Backlash for Bus Service Cuts Proposed by D.C. Metro

A debate about how to more efficiently operate the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's bus service is underway.

2 minute read

March 18, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Metro Bus

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

A recent episode of the Kojo Nmamdi Show on WAMU in Washington, D.C. dug into proposed service reductions on the bus routes on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) system, as included in a fiscal year budget released in February.

Here the show's website explains the context for the show:

Last month, WMATA released their FY2021 budget. The transit authority is proposing consolidating or eliminating bus lines, in an effort to cut expenses. Dozens of bus lines across the region are in jeopardy of being cut or merged due to low ridership. Although these plans are not finalized, riders are protesting the cuts.

Guests on the show include Margaret Barthel, WAMU transportation reporter; Rob Puentes, chair of ENO Transportation and board member of the Bus Transformation Project; and Brian Turmail, chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B.

As explained in a February 7 article by Barthel, the WMATA is proposing the cuts as a mean to "reduce redundancy, make routes easier to understand and prune lines with low ridership." According to Barthel, "Metro also says the cuts will allow for better weekend service, increased bus frequency on some lines and free transfers between rail and buses. Eighteen lines also could have service expanded under the budget plans."

Barthel's coverage of the propose cut also includes soundbites from bus riders and local officials who oppose the service cuts.

A Planetizen article from May 2019 shares information about the plans by the Bus Transformation Project to improve bus service around the D.C. region. Opponents of the service cuts have claimed the proposed cuts are antithetical to the plan proposed by the Bus Transformation Project.

Monday, March 16, 2020 in WAMU

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

Aerial view of downtown Seattle, Washington at dusk.

Seattle Downtown Plan Expands Permitted Uses

The Downtown Activation Plan shifts from Euclidean to form-based zoning to encourage more commercial development.

1 hour ago - Governing

Large water pipe with brown water pouring out into dirt ditch.

Southern Water Infrastructure at Risk From Climate Impacts

A water main breaks somewhere in the United States every two minutes, according to an estimate from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

3 hours ago - The Conversation

People gather on a street with no cars during the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

NYC Open Streets Program Faces Lawsuit

A group of residents is charging the city with violating accessibility requirements by blocking vehicular traffic on some blocks.

5 hours ago - StreetsBlog NYC

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.