Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A applauds the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) recent decision to extend the operating hours of the DC Circulator as a result of Metrorail’s SafeTrack program. The ANC passed a resolution during its June 2016 which called on DDOT to extend the Circulator’s hours to at least 3:00 am on weekend nights on all routes, with the exception of the National Mall route. At the time, the ANC argued that the Circulator, with its $1 fare, 10 minute arrival headways, and existing late-night hours, was the transit service that was best suited to make up for the Metrorail service cuts that were implemented under SafeTrack.
The Commission was pleased to hear that on Wednesday, September 28th, DDOT announced several major expansions in Circulator service. These include the extension of the operating hours of the Circulator’s Dupont-Rosslyn and Georgetown-Union Station routes until 3:00 am on weekend nights, a change that the ANC advocated for in its original resolution. Other Circulator changes that DDOT announced include:
Late-night service on the Georgetown-Union Station route will be extended to run the full length of the route, as opposed to the current late-night service that ends at McPherson Square at 9:00 pm
Morning service on the Woodley Park-McPherson Square, Georgetown-Union Station, and Dupont-Rosslyn routes will start at 6:00 am as opposed to the current start time at 7:00 am
The Commission believes that all of these changes will greatly benefit riders who rely on the Circulator to commute to work, nightlife destinations, and recreational opportunities throughout the city. This includes the workers and patrons of late-night establishments in various neighborhoods across the city who use the Circulator to commute home after the establishments close.
ANC 2A further encourages DDOT to make these improvements permanent after SafeTrack ends, especially as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) begins to consider permanent cuts to late-night Metrorail service. Additionally, the Commission encourages DDOT to use this change in operating hours as an opportunity to consider further Circulator improvements that were envisioned as part of DDOT’s 2014 Circulator 10-Year Transit Development Plan. The Commission looks forward to working with DDOT to plan for additional improvements to the Circulator system.