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Metrobus Route Switching to D.C. Circulator

Metro is planning to end the N22 bus service in the District that brought many baseball fans to Nationals Park last summer and helps some people get to and from work around the Navy Yard. But the District government plans to replace that with a new Circulator bus route.

The Metro board today authorized the public hearing that must precede the discontinuation of a Metrobus route. No date set yet for the hearing. But the thinking is that the route between Union Station and Navy Yard Station would transfer from Metrobus to Circulator on March 29.

I hope the switch to the distinctive red, silver and black Circulator buses will help build ridership on this route, both in and out of baseball season. The route links the Union Station, Eastern Market and Navy Yard neighborhoods, which don't have a direct connection via Metrorail. It should help link employment centers by day and entertainment centers by night.

Money isn't much of an issue in the switch. The D.C. government subsidizes the N22 Metrobus and the existing Circulator routes. The subsidy will just transfer to the new Circulator route.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2009; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Metro , transit  
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I think the N22/Circulator route could be helped out if there was a way to eliminate the zig-zagging route it has to take around the Capitol. During the summer, I would often make a pit stop at Eastern Market on my Falls Church to Silver Spring ride, to hit a restaurant along 8th Street SE. I was always surprised at how long it took to get from one side of the Capitol to the other, I could have walked it much faster. Is there a way to realign that route, even if it takes the route a block or two back?

Posted by: vtavgjoe | January 29, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

vtavgjoe, I agree with you. Its a bit of a pain, that route. I live at Navy Yard and would be far more inclined to use it if it didn't take so long to get to Eastern Market!

Posted by: RedBirdie | January 29, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The N22 (and 96/97) worked great until the East German Border Crossing security was instituted on Capitol Hill. And if you think the current N22 routing is bad, you should have ridden the one about two years ago.

The bottom line is that the most logical routing is around Columbus Circle to a right turn on 2nd Street to Constitution then a quick left on 1st. That's what it was briefly after 9-11 until the local residents and merchants (why?) launched a revolution against Metro and got the buses off 2nd Street. NIMBYism at its best.

I wish Circulator all the best with the N22, but with its current awful Union Station garage boarding location (I have been told ridership is off nearly 50% since the move), I have to wonder when this will be used as an excuse to kill off the entire service. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but remember the budget deficit Metro and the City are facing.

Posted by: ambechtel | January 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

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