Big Bus Changes: X2, X9, Circulator

This Sunday, June 24th will bring significant service changes for Metrobus and Circulator.

Close to home here in Carver, the X2 and X9 buses are making midday adjustments, and for the better. From WMATA:

X2 Benning Road-H Street: All weekday midday trips will operate between Minnesota Avenue Metrorail Station and Lafayette Square. To improve reliability, the time between weekday midday buses will increase from 10 minutes to 12 minutes.

X9 Benning Road-H Street Limited: New weekday midday limited-stop Route X9 MetroExtra service will operate every 15 minutes between the Metro Center and Minnesota Avenue Metrorail stations.

What it means: Since the X9 previously ran as a rush hour only bus, we're getting more trips downtown during the midday and lunchtime hours. This is awesome. The X9 does make several clustered stops from 19th St NE to 14th St NE, but as a limited stop bus, I generally find it much, much faster than the X2 for trips between Carver Langston and downtown DC. 

The slight reduction in X2 service --midday buses every 12 instead of every 10 minutes-- will be offset by the additional X9 buses and the fact that the midday X2 route will have all buses ending at Lafayette Square; versus ending some buses at Gallery Place.

Regarding Circulator, there are BIG changes. My beloved Union Station to Navy Yard route has been unceremoniously ousted. This was my favorite way to get to Nationals games-- DC Streetcar to Union Station, then a $1, non-crowded bus ride to the stadium. Sure, it took forever, but it was carefree, easy, and cheap. It was also the only direct, one seat bus connection from Northeast DC to the baseball stadium.

This route has been altered to run from Eastern Market down to M Street SE, past Nationals Park, Waterfront Metro station, the Wharf, and ending at L'Enfant Plaza (7th and D SW). I mean, it's fine. It's fine. But I'll miss the direct connection to Union Station.

The other major route alignment is the old Potomac Avenue to Skyland. Skyland is now completely out of the picture, as this route has been repurposed to link Congress Heights to Union Station. The new route will run from Congress Heights Metro station, up Alabama to Stanton Rd, up MLK, across 11th Street Bridge, through Eastern Market, ending at Union Station. 

This is part of a stunning turn of events for the Skyland section of the city, which is still home to a big development project, but which previously lost a commitment from Walmart to open there, throwing the development into turmoil. Everything seems to be back on track for building new retail and residential units on the Skyland site, but the loss of Circulator link to the Anacostia and Eastern Market Metro stations is an unfortunate byproduct. Perhaps if the new development delivers on the 500 units originally envisioned, new transit options will be reintroduced. Not to mention the thousands of people that already live on the Good Hope corridor. They deserve transit services, too.

There are dozens of other changes for routes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Read more: 
WMATA: Metrobus Service Changes, June 24

New Eastern Market to L'Enfant Plaza route is in orange. New Congress Heights to Union Station route is in blue.

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