- (Photo: flickr/elvert barnes)
In a customer service and operations committee presentation today, WMATA declared that congestion is a problem in D.C. traffic. Who knew, right? All our nutso traffic actually, believe it or not, affects the running time of buses.
In response, the transit agency suggests and seeks approval for a novel Metrobus solution — just cut some bus lines and reduce service! Or in other fancier words, WMATA wants to "maximize service." The proposal really comes down to the notion that you should add more buses where there's a lot of people and take buses away when there's not. Fair enough, I suppose, though the service cuts page looks a little scary ("Terminate full routes that do not meet operating criteria").
A lot would be changed under the proposal. The R3 bus line from Greenbelt to Fort Totten would be terminated, for instance, whereas the U2 line from Minnesota Avenue to Anacostia would "add weekend service at 30 minute headway over a 16-hour span." The 3T Pimmit Hills line wouldn't run on Saturday but the McLean-Crystal City routes would get more running time so they're more likely to be on time. Some of these route changes would include a public hearing on them, others would not.
Right now, if WMATA does move forward with all this, the agency is hoping to hold hearings the week of October 10, get a board report complete by October 19, finalize all the public hearing report stuff by November 17, and get all these route changes out in action by mid-2012. See the full report and list of potential route changes here.