How Proposed April 1 Circulator Changes Will Affect the SE Capitol Hill Community

Sean Egan, Deputy Associate Director for Transit Operations, DDOT, gave an overview of proposed changes to the Circulator routes at Miracle Theater on Barracks Row Thursday night. DDOT reviews the Circulator operation every three years, looking for ways to improve service. Regular Circulator fares will remain at $1.

How Proposed April 1 Circulator Changes Will Affect the SE Capitol Hill Community

by Larry Janezich

Proposed changes to two of the Circulator Bus’s six routes will directly impact residents of Southeast Capitol Hill and Anacostia starting April 1.  Some 30 residents endured frigid weather Thursday night to appear at a DDOT public hearing on Barracks Row called to hear public comment on the proposed changes.

Here is a summary of the changes:

The current Union Station – Eastern Market Metro – Ball Park route would change by scrapping the Eastern Market Metro to Union Station portion.  Instead it would run from Eastern Market Metro, south on Barracks Row, west on M Street to the Wharf and then north to the Spy Museum, the Bible Museum, and L’Enfant Plaza.  Saturday service would be permanent and additional new service would run Sunday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM.

Eastern Market Metro to L’Enfant Plaza via Barracks Row. The proposed new route is in solid blue and blue dots. The white and blue line indicates portion eliminated. Click to enlarge.

Main Issues:

  1. The change eliminates the current service for Library of Congress and the Methodist Building which houses numerous non-profits. Loudest objections are coming from the 1,500 member Library of Congress Professional Guild Local 2910.  Last September, the Guild adopted a resolution urging DDOT to continue providing the service.
  2. A unresolved turnaround problem for the bus at Eastern Market Metro, complicated by dangerous left turn at 8th and D Streets and objections from business owners on the 700 block of D Street, SE which would see parking eliminated on one side of the block.

The current Potomac Avenue Metro – Barracks Row – Anacostia Skyland route would change, eliminating Potomac Avenue to Barracks Row portion and the portion running to Skyland.  Instead, it would run from downtown Anacostia in Congress Heights, north on MLK Jr. Avenue, north on Barracks Row, across Pennsylvania Avenue, north on 8th Street and then northwest on Massachusetts Avenue to Union Station. Additional new service would run Saturday and Sunday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM.

Union Station to Downtown Anacostia via Barracks Row. The proposed new route is in solid orange and orange dots. The white and orange line indicates portions eliminated.

Main Issues:

  1. Elimination of service for residents of Skyland in Anacostia. ANC7B Commissioner Robin Martin implored DDOT officials to come to the Skyland community and speak to residents before moving forward.
  2. Consideration of an alternate route from Pennsylvania Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue.

In a matter not directly related to Circulator, Heather Foote – representing Capitol Hill Village – pleaded with officials to consider providing an indoor location in DC where residents can purchase Senior Discount Smart Cards.  Since the location at Metro Center was eliminated, the only place in the District to buy a Senior Discount Card is the outdoor location at Metro sales office at 600 Fifth St, NW.

Time for public comment on the proposed changes has been extended from January 19 to February 5.  For more information and to comment on-line, go here:


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2 responses to “How Proposed April 1 Circulator Changes Will Affect the SE Capitol Hill Community

  1. Thank you for reporting on this meeting (I wimped out going to the meeting because I didn’t want to bike in the cold, although I read the plan update). DC doesn’t have a commuter store or equivalent unlike surrounding counties. However, the Commuter Store mobile vehicle does operate on a schedule that includes stops in DC, such as in front of the HUD building. But having a “Commuter Store,” which could also sell Senior SmarTrip cards, is worth promoting, and I’ll mention it in my blog.

    It’s semi-related, but I wrote about the DC Circulator plan update and a DC Policy Center report on bus service east of the river, here:

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