A Circulating Insult

While I congratulate the DC Circulating Joke on its increased ridership, I must still question why it even exists.

Why is the D.C. Department of Transportation subsidizing a direct competitor to WMATA’s Metrobus? Don’t we spend billions on a comprehensive Metro system designed to cover all areas. One where crowded lines downtown subsidize emptier ones in other areas? We’ve even upgraded buses, with new ones coming on line every day.

Oh wait, we need to give tourists a cheap ride to the monuments:

The biggest ridership increased occurred when a loop circling the National Mall opened in March. Ridership jumped from 122,152 in February to 171,229 in March.

Those tourists too cheap for a sidewalk SUV anyway.

And just to add insult to injury, look what we have here, an ad for the Circulator on a Metrobus. Nice.

6 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 9:00 am

    I love the Circulator. It’s not competition for Metrobus, as it runs on entirely differing routes, is cheaper than Metrobus, nicer than Metrobus, and tends to put a finger in the eye of Tourmobile.

    All in all, not so bad at all. The red bus, I’m a fan.

  2. wayan (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 9:52 am

    Tom, to refresh your geography, please refer to my original post on the Curculating Joke:

    “Now, unless I’m loosing my geographic faculties, doesn’t Metrorail already serve the Convention Center to Waterfront route, in addition a few above-ground bus lines? Isn’t there already a Dupont/Foggy Bottom/Georgetown express bus, not to mention a fleet of 32/34/36 buses that go through downtown to G-town? So there is no real need for a new line, that is unless to talk to the backers of D.C. Curculator.”

    The only line not in direct competition with Metrobus is the Mall route, which is in direct competition with Tourmobile, a private company. The Curculating Joke is a publicly subsidized bus line, and I would expect you to rally against public funds used to compete with private firms.

  3. catherine (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    i use it all the time, too. i like it.

  4. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

    How is it that you can write about the Circulator without figuring out how to spell it, Wayan?

    Even if I do believe in free enterprise, I don’t believe that Tourmobile should get a monopoly around the Mall and force tourons to pay $20+/day/person to get around the area. a $1 Circulator ticket is a darned good deal, and remember, some of the partnership cash goes back into DC coffers, which we all think is a good idea. The Circulator Georgetown line serves the un-served K St. corridor through Georgetown, and then proceeds back along M st, which is great because outbound traffic won’t be blocked by another large bus line.

    You just don’t like it because it totally clashes with your desire to appear grungy ;)

  5. Marnie (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 10:29 am

    I don’t understand your beef with the Circulator. From where I live in Shaw, it is a million times easier to get to G-town or the fish market in SW. Plus, the brand new buses are mush nicer than the stinky old Metrobuses. If this city can come up with innovative ways to get people (including tourists) to ride public transportation, that effort should be applauded. How many more Code Red days do you want to experience? How many tourists ever rode the 42 up to Adams Morgan?

  6. wayan (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    Actually, I love the new Circulator buses, and the new routes may be innovative. What I don’t like is that DC has created a whole new bus line outside of Metrobus.

    Better than some special line that saps money and efforts from WMATA, I say upgrade Metrobus so all its buses look like Circulator buses and its routes better serve DC’s needs.

    Make that DC metro residents needs, Marnie, those of us who live here year-round, not two week day trippers from Iowa. While they should be serviced too, they shouldn’t be getting special treatment to the detriment of us.

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