Less Stop, More Go: The 30s Line

June 2nd, 2014

Boarding the 30s Line at Friendship Heights

Boarding the 30s Line at Friendship Heights

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 can lead to degraded service quality for bus passengers and increased maintenance, and operating costs for Metro.

Having fewer stops along a bus route can benefit passengers not only by reducing the time it takes for them to make their trip, but also by making the service more reliable and predictable.  When stops are analyzed, several factors will cause them to be taken out of consideration for removal.  These reasons include stops in front of a school, house of worship, community center, senior housing, park, transfer point, or other popular amenities.  These bus stops will not be removed irrespective of usage.

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 30s line, which includes the 31, 32, 34, and 36.  Currently, the 31 runs from Friendship Heights  – Foggy Bottom, the 32 from Friendship Heights  – Southern Avenue , the 34 from Naylor Road  – Archives, and the 36 from Friendship Heights – Naylor Road.  Some of these stops are shared with other routes, such as the N2, 96, X3, 38B, D5, 7Y, N3, P17, P19, W13, A11. 54, P6, 16X, and 39.  The stop removal on the 30’s line is being done concurrently with the 30s Line restructuring, which has been discussed in previous posts.

In April and May, WMATA met with affected officials from council members’ offices and ANCs, as well as DDOT.  The list of bus stops that we propose to consolidate was refined, and our proposal is below:

30s bus stop consolidationClick on the map thumbnail for the full sized version.

Street Cross Street Direction Route(s) Stop ID
Wisconsin Ave NW Mazza Gallery southbound 31, 32, 36, N2 1002660
Wisconsin Ave NW Ellicot St northbound 31, 32, 36, N2 1002562
Wisconsin Ave NW Ellicot St southbound 31, 32, 36, N2 1002560
Wisconsin Ave NW Warren St southbound 31 32 36 96 – D32 H2 H3 H4 W47 X3 1002414
Wisconsin Ave NW Quebec St northbound 31 32 36 96 – H3 H4 X3 1002265
Wisconsin Ave NW Idaho Ave southbound 31 32 36, 96, X3 1002225
Wisconsin Ave NW Macomb St southbound 31 32 36, 96, X3 1002170
Wisconsin Ave NW Norton Pl northbound 31 32 36, 96, X3 1002199
Wisconsin Ave NW Massachusetts Ave northbound 31, 32, 36 1001984
Wisconsin Ave NW W Pl northbound 31, 32, 36 1001725
Wisconsin Ave NW W Pl southbound 31, 32, 36 1001742
Wisconsin Ave NW Dumbarton St northbound 31, 32, 36 1001376
Pennsylvania Ave NW 26th westbound 31, 32, 36, 38B, D5 1001299
15th St NW H St northbound 32, 36 1001129
Pennsylvania Ave NW 11th St eastbound 7Y 32 36 – N3 P17 P19 – W13 1000958
Pennsylvania Ave NW 6th St westbound P17 P19 W13 -32 36 54 A11 P6 – METRO EXTRA 16X 1003284
7th St NW Jefferson Dr southbound P17 P19 W13  – 32 34 36 1003347
Independence Ave SW 3rd St eastbound P17 P19 W13 – 32 34 36 –  39 1000729
Independence Ave SW 3rd St westbound P17 P19 W13 – 32 34 36 – 39 1003619
Pennsylvania Ave SE 6th St eastbound 32, 34, 36 1000683
Pennsylvania Ave SE 6th St westbound 32, 34, 36 1000673
Pennsylvania Ave SE 7th St westbound 32 34 36, A11 1000662
Pennsylvania Ave SE 12th St eastbound 32, 34, 36 1000606
Naylor Rd SE R St northbound 32, 34 1003190
25th St SE R St southbound 32, 34 1000448
Naylor Rd SE Altamont Pl northbound 32, 34 1000384
Naylor Rd SE Altamont Pl southbound 32, 34 1000391
23rd St SE Savannah Ter northbound 32 1003189
23rd St SE Savannah Ter southbound 32 1000212
22nd St SE #3500 northbound 32 1000174
33 St SE Denver St southbound 36 1000308
Branch Ave SE Bangor St northbound 36 1000327
Branch Ave SE Bangor St southbound 36 1000333
Branch Ave SE #2136 northbound 36 1000379
Branch Ave SE #2131 southbound 36 1000380
Branch Ave SE T St northbound 36 1000424

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 06/23/14.  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. Bryan
    June 2nd, 2014 at 12:27 | #1

    As a regular rider of the 30s, these stop consolidations seem well-considered. Certainly lines up well with my experience riding on Capitol Hill and through downtown! Thanks for working to continue to improve bus services.

  2. David
    June 2nd, 2014 at 12:38 | #2

    Thank you for considering this consolidation as it is very much needed. However, Metro should go further with consolidation along Pennsylvania (SE & NW) and Independence Ave (SE & SW). Even with the elimination of some stops, there are still stops every one to two blocks. Just because stops are used doesn’t mean people couldn’t easily walk a block to a different stop. For example, there is a stop at Independence & 1st SE as well as a stop half a block up at New Jersey Ave. Also, there is a stop at Independence and 6th SW with a stop right around the corner at 7th St.

    • Jamie
      June 3rd, 2014 at 11:33 | #3

      The essence of any good plan is compromise. When looking at candidates for stop consolidation, there were stops that we had originally wanted to get rid of based on spacing, that we kept due to amenities around the stop, or requests from the community. As the plan develops, stops get taken off the list.

  3. Michael
    June 2nd, 2014 at 17:27 | #4

    So how about listing the distancing between each of the stops up for consolidation and the stop before or after it, so that people could get an understanding of exactly how close they are.

