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Circulator Adds 'Where's My Bus?' Feature

DC Circulator.jpg
Distinctive Circulator buses now operate on five crosstown routes in District. (Thomson)

D.C. commuters are not noted for their patience, but has it really come to this?

The District's five-route bus service has added a mobile application that will help you track the location of the nearest buses along your route. It's kind of cool, and it didn't cost the District government much to make, but if the Circulator service is working properly, this is an app for the extremely nervous.

The selling point of the Circulator is that the buses arrive every 10 minutes. The arrivals are so frequent that the service doesn't publish a schedule. It just posts the hours of operation.

So by the time you fire up your app and figure out where the bus is, it should be there.

I added the app to my mobile device. So far, the thing I've found most helpful is that it reminds you where many of the bus stops are. (You can also see a route map here.)

One of the stops I use frequently is at 17th and K streets NW, because it's near The Post newsroom. On the mobile site, I can select my route (Georgetown-Union Station), select my direction (to Union Station), select my stop, and see that Bus #1107 is near 22ND ST, K ST AND 22ND ST, PENN AVE, 0.5 mi. away.

The mileage is the bottom line. The rest takes me a while to absorb. I had better look up in time, or I'll miss the bus.

The readout gives me similar information for the next two buses after that one, and it tells me that the line operates every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (A ride costs a dollar, which you can pay for with cash or a SmarTrip card, or you can use one of the green ticket machines along the route.)

By Robert Thomson  |  June 30, 2009; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  transit  | Tags: D.C. Circulator bus, Dr. Gridlock, transit applications  
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