ANC 2A Calls on DDOT to Extend Late-Night Hours on the DC Circulator

At Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A’s regular June meeting on June 15th, the Commission voted to adopt a resolution that calls on the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to extend the operating hours of the DC Circulator, DC’s city-run bus service, during weekend late-night periods.

This recommendation is based on the fact that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) recently announced the end of weekend late-night operating hours on Metrorail as part of Metrorail’s SafeTrack plan. Previously, Metrorail was open until 3:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. As a result of SafeTrack, the system now closes at midnight on both of those nights.

The end of late-night hours on Metrorail will have negative consequences for the patrons and employees at the city’s abundant late-night destinations, including establishments in DC’s Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, 14th Street, and U Street neighborhoods, among others. Patrons at these establishments, who might have otherwise taken Metrorail home when leaving, may now instead drive home using a personal vehicle, increasing the risk of traffic incidents and fatalities. Additionally, employees at the establishments, who have come to rely on Metrorail as an inexpensive, efficient method to travel home after getting out of work, may now have to rely on much more expensive taxi services.

ANC 2A believes that the DC Circulator, which has many distinguishable features that separate it from the region’s other public bus services, including buses that arrive every 10 minutes, cost only $1, and travel through most of the previously mentioned late-night destinations, is best-positioned to make up for the service gap created by the lack of weekend late-night hours on Metrorail. By offering inexpensive and efficient service to the city’s late-night patrons and employees, we can significantly reduce traffic and vehicular accidents and fatalities, while offering travelers a greater variety of efficient and inexpensive transit options.

ANC 2A’s resolution to DDOT, which can be found here, asks the agency to extend DC Circulator operating hours on all of the Circulator’s routes, with the exception of the National Mall route, to at least 3:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. We also recommend that DDOT use the roll-out of the SafeTrack plan as an opportunity to further explore the recommendations of DDOT’s 2014 Circulator 10-Year Transit Development Plan, which called for several much-needed improvements to the Circulator system. As an ANC that includes three of the DC Circulator’s six routes, we look forward to working closely with DDOT on this matter.