Less Stop, More Go: The 23 Line

June 2nd, 2014

Customers boarding the 23A at Ballston

Customers boarding the 23A at Ballston

The distance between stops is of key concern to Metro and its customers. More closely spaced stops provide customers with more convenient access, as they are likely to experience a shorter walk to the nearest bus stop. However, closely-spaced stops are also likely to result in a longer ride for customers because of the number of times the bus stops — to decelerate, come to a complete stop and then accelerate and re-merge into traffic — is increased. This also can lead to increased fuel and maintenance costs.

Having fewer stops along a bus route benefits passengers not only by reducing the time it takes for them to make their trip, but by making the service more reliable and predictable.

Following a successful bus stop consolidation on the 96/97 this past December, WMATA is proposing to discontinue some low ridership, closely spaced stops on the 23A, B, T, which currently runs between Crystal City and Tysons.  Some of these stops are shared with routes 3T, 9S, 10A, 10B, 10E, 10R, 13Y, 15M, 25A, 25B, 25E, 38B, and ART Routes 41, 51, and 52.  Since the routing of the 23 Line will be modified upon the opening of the Silver Line, we are only focusing on the section between Crystal City and the intersection of Old Dominion Dr & Chain Bridge Road.  A large portion of Old Dominion Drive in Fairfax was also not considered for bus stop consolidation due to its lack of sidewalks.  WMATA conducted a study of the 23A in 2010. As in other studies, bus stop consolidation was recommended, but not acted upon until now.  This effort, along with another bus stop consolidation along the 30s Line in DC, will be implemented on August 24, 2014. 

In April, WMATA met with reached out to Arlington County transportation staff , as well as Fairfax County DOT, Dranesville District Supervisor’s office, and five neighborhood civic groups, to discuss provide information and receive feedback on this proposal.  And in April and May, WMATA met with Arlington County DOT staff and reached out to the Arlington County Board as well as 21 members of various civic and business groups.  The list of bus stops that we propose to consolidate was refined, and our proposal is below:

23 Line Bus Stop Consolidation Map Click on the map thumbnail for the full sized version.

Street Cross Street Direction Route(s) Stop ID
South Bell Street 15th St southbound 9S 13Y 16H 23A 23B 6000209
Crystal Drive 18th St northbound 9S 13Y 23A 23B 6000894
S Clark Street 20th St southbound 9S 23A 23B 6000156
23rd Street 26th St eastbound 10A 10R 23A 23B 6000123
23rd Street S Kent St westbound 10A 10R 23A 23B 6000128
S Arlington Ridge Rd 23rd St southbound 10A 10E 10R 23A 23B 6000118
S Shirlington Rd S Kemper Rd northbound 10B 23A 23B 23T ART 87 6000056
S Kenmore St #1941 northbound 10B 23A 23B 23T 6000112
S Kenmore St #1936 southbound 10B 23A 23B 23T 6000113
S Glebe Rd 14th St northbound 23A 23B 23T 6000186
S Glebe Rd 14th St southbound 23A 23B 23T 6000189
S Glebe Rd 9th St northbound 23A 23B 23T 6000248
S Glebe Rd 9th St southbound 23A 23B 23T 6000246
S Glebe Rd 7th St southbound 23A 23B 23T    6000282
N Glebe Rd Cathedral Ln northbound 10B 23A 23B 23T 6000361
N Glebe Rd Cathedral Ln southbound 10B 23A 23B 23T 6000785
N Fairfax Dr N Taylor St eastbound 2A 23A 23T – 25A 25B 25E 38B ART 51 6000526
N Fairfax Dr N Taylor St westbound 23A 23T ART 51 6000531
N Glebe Rd VA-237 southbound 23A 23T 6000589
N Glebe Rd 13th St southbound 23A 23T ART 52 6000608
N Glebe Rd 17th St northbound 23A 23T 6000654
N Glebe Rd 17th St southbound 23A 23T 6000663
N Glebe Rd N Wodley St northbound 23A 23T 6000703
N Glebe Rd 20th St southbound 23A 23T 6000695
N Glebe Rd Lee Hwy northbound 23A 23T 6000750
Old Dominion Dr N Dinwiddie St westbound 23A 23T 6000773
Old Dominion Dr Kirby Rd westbound 23A 23T 5001611
Old Dominion Dr Kirby Rd eastbound 23A 23T 5001615

This list is not final, and we would like your comments.

You can submit comments:

WMATA Office of Bus Planning
Bus Stop Consolidation Program
600 5th Street NW, 7-B
Washington, DC 20001

  • Call the Office of Bus Planning, (202) 962-2440
  • Call WMATA Customer Service, at (202) 637-7000

Comments will be accepted through 06/20/14.  At the end of the comment period, we will post notices at all of the stops listed here, as well as on this blog, to let our customers know the final decision, .  Stops will be removed on Sunday, August 24, 2014.

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  1. Colin Winkler
    June 3rd, 2014 at 22:54 | #1

    I live in South Arlington on 14th St. S. off S. Glebe Rd. I ride a WMATA bus to every weekday, but never the 23A.
    Having reviewed your .pdf map showing the stops you propose to eliminate, your plan makes sense to me. I approve!
    If you can make bus routes more efficient (and, in the process, presumably achieve marginal savings in fuel, wear-and-tear, and money) without unduly burdening customer access, you should–most riders will ultimately appreciate and benefit from buses that more reliably adhere to the posted timetables. Thanks!

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  2. Stephen
    June 5th, 2014 at 14:22 | #2

    I realize that this is a post about stop consolidation, but I would also ask that you consider moving stops on this line. Certainly, Crystal City’s legacy street pattern is difficult to serve, but moving the eastern end of the route entirely to S 23rd and Crystal Drive would help with wayfinding; I’ve been confused before about where stops are located depending on whether I’m traveling inbound to Crystal City or outbound. Of course, you need to keep the loop at the north end so that the bus can get around into the bus bay by Crystal City metro, but I would love to see the southern portion in Crystal City simplified.

    Otherwise, thanks for considering consolidation!

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  3. Lars
    June 19th, 2014 at 13:20 | #3

    I am a regular bus rider who uses one of the stops that is proposed to be eliminated. Since becoming aware of the potential bus stop consolidation along South 23rd St in Arlington, I’ve been paying close attention to how many times the bus actually does stop. It is very, very rare that any individual bus stops on two consecutive blocks. In fact, it’s far more common for the bus to pass three, four or more stops without picking up or dropping off passengers. So I don’t think that eliminating stops along 23rd Street will lead to better overall service – the only result would be to result in longer walks to and from the stops. I would be interested to know if WMATA has actual data that conflicts with my own observations.

    I would add that with the cutbacks in blue line metrorail service between Pentagon and Rosslyn, WMATA should be looking for ways to mitigate the disruption for South Arlington commuters who connect to the Orange Line in Rosslyn. The recent introduction of Route 10R bus has been a huge positive step toward doing that. Eliminating bus stops would be an unnecessary backward step.

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  4. Jeff Custer
    June 20th, 2014 at 05:51 | #4

    I live in NW DC. My stop – proposed for consolidation – is southbound 1002560 at the corner of Wisconsin and Ellicott NW. If that stop were closed, I would have to use the stop at Wisconsin and Fessenden. From observation, that would be additional distance of MAYBE 50 feet that I would have to walk in the morning. This is an outrage, and if I have to do it, I will stop paying taxes and barricade myself in my house.

    I am joking, go for it. :)

    If it makes my commute faster, I will some how muddle through, weeping the entire way…

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