Proposed Bus Service Improvements in Southwest DC (Routes 74, V7, V8, V9, and U2)

August 29th, 2013

Metro is proposing to implement one of two possible restructurings of Routes 74, V7, V8, V9 and U2 to improve the efficiency of bus service in Southwest DC and provide a better balance of capacity and demand.

Option 1: Reroute the V7 and V8 between M St and Delaware Ave SW and 6th St and I St SW to travel via Delaware Avenue SW, Canal Street SW, P Street SW, 4th Street SW, M Street SW, and 6th Street SW.  Service on the V7 and V8 would also be extend to the Convention Center (K & 6th Streets NW) via 7th Street NW.  V7 and V8 service would be discontinued between Minnesota Ave Station and Deanwood Station, from 3rd Street SW to I Street SW between 6th Street and 3rd Street, and between L’Enfant Plaza and Bureau of Engraving. Route U2 would be extended from Minnesota Ave Station to Deanwood Station and Sunday service added between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. every 30-40 minutes.  Route 74 would be discontinued.  There would be no changes to Route V9

Option 2: Shorten the V9 to operate between Benning Heights and Potomac Ave Station.  Service would be reduced on Route 74 to every 16-20 minutes weekdays and operate between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.  There would be no changes to Routes V7 or V8.

The maps below illustrates the changes proposed. Please review and let us know what you think.  We will also be presenting these options at our upcoming public hearings.


Map showing elimination of Route 74 service and enhancement of services on Routes V7, V8 and V9.  Click image for larger version.


Map showing replacement of a portion of the V7 and V8 routes with an extension of the U2 route. Click image for larger version.


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  1. DE
    August 30th, 2013 at 09:50 | #1

    The first map is not clickable for a larger version.

  2. Scott
    August 30th, 2013 at 09:53 | #2

    @DE Thanks for catching this! Fixed.

  3. Kelli
    September 3rd, 2013 at 10:44 | #3

    I am a daily commuter on routes V7 and V9 between Potomac Ave and Navy Yard. I strongly oppose option 2. Eliminating the V9 past Potomac Ave equates to a 50% service reduction for peak travel commuters. If the issue is low ridership in SW (as the proposal PDF states), do not eliminate service in SE.

  4. September 5th, 2013 at 08:11 | #4

    I often see the 74 trundling around the neighborhood, but rarely have much reason to ride it — it doesn’t go anywhere that the Metro Green Line already doesn’t serve faster and more frequently. The V routes do go someplace useful (i.e., east), but the Bureau of Engraving always seemed like a very strange place to end a bus route, even if it was once useful to get commuters to Ag back before the Smithsonian Metro.

    I’ve never quite understood why half of the local buses in SW were routed on Eye St. instead of along M St. Perhaps this was more important back when Waterside Mall* blocked passage between the two, but today it’s confusing and redundant.

    * BTW, your maps haven’t been updated with the reopening of 4th St. SW.

  5. blanton
    September 12th, 2013 at 17:35 | #5

    option #1 please.

  6. Suzanne Johnson
    September 13th, 2013 at 00:41 | #6

    I strongly urge you not to reduce or eliminate Rout 74, unless residents who use this line are guaranteed having a consolidated bus line that will incorporate the existing Route 74. First the Circulator was eliminated; then the timetable for Route 74 was significantly reduced — presently one can wait from10 minutes to one hour for a 74 bus. However, the bus is a less expensive and more pleasurable experience than the metro, which dispatches riders closer to their homes — most important for night workers and those who must work late, when it is dark. There are at least three apartment complexes underway or nearing construction along the 74 Bus rout. These buildings will provide hundreds of bus riders for the 74 bus. Reduction or elimination of the 74 bus, at this time, is inconsistent with stated goals of DC officials to increase the number of residents in Southwest. Transportation is a significant asset for area residents. The 74 Bus enhances the livability of the area and has been touted as one of the benefits of residing in South West. Planned elimination of Bus 74 would be detrimental to the goals expressed by officials, as well as current and future residents.

  7. Elizabeth
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:20 | #7

    I ride both the P6 and the 74 and always thought that they were too far and in between. I strongly disagree with getting rid of the 74. They already took the Circulator. My daughter also goes to school on the Waterfront and is able to ride the 74 straight from her school to my job. I use the bus to drop my girls off in the morning and go to work. I work downtown at Judiciary Square.

    If there is a way to have another bus go the same route that would be great! If not please leave the 74.

  8. Melanie
    September 16th, 2013 at 12:11 | #8

    Is WMATA really counting all ridership on the 74? It seems to me that the morning rush is often standing room only, aisles full, due to school children riding for at most 1 mile. I’m curious to know if WMATA has considered “seasonal” changes to routes (frequency of buses) tied to school holidays, instead of doing away with or altering this important service in the SW. Ending the service at 10pm is really early–too early if you’ve stayed in town for a movie or dinner and a show.

    The 74 started out as a great replacement for 70/71, but deteriorated with use of uncomfortable buses, digitally-posted arrival times that are wildly innacurate, Nationals home game service when buses just don’t show up for an hour, and failure to sync up neatly with connecting routes. Even with that, I’d rather take the bus than ride Metro. In the morning rush, I was often forced to wait through a few trains before finding one with enough room to get on at Waterfront station! And in agreement with a comment above, I prefer the closer bus to having to walk home from the Metro in the dark.

