Bus Service Is Improving for Greenbelt residents, including new Sunday service and more

March 22nd, 2016

We are improving bus service to the Greenbelt area at the end of March – simpler routes, better coordination with other routes, and new weekend service!

Residents, local advocates, and city officials in Greenbelt have been asking for improved service for years, and for good reason. Demand for bus service in Greenbelt is high – the Greenbelt-New Carrollton Line has the highest Saturday ridership of any lines with 6 day-a-week service. So last year, our bus planners proposed a series of changes that would improve bus service in the Greenbelt area. After an extensive public outreach process, a planning staff recommendation, and a board approval, we got the green light! The changes at Greenbelt, along with many others, begin March 27.

What’s coming to Greenbelt?

  • New Sunday service on routes G12, G14, and C2!
  • Simplifications to the College Park Line (routes 81, 82, 83, 86) and the Greenbelt-New Carrollton Line (routes G12, G13, G14, G16)
  • Elimination of the low-performing Greenbelt-Prince George’s Plaza Line (route R3)

On the College Park Line and Greenbelt-New Carrollton Line, we are removing routing nuances and complicated lines to make bus service more consistent and understandable to customers.

Original map submitted to the public and board for G12,13,14,16 changes in FY2015 that are being implemented on March 27, 2016.

Original map submitted to the public and board for G12,13,14,16 changes in FY2015 that are being implemented on March 27, 2016.

On the College Park Line, route 83 will now run seven days a week. Now that we’re adding Sunday C2, G12, and G14 service (see below), the Sunday-only route 81 is no longer needed, so we will replace it with route 83 trips. At its inception, the 81 was a route 83 variation intended to give Greenbelt Sunday service when there was no other bus route serving Greenbelt Metrorail station on Sundays.  This means that route 83 will run seven days a week, and the College Park Line will consistently serve the College Park – U of MD Metrorail station.

On the Greenbelt-New Carrollton Line, route G13 and G16 trips will be replaced with G14 trips (though some early morning trips will continue to bypass Beltway Plaza) and service on Aerospace Road will be eliminated due to low ridership. We are also adding Sunday service! The result of the restructuring is that the Greenbelt-New Carrollton Line will consist of two routes – G12 and G14 – that will run seven days a week. Even better, the Saturday and Sunday schedules will be the same, so riders only need to remember a weekday and weekend schedule.

The Bus’ Route 11 will also be relocated to share the G12’s bus bay at Greenbelt Metrorail station. This was a suggestion from customers who use the G12 and the Route 11 interchangeably to get to the northern portion of Greenbelt. Combining bus bays means customers can more easily take the first bus that comes – they no longer have to traverse the length of the Greenbelt bus bays if they just miss a G12 or an 11.

New Sunday service is coming to route C2. This service will be different from C2 service Monday through Saturday. Instead of running the full route from Greenbelt to Wheaton, Sunday trips will only run between Greenbelt and Langley Park. This shortened route keeps costs down, but still provides riders with the ability to transfer to and from the C4 to access the western portion of the Greenbelt-Twinbrook Line.

Due to long-declining ridership and poor performance, the R3 will be eliminated. This route has consistently failed all of Metro’s productivity standards for bus service, including a per-rider subsidy of $9.10 (the minimum standard is $4.80). To help ease the transition, we’re extending the first two westbound morning C8 trips to match the longer span of hours that the R3 served. These added trips are a direct suggestion we heard from customers during our 2015 public hearing process. In addition, residents of College Park, Greenbelt, and Hyattsville can apply for passes to ride Shuttle-UM buses for free.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this service change impacts overall ridership in Greenbelt. We hope this will be a positive change for all the Greenbelt residents who have wanted better transit. Check out the upcoming timetables and get ready for March 27!

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