D.C. Metro Sets ‘Lofty Goals,’ but Admits It Can’t Follow Through

The bus network redesign set to be unveiled next week is ambitious, but the agency says it doesn’t have the resources to implement it.

2 minute read

April 14, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


D.C. Metro will release its long-awaited bus system redesign plan next Monday, but how much of it will become reality? Jordan Pascale assesses the situation in DCist, writing that “Metro wants to make the entire bus network fast, reliable, and direct seven days a week, but it costs 35% more than current service levels across the region.”

Metro says the improvements could attract 40,000-45,000 new weekday riders – 40 million annually – and get people out of cars and into transit, avoiding 15,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. The changes, planners say, will benefit those who need it most: Nearly six in ten Metrobus riders don’t own a car, half make under $30,000, and 84% are people of color.

The proposal would boost bus frequencies to 12 minutes or 20 minutes, run buses 24 hours a day, streamline routes to make them more direct, and create more connections between rail lines and regional employment centers. “It will also aim to connect missing links, like east-west routes between northern Red Line stations, helping riders avoid having to ride all the way downtown and back up.”

Unfortunately, “Metro says it doesn’t have the equipment, garage space, drivers, or money to run this level of service at the moment, but they say it’s important to start with lofty goals.” The agency also faces a $750 million budget shortfall.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 in DCist

Satalite image of a bright green lake surrounded by brownish-green land

California’s Largest Natural Lake Turns Green With … Algae

A potentially toxic algal bloom has turned Clear Lake in Northern California bright green, fed by increased runoff from human activity.

June 4, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Gravel walkway along lake at Earvin Magic Johnson Park in Los Angeles County.

‘Parks After Dark’ Helps LA County Communities Thrive

Los Angeles County's popular Parks After Dark program continues to serve communities in need and offer multiple important benefits, as documented in a recent UCLA study.

45 minutes ago - UCLA Newsroom

Delivery drone holding a brown paper wrapped box hoveringin air with city in background.

Utah Establishes Air Mobility Framework

The program outlines a statewide approach to delivery drones and other air transportation options.

1 hour ago - PR Newswire

Amtrak train at Union Station with Chicago skyline in background.

St. Paul-to-Chicago Borealis Rail Line Launches

The Amtrak service, 12 years in the making, doubles the number of available trips on the corridor.

2 hours ago - Route Fifty

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.