‘Service Changes’

Is the DC Streetcar Hurting Ridership on Metrobus X2+X9? No.

December 12th, 2016 No comments

The DC Streetcar has not significantly changed ridership on Metrobus X2 and X9, even though the services overlap on H Street NE. Instead, the Streetcar appears to be serving a new, different market – and has increased net transit ridership in the corridor by 15%.

Although the new first phase of the DC Streetcar serves some of the same sections of H Street NE as the existing Metrobus routes X2 and X9, the streetcar appears to be serving almost an entirely new market of transit riders.  Ridership on the underlying Metrobus routes X2 and X9 have remained fairly steady, even as the Streetcar is serving over 2,500 new riders per weekday.

x2-v-streetcar-ridership-monthly-averages-2

Since it opened in February 2016, the DC Streetcar’s ridership has been climbing slowly and steadily, from around 2,400 to 2,800 boardings per weekday.  The route, just over 2 miles long, runs from near Union Station down the length of H Street NE.  The X2 and X9 buses run on the same stretch of H Street NE, but stop at different bus stops and connect farther west into downtown D.C., and farther east to Minnesota Avenue.  The overlap in markets is fairly small, and the ridership data confirm that the two modes are serving distinct markets – ridership on the X2 and X9 has remained flat, or only slightly down.  Overall transit boardings between the two modes combined have risen 15%, from around 14,700/day before the Streetcar to 16,800/day now.  (Note the lift in X2+X9 ridership in June, likely due to SafeTrack Surge 2).

x29-yoy-change-in-ridership-vs-bus-systemwide

The Streetcar’s arrival does coincide with perhaps a minor shift in the rate of change in ridership on the X2+X9: monthly year-over-year change in ridership turned slightly negative last winter. But this is not dramatically different from the systemwide change in Metrobus ridership. So it’s not yet clear if this trend is due to riders switching to the Streetcar, or other forces.

Although the two modes overlap for a short stretch of H Street NE, the arrival of the DC Streetcar appears to be serving a new, distinct transit market. The Streetcar has not significantly poached riders from the existing X2 and X9 Metrobus routes, which have much higher overall ridership and serve a larger geographic area.

New Metrobus schedules begin this Sunday

June 23rd, 2016 No comments

On Sunday, June 26, service changes will take effect on Metrobus routes across the region.

Bus%20Gallery%20Place%20041816-5908[1]These adjustments aim to improve system reliability, route simplicity, and customer service. The bulk of this service change impacts bus routes in Virginia. Check below to see if your routes will be affected and look up upcoming timetables here.

DC: 42, 52, 53, 54, 60, 79, D1, E2, E4, G2, L2, N2, N3, N4, N6, A2, A6, A8, A42, A46, A48, D3, D4, G8, P6, V1, V2, V4, X1, X3, X9

MD: B29, B31, J11, J12, J13, K11, K12, R12, V14

VA: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1E, 1Z, 2B, 3T, 4A, 4B, 9A, 10A, 10B, 10E, 10R, 10S, 15M, 17M, 18E, 18J, 18P, 21A, 21D, 23A, 23B, 23T, 28X, 29K

Metrobus Z-Line Will Get a Revamp on March 27

March 23rd, 2016 3 comments

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Z Line buses at the Silver Spring Transit Center in November 2015. Photo by WMATA.

Bus riders on the Z routes on Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (MD US29) will see better service, simpler route names, and more, starting March 27.

Metro is overhauling the bus schedules on the Z-lines in the Silver Spring-Laurel area. The changes are derived from the recommendations from the Metrobus Z-Line Study, an in-depth planning process. The study, completed in January 2015, was a joint effort between Metro, the Maryland Department of Transportation, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation to improve service. These seven routes combined have some of the highest ridership in the Metrobus system, making the corridor ripe for evaluation and improvement.

The following changes for the Colesville Road / Columbia Pike (MD US29) (PDF) corridor are effective March 27.

What’s Coming:

  • The new Z Lines will consist of the Z2, Z6, Z7, Z8, and Z11, with new timetables.
  • Z9, Z13, and Z29 route designations will be eliminated.

New Saturday service will be added to Route Z6, providing customers with links to commercial developments in Westfarm area and the Plum Orchard Shopping Center. The new service will operate every 30 minutes. The Z8 on Saturday will be reduced to operate every 30 minutes, providing a coordinated 15 minute service along portions shared with the Z6. Additionally, trip times for weekday Z2, Z6 and Z8 service will change to improve on time performance and better coordinate buses along Colesville Road and Lockwood Drive.

Routes Z9 and Z29 will be discontinued and replaced by new route Z7. Route Z7 will provide service from Silver Spring Metrorail Station to South Laurel Park and Ride serving: Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville Crossing Park and Ride, Sweitzer Lane, Van Dusen Road, and Cherry Lane.  The new Z7 will increase the frequency of service to residents of South Laurel by operating every thirty minutes.