    There are three questions I do have from looking at the stops
    One why are there not the same amount of stop on southbound and northbound trips?
    Two why is one stop up for consolidation but the stop across the street in the other direction not why not both ?
    Three why are the distances between stops not equal along the whole route in terms of distance in feet or blocks.

    When looking at the image of the stop 1002414 which is of terrible quality and a better one should be in its place that is last stop before the H2 turns ; why not move the next stop on Van Ness Street further north so that it could also be used by the H2 and then consolidate stop 1002414

    When looking at stop 1001129 why is there such a great distance between the stops nearby in both directions why not have a stops at the following instead of the current ones

    Eastbound stops
    Jackson Place instead of 17th Street,
    share the same stop as the X2 at Lafayette Sq instead of at Madison Place,
    Keep New York Ave & 15th Street the same.
    Add a stop at 15h & F Street

    Move the 14th & Penn Ave stops in both directions to the corner of 15th & Penn
    Add stop at New York & 15th Street and remove stop 100129

    This would provide better access to the area no matter which direction you are coming from currently none of the stops are along the block thus causing people to walk different blocks this is stupid when they could be just across from one another.

    • Jamie
      June 3rd, 2014 at 11:41 | #5

      We try to keep stops in pairs, assuming that you get on at one stop, go somewhere, and come back in the other direction. Depending on a lot of factors, including the exact routing of the bus, that doesn’t always happen. Many of these stops have been in place for 30 years or more- when there were multiple private transportation companies, they did not share stops. When WMATA was created, and we took over all of those services, we took over all of the stops to, and that is one reason why stops can be close together.
      So when we eliminate one stop, it is probably because it is a ‘one off’ and doesn’t have a corresponding stop on the other side of the street.

      As much as we would like to do a large scale movement of bus stops, we can’t. That requires construction (new stops must be ADA compliant) and coordination with the local jurisdiction to change parking regulations.
      This can be extremely complicated, and time consuming, so in order to keep the process moving, we have to work with what we have got. On any given block, you could have a bus zone, metered parking, a valet zone, no parking for an entrance, handicapped accessible parking, diplomatic parking, the list goes on.

  4. C
    June 2nd, 2014 at 20:35 | #6

    I like this idea! I live in Capitol Hill and usually don’t take the 30’s because they take too long and don’t run frequently enough, but if they were more like the 90’s I definitely would.

  5. ARM
    June 3rd, 2014 at 11:13 | #7

    The Southbound stop at River Rd and Wisconsin is very close to the one at Albemarle St (Tenleytown Station) and the one at Chesapeake St. Whenever it stops there, the bus misses the light at River Road to pick up one or two people while there are often a dozen + people waiting at the next stop at the Metro station. Please consider that stop for elimination.

    • Jamie
      June 3rd, 2014 at 11:44 | #8

      I’ll tell you that the pair of stops on Wisconsin at River Road/Brandywine Street were on our original list. But the stops are equally as busy as Albermarle with over 100 people boarding and over 100 people alighting per average weekday, so it didn’t make sense to remove them.

  6. David
    June 3rd, 2014 at 16:10 | #9

    Jamie, I understand your rationale, but I think it’s much too simple. Passengers will always get off at the stop closest to their destination if given a choice and will protest it being removed. However, the same passengers will also walk one block to their destination if the original stop is no longer available. Rather than simply counting the number of passengers boarding and alighting at each stop, there should be an evaluation of ease of access given the distance of amenities to stops. Just because there are amenities at every block doesn’t mean there needs to be a stop at every block. You can have one stop serve multiple amenities within reasonable walking distance.

  7. Jeremy
    June 3rd, 2014 at 23:28 | #10

    Overall the stops proposed for consolidation (and ones rightly no longer proposed) seem well considered. But why would the Macomb Street and Idaho Avenue southbound stops both be eliminated, shortly before a major new mixed-use development, potentially bringing considerable ridership, is set to open on that stretch of Wisconsin Avenue?

  8. Paul
    June 4th, 2014 at 21:58 | #11

    I strongly support bus stop consolidation on the 30s route and have been advocating this change for 30+ years. It is crazy that there is a stop at every street corner or every 2 or 3 blocks, making the 30s lines painfully slow. Thank you for finally introducing some sanity.

    In general, there should be a stop where lines cross, or where there is a major employer, concentration of residential buildings, or an important destination (Washington Cathedral, for example). Then, the principle should be at least 4 blocks between stops. That way, no destination is more than 2 blocks from a stop.

    I do understand that folks with limited mobility might find this a hardship, but they have other alternatives, in general (taxis, etc), and those in motorized wheelchairs generally would seem to be able to get to a stop.

    Can I suggest the same principle of stop rationalization be applied to the 80 and S1 routes from 16th & K to Foggy Bottom. There is a stop every block. Crazy.

  9. Valerie Boykin
    June 14th, 2014 at 12:11 | #12

    Please clarify for me. I ride the P17/P19 line. If you remove the stop for the 30 lines, does this mean you are removing it for that line only, or are you removing the stop entirely? As a P17/P19 rider, I would really recommend the stops remain for these bus lines. Like several others, I walk from the Union Station area (I actually start at 830 1st St, NE) because it takes less time than transferring on the buses or riding the subway. This is already a 25 minute walk. Removing this bus stop would make the walk longer since I come down 3rd St (like the others I know).

  10. Valerie Boykin
    June 14th, 2014 at 12:14 | #13

    @Valerie Boykin
    It is only the stop at 3rd and Independence that I recommend to stay for the P17/P19 line. V. Boykin

Comments are closed.