DC Circulating Joke


Ah, its nice to see our tax dollars at work in DC, especially on public transportation projects that can benefit more than just suburban commuters. New buses, better bus stops, bike lanes and such warm my heart and make it a little easter to fill out a D-40. Then I open the Washpost and read about the new D.C. Circulator, a 29 bus fleet that will cross the city from Union Station to Georgetown and the Convention Center to the Waterfront.

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.

They wanna show folks, apparently mainly tourists, that they too can ride the bus and the experience will be nice and clean, not ‘old and smoky’ and give them a ride for $1, less than the cost of Metrorail or Metrobus. A ride that will cost $12.5 million to start that was squirreled away after a 1960’s lawsuit and then $4.5 million a year from us DC taxpayers, to operate. A ride on buses that are the only good aspect of this boondoggle.

Metro is going to use European-style buses, ones that have floors at road height, not at the top of a staircase like the current Metrobuses. Buses that have huge wrap-around windows like our bueses should have. And just to make Tom happy, they will have much more standing room than the current seat-happy Metrobuses.

These are the kinds of buses we should’ve had already. The kinds of buses that the Europeans, masters of public transport, designed years ago and always win rider appreciation awards. The kinds of buses that would solve Metro’s bus-image issue without resorting to building what is in effect a separate bus company in Washington DC.

Buses that Metro had the money for, that $12.5 million that somehow escaped use in the past 40 years. Where was that cash cow when Metro threatened shutdown a few years ago? Where was it until they came up with this Circulator boondoggle? And why are they wasting it on tourists now? I want me a D.C. Circulator bus too, right here on the S2 or better yet, 42 line, for us folks the Metro should be serving first

3 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on July 14th, 2005 @ 10:22 pm

    Update number a deux:

    I rode the DC Circulator today and my initial thoughts are validated. Most of the ridership was touristic and yet the buses themselves are beautiful. I sure wish Metro could get the buses the DC Circulator are using. Nice, open, and very pedestrian friendly, they beat the current WMATA rolling stock easily.

  2. wayan (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 9:41 am

    Ah, its nice to see that I’m not talking to the wind here. The Washington Examiner quoted me on the DC Circulator. Funny enough, they quoted me three times but thought I was two whole different people.

  3. David (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 1:14 pm

    Metro needs to acquire Van Hool busses, us it on the S4, 70, 42, 80, etc. They need to use the similar AC Transit Rapid Bus model of business to run the services the Van Hool busses were designed to do.

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