Route Z11 will be extended from Greencastle Park and Ride to Burtonsville Crossing Park and Ride via Columbia Pike (US-29). Current Z29 customers boarding buses at the stops in the area of Blackburn Road will now be served by the Z11. Route designation Z13 will be discontinued. Passengers currently using the Z13 in the morning to get to Greencastle may opt to take routes Z6 and Z8 instead.

With the new services, passengers out of Burtonsville Crossing Park and Ride will now see increased service to Silver Spring. All current boarding and alighting restrictions along Colesville Road and Columbia Pike will remain in place.

These changes will allow Metro to better align resources to provide effective service in the corridor.

Check out the upcoming timetables to plan your trip.

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

March 22nd, 2016 No comments

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. Read more…

New Route Schedules Coming Sunday, March 27

March 21st, 2016 No comments

Metro is changing bus schedules across the region starting Sunday, March 27. Stay tuned to PlanItMetro for an in-depth look at two of the biggest changes: the Greenbelt area, and the Z-Lines.

Metrobus planners will be implementing schedule adjustments to improve reliability, route simplicity, and customer service.  Most of these changes are the latest round in Metro’s ongoing State of Good Operations process.

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Check below to see if your routes will be affected by any of the changes, then prepare yourself for March 27 by viewing the new timetables.

  • DC: 34, 45, 56, 63, 64, 90, 92, 93, A8, B8, B9, E2, G8, H6, H8, H9, S2, S4, S9
  • MD: 81, 82, 83, 89, 89M, C2, C8, G12, G13, G14, G16, J5, J7, J9, K11, K12, Q1, Q2, Q4, R3, V14, V15, W19, Y2, Y7, Y8, Z2, Z6, Z7 (NEW), Z8, Z9, Z11, Z13, Z29
  • VA: 3Y, 7A, 7H, 7X, 7Y, 16H, 16X, Metroway, S91 (TAGS)

Metrobus Service Change Takes Effect December 13

December 10th, 2015 No comments

Bus schedules are being updated for 25 routes across DC, Virginia, and Maryland, starting Sunday, December 13.

F4 bus at Prince George’s Plaza. Photo by WMATA staff.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Timetable adjustments: 22A, 30N, 30S, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 62, D32, F14, J2, J3, J7, P12, REX, TAGS
  • More trips: 26A
  • Reroute or bus stop change: 3A, 3Y, 17B, 17L, 18H, F4, S9

Most of the service changes are minor adjustments to trip times. Check out the service advisory for more detail and the upcoming schedules to plan accordingly.

The biggest changes affect riders of the 3A, 3Y, and 26A. This group of changes is a product of the 2015 Bus State of Good Operations process to improve service in the Lee Highway corridor around East Falls Church.

The 3A Lee Highway-Falls Church line will no longer operate between East Falls Church Metrorail and Rosslyn Metrorail stations along Lee Highway. Route 3A will be shortened and only operate between Annandale and East Falls Church Metrorail station. On weekends and holidays, the 3A will be extended to serve the Seven Corners Transit Center.

Service along Lee Highway between East Falls Church and Rosslyn will be provided by new Arlington Transit (ART) Route 55. The ART 55 will serve all current Arlington County 3A stops and operate seven days a week, with increased midday and weekend service. Check out the new 3A schedule and the new ART 55 schedule. Questions about the ART 55 service should be directed to Arlington County.

We are extending the 3Y westward along Lee Highway to East Falls Church. The 3Y will now connect downtown DC, Rosslyn, and East Falls Church. The route will no longer operate along George Mason Drive, Patrick Henry Drive, or Harrison Street. The stops on at N Harrison St @ Patrick Henry Dr and N George Mason Dr @ Patrick Henry Dr will be discontinued.

We are adding more trips to the 26A during peak periods. The 26A will run every 30 minutes from approximately 5:30-9:00am and 3:30-7:00pm. Current ridership is satisfactory at the 60-minute frequency, but the increased peak period service should make the 26A more attractive to both current and potential riders.

See if there will be updates to your routes below, then prepare yourself for December 13 by viewing the updated schedules.

DC: 30N, 30S, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 62, D32, S9

MD: F4, F14, J2, J3, J7, P12

VA: 3A, 3Y, 17B, 17L, 18H, 22A, 26A, REX, S80 (TAGS)

Board Approves 2015 Bus SOGO

November 20th, 2015 No comments

State of Good Operations (SOGO) changes coming to a Metrobus route near you.

Metrobus planning presented the annual 2015 Bus State of Good Operations recommendations (PDF) to the Board on November 19. The package was approved and customers will see some changes starting in December. The remainder of the changes will roll out with Metrobus’ March and June schedule changes. 

Staff provided SOGO proposal information at outreach events and pop ups, including at the Pentagon Transit Center

Staff provided SOGO proposal information at outreach events and pop ups, including at the Pentagon Transit Center, photo by WMATA

The annual SOGO process seeks board approval for changes to Metrobus service. Every year,  planners put together a comprehensive list of Metrobus routes they want to improve in the coming year. Any major service change must be approved by the board. A major Metrobus service change is defined as

  • Change in span of service on a line of more than one hour in a single fiscal year,
  • Change in revenue miles on a line of more than 20% in a single fiscal year,
  • Change in route miles on a line of 15% in a single fiscal year, or
  • Projected change of 10% of the riders on a line in a single fiscal year.

