? And cutting the stop in front of the Four Seasons seems too aggressive. If this proposal goes through, there will be no eastbound Circulator stop between Wisconsin Ave. and 26th St. in the West End.

If you would like to chime in either way, please consider attending the meeting tonight and submitting a comment.

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