Metro Boosting Bus Service for Inauguration Day
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I live in Arlington. I would like to go downtown on Inauguration Day but it looks from the appearance of all the closed bridges that they do not want Virginians down there.
That's ok, I'll just take a bus! I have my handy dandy 3Y [Lee Highway to Farragut Square] and it will whisk me downtown over the "buses only" bridges. (Smart!) But I look and look and metro says they are running Saturday schedules which means NO 3Y.
Tell me, why would they close the bridges to everything but buses and then not run them? Yes, there is the Orange Line, but they are going to need professional white-gloved shovers like they use in Japan to get everybody on. Virginians have fewer options than anybody else and now they have limited us even more by not running buses and running buses on a limited schedule.
Have you heard anything different? Please tell me I'm wrong.
It won't be easy, but it's a little better than that. The transit authority announced today that on Jan. 20 it will be running buses on 23 routes to get 300,000 people in and out of central Washington. The goal is to run them every 10 minutes.
One concern: I count only four of these routes originating in Virginia.
Mueller could take the Lee Highway route, with buses beginning at East Falls Church and West Falls Church Metro stations and ending at 23rd Street NW, by Constitution Avenue. Those buses will be operating as modified versions of the 3B, 3E and 3Y routes, but they'll be using special bus lanes on I-66, 23rd Street NW and Virginia Avenue NW.
Others might try the Wilson and Clarendon Boulevard route (what normally is the 38B), which on Jan. 20 will use the Roosevelt Bridge to reach 23rd Sreet NW at Constitution Avenue, taking advantage of those same special bus lanes.
Metro is going to post the full list of all these routes on its Web site, though as of this writing, I don't see it there. Once it's up, I'll link to it from here.
Also, Metrobus drivers will be selling a $5 all-day bus pass for Jan. 20. You'll be able to buy that as you board on Jan. 20. You can also pay as usual, with $1.35 in cash or have $1.25 taken off your SmarTrip card.
You'll see that most of the special routes for Jan. 20 are modified versions of regular routes. Metro planners are hoping they will be particularly helpful to people who live closer in, and might get shut out of Metrorail because so many people will be boarding at he outer stations.
But one thing Metro will have to make clear to riders: These special buses need some sort of special markings, to distinguish them from your regular bus on that route. The special buses may start at the same places you are used to, but they may skip some of the usual stops as they get closer in, and many will not terminate at the usual place.
Lena Sun is writing a story for Friday's Post and we plan to have a graphic illustrating the special bus plan.
Or, the Lee Highway Route
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