Metro Suggests Bus Alternatives to Red Line
Is this a bad sign? "Individuals who would prefer to avoid the Red Line may consider Metrobus as an alternative," the transit authority says in a statement.
You could take it as a negative about the immediate future of rail service. These aren't proposed as bailouts to get around some transient problem that has disrupted a line. These are different commuting routes offered to people who now travel by the Red Line.
But I can't be negative: I've been saying that Metro needs to communicate better with travelers. In fact, I've been saying that all rail and road agencies need to provide better guidance about what the problems are and what alternatives travelers have. Then you can make your own decisions.
Also worthy of note today: The transit authority is saying that it's trying to get a jump on whatever the National Transportation Safety Board recommends it do to improve safety. In the statement, General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. says, "Whatever the NTSB recommends, we know that we will likely need to replace some standard parts, such as track circuit cable, which takes weeks to manufacture and deliver. We want to have these parts in stock and available to us."
Again, that sounds like a prudent step, but it can't leave us confident of a quick return to normal.
These are the transit authority's bus suggestions. After more than a month of disrupted service, many of you probably have discovered these already.
From Silver Spring via 16th Street NW: Consider the S9, which will take you to the western part of downtown D.C. (This is a great new limited stop route. The trick is finding the closest stop to Silver Spring Station. It's in front of the Lenox Park apartments in the northwest corner of the Colesville Road/East West Highway intersection.) Metro, to its credit, includes this piece of practical advice in its statement: "Inbound passengers have to sit through a layover after the bus arrives back at Eastern Avenue and 16th Street. Outbound passengers are carried to this stop [Colesville Road/East West Highway] before the bus returns to Eastern Avenue and 16th Street for a layover."
From Silver Spring via Georgia Avenue: Consider Metrobus Route 79, the Metro Extra limited stop service to the eastern part of downtown, another fine service. The bus shelter is on the south side of Wayne Avenue west of Dixon Avenue. Downtown, the bus travels on 9th Street NW southbound and 7th Street NW northbound.
From Fort Totten: Consider Route 80, North Capitol Street to the Kennedy Center. The nearest stops along the Red Line include Brookland; North Capitol and H Street NW, near Union Station; 7th and H Street NW near Gallery Place, and Connecticut Avenue and K Street NW, near the Farragut North and Farragut West stations.
From Chevy Chase Circle: Consider Route L1 to Potomac Park (18th and E streets NW, near the State Department) or the L2 to McPherson Square, or the L4 to Dupont Circle.
From Friendship Heights: Consider Route 37, a limited-stop service, to Archives Station via Wisconsin Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, 20th and 21st streets, I (Eye) and H streets, 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
[Commenters below are adding many good suggestions. I'd like to highlight a couple here.]
From Takoma: Consider using the 50s Line Metrobuses via Walter Reed Medical Center and 14th Street to reach McPherson Square and Pennsylvania Avenue, or the 60s Line (a rush hour service), which connects with downtown via Georgia Avenue-Petworth Station. (From PullitSirPrize.)
MARC Riders: WashingtonDame suggested adding a Circulator-type service to run between Union Station and Silver Spring. That reminded me that MARC has been warning riders it can't hold trains at Union Station to compensate for the Red Line's problems. MARC suggests that riders who are experiencing serious subway delays in the afternoon consider using the Circulator bus that runs along K Street and Massachusetts Avenue between Georgetown and Union Station. Other possibilities include Metro's crosstown D buses.
July 28, 2009; 2:12 PM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus alternatives, Metrorail delays, Red Line crash
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