This year, planners were tasked with improving service, reliability, travel time, and crowding while keeping the proposals budget and cost neutral.  The recommendations must not have a disparate impact on minority populations or a disproportionate burden on low income populations. Read more…

Metrobus is Collecting Your Input for Annual Bus Service Adjustments

September 15th, 2015 3 comments

Time is running out to provide your input on proposed Metrobus changes.

Every year, Metrobus planners propose service changes to maintain a Bus State of Good Operations (SOGO). This year’s official public participation period went live on Saturday, August 15 and will close at 5:00pm on Wednesday, September 23.  That’s less than two weeks away!

Halfway through the public comment period, we thought we would give you sense of the process so far.

  • More than 3,000 online surveys have been completed.  Two-thirds of these returns are from direct email outreach to customers using affected routes. If you are interested in receiving invitations to similar online surveys in the future, please register your SmarTrip card.

    Bus SOGO outreach 2015

    Bus SOGO outreach 2015

  • With more than 20 outreach events completed or scheduled, we are collecting feedback by going straight to the customer.  Metro staff is out riding buses and showing up at bus stops and rail stations.  We understand not everyone can go online so we are coming to them.  Look for us and help us improve your bus experience.
  • These outreach activities have resulted in more than 2,000 written comments from customers all over the region.
  • At the time of this writing, the elimination of the 5A is not being well received nor is the elimination of the segment between McPherson Square and Kennedy Center on the Route 80.  Many in the District are giving favorable marks to the free transfer between Capitol Heights/Addison Road Metrorail stations for select routes.  Maryland customers are also excited for the Q Line free transfer to and from the Metrorail Red Line between Wheaton and Silver Spring.
  • In addition to English-language replies, we have received completed surveys from Spanish, Vietnamese, and Amharic speakers.  Customers from all economic and ethnic groups are chiming in as well.

We want to hear more from our customers to see how these changes would affect your travel choices. Let us know how major service changes would impact you. Join the conversation by reading the official docket and submitting your thoughts online or in person.

-Email your comments to writtentestimony@wmata.com
-Talk to Metro staff at a pop-up event
Take an online survey
-Attend the public hearing on Thursday, September 17 at WMATA HQ (600 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001).

Metrobus Revises the 22 and 25 Bus Lines

June 30th, 2015 No comments

As part of Metrobus’ June 21, 2015 Service Change, the Ballston-Bradlee-Pentagon Line has been eliminated and the Barcroft-South Fairlington Line has been revised.

The 25 routes have been evolving ever since the line started in January 1980. This route restructuring is only the latest change to better address the travel needs of our passengers. Routes 25A, 25C, 25D, and 25E (Ballston-Bradlee-Pentagon Line) have been eliminated. Most discontinued segments of the line have become part of the restructured Routes 22A, 22B, 22C, and 22F (Barcroft-South Fairlington Line).

22ABCF

All timetables have been adjusted to reflect new trip times. Check out the 22A, B, C, F schedules and 25B schedule. Read more…

Metrobus E Line Restructure Coming June 21

June 16th, 2015 No comments

As part of Metrobus’ June 21, 2015 Service Change, the Military Road-Crosstown Line will be restructured to better fit the travel needs of our riders.

Effective Sunday, June 21, 2015, we are changing the Military Road-Crosstown Line (E2, E3, E4) to improve the efficiency of the service, and to make the schedule easier to understand.  Previously,

  • E2 served Friendship Heights, Fort Totten, and Ivy City on weekdays, but on weekends, the E2 served only Friendship Heights to Fort Totten. E4 served Friendship Heights, Fort Totten, and Riggs Park on weekdays only.
  • Weekend service was provided by a shortened E2, which traveled between Friendship Heights and Fort Totten only, and Route E3 (a weekend-only combination of the weekday E2 and E4, Route E3 served Friendship Heights, Fort Totten, Riggs Park, and Ivy City).

To better match service with demand, clarify the schedule, and increase reliability, we are restructuring the service starting on June 21:

E2_E4_brochure

  • Route E2 will be revised as the Ivy City-Fort Totten Line. The route will operate between Ivy City and Fort Totten station only, and will no longer connect to Friendship Heights station.
  • Extra “short trips” on Route E4 will be added, which will connect Fort Totten and Friendship Heights station (bypassing Riggs Park).
  • The E3 weekend designation will be eliminated, because the new E2 and E4 will operate seven days a week.

These changes will better balance service and demand, improve reliability, and allow for more service frequency on the high-demand western portion of the line. Shorter trips improve on-time performance and reliability, as a longer route is prone to more traffic chokepoints. A simplified schedule makes it easier to figure out which bus to take, especially for new riders. Check out the new E2 timetables here and the new E4 timetables here.

This post is Part 2 of 4 in a series spotlighting major changes from Metrobus’ June 2015 Service Change.