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DC Expanding Circulator Bus

The District and Metro are taking several steps that will increase the Circulator bus service.

Metro's finance committee approved a plan to end regular Metrobus service on Route 98, which links the Adams Morgan and U Street entertainment areas in Washington as of March 29.

The District's plan is to expand service between Adams Morgan and U Street by adding a route for the red, silver and black Circulators, which operate on three other circuits in the central city. [Karyn LeBlanc, spokeswoman for the District Department of Transportation, says this is not a replacement for the 98 route in that the Circulator will not follow the same route between the two neighborhoods, which are also served by other Metrobus lines.]

The finance committee also approved and forwarded to the full board a plan to buy four more of the buses on behalf of the District. An additional 14 buses are scheduled for delivery this month.

The District pays for the buses, though Metro procures them, so this move will have no impact on Metro's current budget problems.

Still to come after a public hearing later this month is a plan to end Metrobus's N22 route linking Union Station and Navy Yard, and replace that with yet another Circulator route.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 12, 2009; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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The 98 route is being ended by metro because of low ridership.

Why is the District going to spend taxpayer dollars on continuing that service? How does this make any sense? If it does, I've got a backyard where perhaps the District can pay someone to dig a hole and pay someone else to fill it up.

Posted by: ah___ | February 12, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

ALthough I left DC two years ago, I will always cherish my memories of the 98 "Smiley" short-bus with the paper doll images on the side.

Posted by: d_lux | February 12, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Can I ask a dumb question?

Why replace the nimble short buses with big, lumbering, fuel-guzzling behemoths that block traffic?

Catoe resign now!


Posted by: bs2004 | February 12, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

When will the new route start, and what will the routing be?

Posted by: blafhhhh | February 12, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: New Circulator route should start at end of March, when old Metrobus 98 ends.

I believe DC's theory is that the distinctive design of the Circulator will create a brand that could build up ridership on that route. It might appeal in particular to young people, traveling from one entertainment zone to another.

The operating cost doesn't shift. DC paid for the 98 and it will pay for the Circulator.

Posted by: rtthomson1 | February 12, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Question: Will the fare be $1 (as other Circulator routes), or will it be $0.25 as the 98 is currently?

Posted by: blafhhhh | February 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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