Ridership on the X2 Metrobus line has jumped 14% after Metro changed the way the line is managed.
The X2 bus on the busy H Street/Benning Road corridor has always been one of Metro’s busiest routes at over 13,000 riders per day. (If the X2 were a Metrorail station, it’d rank just above Silver Spring and just below Rosslyn!)
Through most of 2014, the X2′s on-time performance (OTP) averaged about 65% – well below Metro’s goal. Insufficient running time in the schedule, and disruptions from planned and unplanned detours along the route created uneven spacing between buses leading to “bus bunching” and long gaps between buses. These service gaps often led to significant overcrowding, particularly during the midday period.
So to improve reliability, we made some changes in December 2014:
- To meet demand, we increased the frequency of buses to an even 8 minutes all day long – 6:00am-7:00pm on weekdays.
- We deployed a team of dedicated supervisors on the street (at Minnesota Avenue and Lafayette Square) and at the Bus Operations Control Center to ensure even spacing between buses on weekdays. The X2 is now a “headway-managed” route on weekdays, meaning our primary goal is to maintain buses evenly every 8 minutes throughout the day.
- We adjusted the scheduled running times by about 15% for all trips.
The results have been impressive: ridership has jumped 14% from 12,700/day in October 2014 to 13,800 in February, overcrowding (particularly during the midday) has been virtually eliminated, and on-time performance has grown to 83% - a remarkable achievement for a heavily congested urban corridor.