Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

WMATA's five Metrobus public hearings start tonight

October 11, 2011 - 11:22 AM
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(Photo: flickr/elvertbarnes)

If you have any vested interest in D.C.'s Metrobus system, then this is the week for you. WMATA is holding a whoppin' five different public hearings to get feedback about the different bus routes through our fair city. The first two are happening tonight at 6 p.m. in Southeast D.C. and Falls Church, Virginia. Tomorrow's will be in Hyattsville, Maryland, and Thursday will feature bus hearings in Northwest D.C. and Arlington.

Read Metro's announcement about the hearings here for more details about how to attend. The outreach and dialogue is a good one and demonstrates a openness to listening to riders. WMATA notes that these public hearings can be ways to discuss Metrobus issues "not on the docket" as well. The broad changes that Metro is looking to institute will not happen until the middle of next year. Read WMATA's full bus proposal here to find out what bus routes will potentially be changed, which may well be terminated, and other tweaks to rider service.

Route changes aside, Metrobus riders should also note, as always, some of the difficulties of driving a Metrobus in D.C., from the congestion to hostile passengers. A broadcast report from Fox D.C. illustrates the problem with a recent incident in which a 28-year-old bus driver in Montgomery County was stabbed near the Wheaton Metro station after a passenger exposed himself and grew hostile:

 

The world of buses carries its own peril and complications but those are deeper, ongoing issues. As far as routes, Metrobus is considering the following changes:

The ideas under consideration to improve and enhance bus service include:

* Updating schedules to reflect current road conditions and traffic patterns.

* Increasing the frequency of bus departures in high-demand corridors.

* Extending select routes to improve connectivity and access to local destinations.

* Realigning underperforming routes or equipment to maximize seats available to customers.

Specific bus service changes under consideration include:

* Extending limited stop 28X service to Mark Center (BRAC133)

* Extending the M8 and M9 routes to Stanton Road and Alabama Avenue SE

* Extending the 25A to Park Fairfax to give residents transit access to local shopping centers

* Creating new C8 service to the FDA offices at White Oak and to the National Archives facility in College Park

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