  9. Susan A
    September 17th, 2013 at 11:29 | #9

    I strongly oppose the proposed changes to 74 bus service. When the old Circulator was discontinued we in SW (particularly south of M St) were promised frequent, reliable, and safe transportation to replace it and to make up for the deteriorating service at Waterfront Metro which is no longer safe, reliable, or frequent, particularly on weekends (when Metro routinely slashes service by 1/2 to 3/4 and turns off next train indicators (supposedly for repairs) and before baseball games when the trains become completely packed and unavailable for regular commuters.

    Neither of these proposals do this. Replacing the 74 with a “long loop” V bus service that begins east of the river will never provide reliable or frequent service (I know because I often have to ride other long loop services that, while scheduled to run every 20 minutes, like the P6 or L2, very frequently have gaps in service of 40 to 50 minutes).

    For the same reason the proposal to keep the 74 but slash rush hour service to once every 20 minutes will not work. Once every 20 minute service doesn’t work anywhere in the city! Any delay between buses results in completely unworkable waits of 30 minutes+ for people trying to get to work. Such proposals are particularly inappropriate for the 74, which I ride every morning between 9 and 9:30. At this time the bus is frequently filled with elderly people or people with disabilities using walkers, canes and wheelchairs. These people should not be expected to wait on a sidewalk for 30,40 or 50 minutes and then find that the wheelchair slots are already taken.

    I DO think it might be possible to reduce service somewhat after 10 PM at night, but ONLY if drivers ALWAYS turn their “Next Bus” transponders on so people know when to go out to the street corner to wait. Why Metro invested in this great technology only to have its drivers not use it, is completely beyond me! You may as well not bother running the bus if it is off schedule and “invisible” to riders.

  10. September 17th, 2013 at 20:42 | #10

    I wasn’t able to attend this evening’s meeting, but I will say that I support whichever option results in more frequent service. I suspect this is Option 1, which technically does not “save the 74” but which might result in better overall service, by giving our neighborhood buses more markets to serve.

  11. Y. Washington
    September 17th, 2013 at 22:03 | #11

    When the topic of changing the buses to go to Deanwood, I heard riders raised concerns about conflicting neighborhoods. Making the bus not safe for everyone.

  12. Emily
    September 18th, 2013 at 11:52 | #12

    I oppose changes to bus route 74. I ride it every morning, and it is more reliable and more frequent than Metro. I frequently ride it during the evening as well. I prefer it over Metro because it drops me off very close to my home, whereas I have to walk to the train station. As a single female, I feel much safer arriving close to my home than having to walk. Furthermore, my building has a large population of retirees who depend on the 74. Because this bus route is accessible, affordable, and reliable, I urge you not to disrupt service. More and more people are moving into Southwest, and continuing the 74 will ensure transportation for everyone in the neighborhood.

  13. Avra
    September 18th, 2013 at 12:47 | #13

    I am writing to oppose the proposed changes to bus routes 31, 32, 34, and 36. I am a senior citizen. I live in Glover Park and exclusively use these buses for transportation — to my doctors, to downtown and Capitol Hill for cultural activities, for food shopping and everyday errands. There are 500 more apartments with citizens in my situation in my complex alone. The proposed changes, in combination, will make it impossible to navigate the city for citizens who live at the intersection of Cathedral, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin Avenues. We are at best 1.4 miles from the nearest metro and rely on bus service — to go to Friendship Heights and as far as Capitol Hill to receive medical care, shop for food, etc. It may be that others who live farther north on Wisconsin can readily use the metro (Tenleytown or Friendship Heights). But that is not the case for those of us of who live in this particular neighborhood. May I remind you that the taxis, by policy, can not be reserved for any purpose other than going to the airport or Union Station. We rely on the bus service, which to date has been adequate, for basic needs. The proposed changes will disenfranchise the citizens of my neighborhood from the public transporation promise.

  14. Mark
    September 23rd, 2013 at 13:10 | #14

    Please eliminate the 74…for residents who live on 7th Street the past 2 years have been a nightmare…the 74 drivers use 7th Street as if it is an express way…they travel well past the 25mph and the 15mph for the Jefferson school zone. The 74 are empty on the weekends running form 5am to 1am…a complete waste of tax payers money!

    7th Street already has 8 other bus lines servicing SW.

  15. Jen
    October 2nd, 2013 at 22:01 | #15

    I disagree with a change to the 74 route that reduces service through SW. I use the 74 daily for my morning commute to Judiciary Square and the bus is busy but it’s usually possible to get a seat (9-930). While the green line serves the same route, by the time I get on at Waterfront there are never any seats available and sometimes not even standing room. We also regularly use the 74 at night and on weekends when going to Gallery Place and Mt Vernon Triangle. It is much more reliable than the green line during these off hours.

    Ideally, rather than terminating the service, my preference would be to extend the service farther east to the Yards or 8th street, which would connect M Street across SW and SE and expand ridership. While a loop across the River would permit this, it wouldn’t be ideal because reliability would suffer. Residential construction is booming in SW and SE near the M Street corridor. Why does it make sense to shrink service in these areas instead of expand?

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