Late Night Metrobus Survey Underway

April 14th, 2014

Late Night Survey Logo

Metro is conducting rider surveys in support of a new study examining late night bus service, generally defined as operating between 11pm and 4am, with a focus on Metrobus service generally inside the Beltway and during the time period after Metrorail closes (after midnight during the week and 3am on weekends).  The study will examine the performance of existing late night Metrobus service, connections among bus routes and between late-night activity centers (see map below), and the potential for 24-hour bus service, and for branding late-night bus service.  The study will also make recommendations for near-term service improvements.  Riders of many of the most heavily used Metrobus routes may have noticed surveyors at major bus stops as in-person surveys were conducted from approximately 11pm to 4am over the past week.

 

Another major component of the public outreach is through our online survey, which asks a variety of questions about riders’ experience with late night Metrobus service.  This survey will be available through the end of April, 2014.

Please take the survey and pass on these links to your fellow riders:

Nighttime Economy Summit Report Feb 3 2012 - Late Night Activity Centers Map

Map of late-night activity centers, from the DC BID Council’s Nighttime Economy Summit Report

What is your experience riding Metrobus late at night?  What ways could Metro improve late night service?  Again, please take the online survey or leave your comments below.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. April 15th, 2014 at 09:15 | #1

    Glad to see this, but one question on the survey: if you say ‘no,’ I do not currently ride late night bus, aren’t you missing a whole lot of responses from people who would ride late night but for current gaps in service?

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    • Jonathan
      April 15th, 2014 at 10:11 | #2

      Yes, it’s possible, but we wanted to focus the outreach on current bus riders to identify the top issues with the existing service. This is especially true because of the unique nature of this service, and the fact so little is known about overnight travel. We have other means to help inform the gap question, and how we might attract new riders. Notably, aside from the survey results, these include technical analysis work to be undertaken (which I think will yield some obvious improvements), suggestions from local planners and stakeholder groups, and policy considerations informed by a peer review, service guidelines, and potential activity center connections.

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  2. Alan
    April 15th, 2014 at 13:38 | #3

    While I see your point. I would ride late night buses more if they were at all reliable. I’d rather walk 1.5 miles home than wait for a bus that never seems to come. And when I do catch them late at night they are usually packed.

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    • Jonathan
      April 15th, 2014 at 13:48 | #4

      Alan, thanks for your response. Just so we’re clear, in my resply to Alex, I was referring to gaps in late night network coverage rather than gaps between buses. Which buses do you ride that are unreliable and crowded? What times do you typically experience these conditions? Your feedback is very helpful to us, so please keep it coming and I’d encourage you to complete the online survey.

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  3. Joe in SS
    April 18th, 2014 at 09:55 | #5

    Thanks Jonathan. I took the survey, but I am a very occasional user of late night service, because, right now, if I am going to be out late, I drive.
    The biggest help would be night bus service that duplicates the existing rail stations (or at least goes near them), so that riders who unexpectedly stay out late would not be stranded. This would also apply to sporting events that go into extra time, or late night flight or train arrivals into the area. Take a look at the taxi line at Union Station at 1am if you don’t think there’s a demand for this!

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    • Jonathan
      April 21st, 2014 at 11:28 | #6

      Joe, Thanks for your comment and we will be looking at the potential for running late night buses along Metrorail lines after rail closing. Question 13 on the survey has a response that deals directly with this issue:

      “Bus service where Metrorail operates (after rail closes).”

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  4. Zac
    April 18th, 2014 at 17:43 | #7

    Are there any current late night bus routes? If so, which ones?

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    • Jonathan
      April 21st, 2014 at 12:06 | #8

      Zac, yes, but they aren’t branded separately, which is something we might consider. There are lots of bus routes that operate past 11pm, but as time passes say 1-2am, the number of bus routes operating reduces substantially. We’ll develop a future post highlighting the current availability of buses into the late night. Examples of some of these Metrobus routes which offer late night service include the 32/36, 70, 92/93, S2, Q4, Z8, 52/54, X2, A48, 9A, and 16E. All of these and many of others are on Metro’s Priority Corridor Network.

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  5. Question
    May 12th, 2014 at 11:46 | #9

    Late to this, so don’t know if it will get answered, but I never understood why Metrobus couldn’t run route analogous to Metrorail after Metrorail closed. Other cities have done this. Costs could be saved by only running buses on the “core” parts of each line (which would be decided at a later date).

    I believe that this would yield strong ridership, because even if these “MetroNight” routes wouldn’t fully serve the entire city, it would get people at least closer to their destinations, where they could either walk, hail a cab (for a shorter distance thanks to the bus), or retrieve their car then.

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    • Jonathan
      May 12th, 2014 at 15:13 | #10

      Thanks for your comment and question. Running late night buses along some portions of Metrorail lines after closing is something we may explore in the study. We asked about whether riders were interested in this option in one of the survey questions.

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