Metrobus Route 80 Key Issues and Recommendations

July 2nd, 2013

Photo-Metrobus-80-kennedy-centerMetrobus planning staff recently hosted the final public meeting on Metrobus Route 80, the “North Capitol Street Line.”  The purpose of this meeting was to share with the public a summary of the issues experienced by Route 80 riders and discuss possible recommendations for restructuring service, stops and route alignments to help alleviate crowding, reduce delay and increase service frequency.

The presentation boards are available for download.  (PDF, 15MB)  The key issues and a summary of preliminary recommendations are listed below.

The following were the key issues identified by riders during earlier public meetings and a focus group:

  • Frequency of service
  • Passenger crowding
  • Schedule adherence and reliability
  • Communications improvements between passengers and Metro
  • Traffic congestion on New York Ave causing delay to buses using southbound North Capitol Street service ramp

In response to the identified issues, the following recommendations for Route 80 were presented:

  • Recalibrate running times
  • Eliminate southbound stop on Providence Hospital roadway
  • Formalize use of North Capitol Street underpass to improve service reliability
  • Formalize use of Virginia Avenue underpass to improve service reliability
  • Dedicated/enhanced supervision of bus operations
  • Restructure service, including
    • transforming local service into two different routes:
      • Route 80 operating between Fort Totten Metrorail Station and the Kennedy Center
      • Route 80A operating between Fort Totten Metrorail Station and McPherson Square
    • implementing a new limited-stop overlay service -Route 80X- operating between Fort Totten Metrorail Station and McPherson Square, with an option to serve to serve the Washington Hospital Center (see map below)
    • creating a new neighborhood connector -Route 85- between Brookland-CUA  Metrorail Station and Union Station serving NoMa and the future McMillan Reservoir development area
  • Consolidate several stops to meet WMATA’s guideline of 1/5 to 1/4 miles between stops

The study team will take what they learned from the public meeting, as well as comments left here, and incorporate them into the final recommendations.


Map of proposed 80X limited-stop service along the North Capitol Street corridor.

Map of proposed 80X limited-stop service along the North Capitol Street corridor.

Take a look at these recommended service and traffic improvements and provide feedback in the comments section below.  Thank you for your input.

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  1. Dave
    July 3rd, 2013 at 09:27 | #1

    I like it. I live near the corner of Florida and North Cap, and almost never take the 80 mainly because it takes so long to get past New York Ave. Using the underpass will help a lot. I work right at McPherson Square, about a block from the bus stop, but it actually takes me longer to take the bus if I take the 80 than it does to walk, largely because it’s so slow.

  2. Elizabeth
    July 3rd, 2013 at 13:45 | #2

    I live on this route near N Cap and RIA. The key issue for me is really schedule reliability, particularly on weekends. I think the limited stop route is an excellent idea. Currently it can be faster for me to walk to Union Station during rush hour than ride the 80 bus. The traffic jams between Ny Ave and Mass Ave are just terrible. Let’s speed things up.

  3. Jon
    July 3rd, 2013 at 23:20 | #3

    I live near the Channing and N. Capitol stop and use the 80 to commute to work and get around on the weekends. I think there’s a ton of great ideas here and I applaud the recommended changes.

    A few other suggestions, if it’s not too late:

    1. Currently the 80 only uses the NY Ave underpass for Southbound. Why not use it for Northbound too? Maybe not on all the bus routes, but at least some of them? That stretch from H st to Florida is a huge time drag.

    2. Why not put another stop on the express route between Michigan and RI? Maybe one stop on Bryant or W st? Lots of people live in that area and it looks like the express route just zips right past them!

    3. I assume transit signal priority ( in that problematic stretch between Florida and H st was ruled out as too much of an inconvenience to MD commuters, but that would be the real game changer for the 80.

    4. Any chance we can get bus shelters, at least at the express route stops? The glass ones look kind of cool and I think they appropriately signal to the community that buses are a priority. If you wanted to really up the ante, you could encourage a public art component or cool signs/fonts/graphics to brand the 80, 85 and express route.

  4. Alexis
    July 4th, 2013 at 11:49 | #4

    I live on this route (North Capitol and Rhode Island) and take it very regularly. A lot of these suggestions are great, and I appreciate the attention that Metro is giving to this route and attempts to make it more efficient for the many users.

    Many of the stops could be consolidated since many are so close together and the 80X route would be greatly appreciated – the bit between Union Station and Florida can be really slow and an express route would help. Requiring use of the underpasses on North Capitol would also help (just last weekend southbound a driver went above on NY Ave). Bus shelters would also be really nice (per one of the other comments), especially on the express route.

  5. Douglas Stallworth
    July 9th, 2013 at 10:28 | #5



    In response to Jon’s comments,

    1. During the study, we considered using the underpass in the northbound direction but the ramps are not as congested in this direction and we do not experience the same safety concerns with turning vehicles that occurs at the top of the southbound ramp at New York Avenue. When implemented, the Route 80X would use the northbound underpass.

    2. The locations for stops on the recommended limited stop route were based on the highest ridership stops on the current local Route 80 service. These stop locations will be reviewed again before the Route 80X service is implemented in the future.

    3. In all of the study corridors, we consider transit signal priority. But that requires further study of all the impacted intersections by the District Department of Transportation.

    4. Bus shelters are recommended at all of the high ridership stops in a corridor including at the limited stop locations. The shelters are provided by a District contractor as part of the city’s Franchise Shelter Program.

  6. Michael
    August 13th, 2013 at 14:31 | #6

    I live off of New York Ave and ever since the 80 switched the routing to using the underpass I have not used it due to the long distance required to walk to a bus to catch the bus. If you are going to have the bus use the new route than why not add a stop at the intersection of North Capitol and M Streets NW just after the light that you at least provide some service to an area where it was taking away from.

  7. Douglas Stallworth
    August 13th, 2013 at 15:31 | #7

    In response to Michael’s comment, there is an existing bus stop just south of Pierce Street that is less than 250 feet from where traffic emerges from the underpass.

Comments are closed.