D.C. Circulator proposes adding routes, raising fares

On March 31, the D.C. Department of Transportation laid out its 10-year plan for the Circulator bus system, in which it proposed the addition or expansion of 11 routes, among other changes.

Though developments would depend on public support and on the availability of funding, the first of the plan’s recommendations would be enacted between 2012 and 2015.

The beginning changes would be the addition of a route between Georgetown and Union Station by way of the National Mall, another route into Anacostia, and the extension of the Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn route along U Street to Howard University.

The proposal suggests offsetting the projected $53 million in annual costs of operation and around $20 million in new bus purchases with an increase in fares.  It currently costs only $1 using cash or a SmarTrip card to ride the Circulator, but under the new plan the amount would increase to $1.50 with SmarTrip and $2 cash, which is estimated to generate around $1.1 million annually.

The plan would also decrease late-hour service on the Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square route, eliminate the Smithsonian-National Gallery of Art and the Convention Center-Southwest Waterfront lines altogether, and reduce the number of stops on all lines to three or four per mile to maximize efficiency.

h/t: The Georgetown Dish

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