ANC 4C Vice Chair Zach Teutsch sent out an email earlier today about a 14th Street express bus that many residents have been pushing WMATA to implement for a few years. There's an opportunity to share your opinion - and get your voice heard - coming up twice. See Commissioner Teutsch's message:
"If you think we should have express bus service on 14th Street, tell WMATA! They will be taking public comments at Raymond Recreation Center 3725 10th Street, NW on Wednesday, August 25 from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM. Another option is to testify at a meeting of the WMATA Board on 9/17 at Metro HQ at 6:30pm. Best option: do both!
If you've ever taken the 14th Street buses very far, I am sure you've noticed that they stop...a lot. Perhaps you've wondered why there isn't an express option, like there is on 16th. If you get on the 54 at Buchanan street and get off at I Street, it takes 26 stops. The S9 covers the same distance with stops. any people in Petworth, 16th Street Heights, Columbia Heights, and other neighborhoods around here need to go downtown and it's time we had a faster public transit way to do it. That option should be additional. People with mobility challenges still need the frequent stop service of the current buses.
A few months ago, ANC 4C passed a resolution in support of funding express bus service on 14th Street. WMATA has studied and endorsed express service, in their 2012 analysis of the line, but it hasn't been funded. (See my prior article on Facebook.)
The study recommending this express service was conducted in 2011 and 2012. The key recommendation for express service, is discussed in detail, beginning on page 33. Additional related materials are available online.
Though it was already a good idea in 2012, the need for improved bus service along 14th street has become much more urgent since the study was conducted as unprecedented development has occurred along the 14th street corridor.
Residents and businesses would benefit tremendously from faster service, more service, and better service. The city as a whole would benefit from this investment, better employment opportunities for people seeking jobs, less traffic congestion on important north-south streets, and a broadening tax base which can support better services for all District residents. Adding this service would be relatively inexpensive (about $1.3M). It may even generate more revenue in increased commerce than it costs to fund.
These buses are needed for longtime residents and new residents as well. This would be a huge (and cheap) win for DC."
WMATA bus photo courtesy Elvert Barnes.