Major changes coming for Metrobus routes 32 and 36

August 12th, 2014

Service improvements are coming along Pennsylvania Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue affecting Routes 32 and 36. These changes are designed to provide more reliable and frequent bus service to the majority of riders.

What are the changes?
Route 32 will no longer provide crosstown service between Southern Avenue and Friendship Heights. Buses will now operate between Southern Avenue and Foggy Bottom. Crosstown service to Friendship Heights will be replaced by the NEW Route 30S. Route 36 will no longer provide crosstown service between Naylor Road and Friendship Heights. Buses will now operate between Naylor Road and Foggy Bottom. Crosstown service to Friendship Heights will be replaced by the NEW Route 30N. NEW Route 33 will operate between Friendship Heights and Archives, replacing routes 32 and 36 service on Wisconsin Avenue.

What are my travel options?
Your trip may be faster by taking the next available bus at the start of your trip then transferring to reach your final destination.

From Southeast DC to Downtown and Foggy Bottom:

  • From Southern Avenue, take either Route 32 towards Foggy Bottom or NEW Route 30S towards Friendship Heights.
  • From Naylor Road, take Route 36 towards Foggy Bottom, NEW Route 30N towards Friendship Heights or Route 34 towards Archives.
  • MetroExtra Route 39 provides one-way rush hour only service from Naylor Road to Foggy Bottom in the a.m. and from Foggy Bottom to Naylor Road in the p.m.

From Southeast DC to Friendship Heights:

  • From Southern Avenue, NEW Route 30S is your direct, one-seat ride once an hour.
  • From Naylor Road, NEW Route 30N is your direct, one-seat ride once an hour.
  • For more frequent service from Southeast DC, take Route 32 (from Southern Ave) or Routes 34, 36 (from Naylor Road) to Archives, then transfer to Routes 33, 30N or 30S towards Friendship Heights.

From Friendship Heights to Downtown and Foggy Bottom:

  • Routes 30N towards Naylor Road, 30S towards Southern Avenue or 33 towards Archives provide direct service along Wisconsin Avenue to Downtown DC.
  • Route 31 continues service between Friendship Heights and Foggy Bottom.
  • MetroExtra Route 37 provides one-way rush hour only service from Friendship Heights to Archives in the a.m. and from Archives to Friendship Heights in the p.m.

From Friendship Heights to Southeast DC:

  • To Southern Avenue, NEW Route 30S is your direct one-seat ride once an hour.
  • To Naylor Road, NEW Route 30N is your direct one-seat ride once an hour.
  • For more frequent service, take Route 33 to Archives, then transfer to Routes 32 or 30S (towards Southern Avenue) or Routes 34, 36 or 30N (towards Naylor Road).

Wisconsin_Ave_Service Penn_Ave_Service


Service Frequency
The majority of current Route 32 and 36 riders will enjoy more frequent service. On the combined portions of the route along Pennsylvania Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue, local buses will arrive at stops approximately every 5-8 minutes during the peak period.


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  1. Michael
    August 15th, 2014 at 16:09 | #1

    What is late night service like at 12 and 1AM will there be 32, 33, 36, 30N and 30S or just 30N and 30S

  2. ARM
    August 17th, 2014 at 20:02 | #2

    I wish this said more about frequency of each route. I find it unacceptable that a week before implementing massive changes to the city’s biggest bus line there has been zero public notification and no public hearings. I think this will be a beneficial change but I’m shocked Metro isn’t going to do more to receive public feedback.

  3. Michael
    August 18th, 2014 at 09:30 | #3

    The 30s have been a source of constant review and refinement for the past 5 years, and this restructuring is likely the last in a series of steps towards greatly improving service and operational efficiency. Just a few months ago this site had a post requesting feedback in bus stop removal along the 30s corridor:

    This post was only one of a great variety of outreach methods. I am sorry that our outreach failed to reach you: how would you prefer Metro to reach out to you?

    Did you participate in our public participation planning outreach?

    You can learn more about the Public Participation Plan in this presentation to the Riders Advisory Council.

  4. ARM
    August 18th, 2014 at 20:58 | #4

    The changes occurring on Sunday have nothing to do with the stop consolidation. I support consolidation wholeheartedly, but you’re comparing apples to oranges. Asking for community feedback about stop consolidation has nothing to do with restructuring the routes altogether.

    I was actually a commenter way-back-when on this post:

    What I think Metro did wrong here is that there were not surveys or public meetings after Metro decided what plan to move forward with. I think these changes will benefit riders but I’m a bit disgruntled that they feel very forced. For example, I wish more busses from Friendship Heights would go to Archives instead of Archives. Many more people ride the bus downtown than on 23rd St south of Washington Circle. The vast majority of busses empty out at Washington Circle. A few people board at Foggy Bottom Metro who are headed to the State Department but now that the 32 and 36 will go to Potomac Park, why is the 31 as well? It will be incredibly over-served by busses. There isn’t a need for so many busses down there!

  5. Scott
    August 19th, 2014 at 07:19 | #5

    @ARM You are right that the bus stop consolidation and the service change are different processes. However, we did conduct a significant public outreach effort for this service change, which has been part of a much longer term engagement with communities along the route.

    Last year we took a proposal to restructure the 30s line to public hearing (see this link). We received hundreds of comments from concerned riders which we used to update the proposal to the current change that is happening on August 24. We held additional meetings throughout the city through the late fall and early winter. Currently, we have a team of 20-30 people distributing thousands of brochures directly to riders on the buses and at key bus stops. We are running ads in newspapers and on radio – including geo-targeted ads on online radio stations such as Pandora, and pushing out information on our website, blog, and social media outlets. Our bus planning staff is always looking for other/better ways to reach our riders and would welcome any suggestions on how we could do that.

    In terms of the service down 23rd St. to Potomac Park, this is purely an operational issue for the 32 and 36. Our buses need space to layover at the end of the line and “recover” the time lost on their last trip. This way, if a bus is 5 minutes late coming in to Potomac Park, it is not leaving 5 minutes late for it’s next trip (in theory anyway). There is no space left in downtown for our buses to layover, but there is space at Potomac Park. Maintaining Route 31 service to Potomac Park was a result of comments and community input during our public hearings – there was a very strong desire to leave that route unchanged and similar sentiment on the east side to leave Route 34 as is.

    In your previous post, you had asked about the frequency of the routes. The Pennsylvania Ave timetable is available now (here: The Wisconsin Ave timetable will be online shortly. To give you a sense of the frequency of service, between 7AM and 9AM at Penn & Minn Aves (L’Enfant Square), 26 route 32, 34, 36, 30S, 30N buses will pass that stop headed towards downtown. This averages to less than 5 minutes between buses.

    I hope this helps answer some of your questions.

  6. ARM
    August 20th, 2014 at 16:55 | #6


    Hi Scott & Michael again,
    Thanks for the clarification. It’s good to see you have plans to inform more people this week. I just saw the timetable, it looks like an improvement overall to me. I still think sending all those busses down 23rd is wasteful but I suppose if enough people wanted it and the storage space is needed it makes sense.

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