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Re-Routing Some Md. Commuter Buses

We're in the final day of the weekend lane closings on the Frederick Douglass Bridge. The outbound lanes of South Capitol Street are to reopen in time for this afternoon's rush. But the various transportation agencies that bring commuters into Washington and get them home again are making plans for the big July-August shutdown of the entire bridge for reconstruction.

The latest agency to announce preparations is the Maryland Transit Administration, which operates commuter buses as well as the MARC trains. Some of the buses will have to be diverted and their schedules adjusted during the reconstruction.

The transit administration is asking for comments from Southern Maryland commuters about how this should work
This long-planned project is going to have a major impact on thousands of travelers, whether they drive, take Metrorail or buses, so I think Maryland is cutting it a little close in getting its passengers prepped for what's going to happen at the end of the month.

But the commuter bus staff is inviting riders to talk it over with them on Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Hall of States building, Room 283. Make sure you have a photo ID with you, because the security staff at the front desk will ask to see it.

The Hall of States building is at 444 N. Capitol Street NW, between E and D streets. So from the front of Union Station, turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue and then make a left onto North Capitol, heading toward the Capitol building. Metrorail, Metrobus or the Circulator bus that runs along K Street and Mass Ave. are likely your best bets. Metered street parking is likely to be tough at those hours. There are some parking garages in the area, including at Union Station and at the Hall of States building, but driving will be a hassle and expensive for a brief visit.

Here's a link to a page on the MTA's Web site that contains online forms for questions, comments, suggestions or complaints.

Metro, meanwhile, has made plans to detour some of its local and express buses during the July-August shutdown. They'll terminate at rail stations on the east side of the Anacostia. The fares will be adjusted for those riders. This spring, Metro added more cars to the Green Line and it hopes that the extra capacity will help during the shutdown.

The District Department of Transportation, which is in charge of this project and picked July and August because commuter traffic declines 12 percent in the summer, is offering a $50 per month transit subsidy called Bridge Bucks. That sounds like a real good idea and helped out during the Wilson Bridge reconstruction. Here's a link to a DDOT page that explains that program.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 4, 2007; 5:03 AM ET
Categories:  Construction  
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