Updated: Notice of Bus Cancellations (citywide)

WMATA has posted it’s notice of Public Hearings for BUS Cancelations  Please click the link below.  This includes the cancellation of the B8/B9 Bus Service from Fort Lincoln to Rhode Island Avenue Station.

The list of bus cancellations is below.  Please review for instructions on registering to speak during the hearing.  Fort Lincoln B8/B9 service is being cut prior to the construction of nearly 300 new apartments and townhomes in addition to a shopping center and access to key senior services.  The current route  does not properly service the community, for starters  the nearest bus route is  more than 1000′ from my home.  This is a premature action that we must strategically oppose from happening.

Click The Link below for the September 17, 2015 Hearing Notice.

http://www.wmata.com/community_outreach/B15-03_landing/B15-03%20Notice%20FINAL.pdf

B8-B9

The previous B8/B9 revision above capitalized on upcoming development, however the new route is completely cancelled, disregarding the lack of service already to this community.  Nothing has been done to improve the service given the recent residential development until May of this year through the Single Member District  and  now it’s slated to be cut to provide service where bus service is already coupled with either metrorail, current bus service, street car, bicycle infrastructure and more walkable communities.  This is an injustice to residents given that, again, no enhancements to the service has been made to improve it before cutting it.  Not all decisions can be made by just looking at the numbers.

E1 - Fort Lincoln Overall Context

Cutting the service undermines the current increase in density currently under construction in Fort Lincoln, as well as the ability for residents especially seniors from getting access to basic services given the changes in local retail. The Shops at Dakota Crossing once featured a Target & Shoppers Food Warehouse however, given changes in market conditions is now a Lowe’s & Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Cancelling the B8/B9 will now take away the nearest grocery and pharmacy option which is in Colmar Manor, Maryland, I might add,  for those most at risk.  Costco is a members only, wholesale distributor and should be confused with or compared to a grocery store.  Not everyone can pay $13.00 minimum per item or have the ability to waste food due to over-sized quantities expiring.

Proposed Route

Given the shear number of upcoming residential/retail developments, also with inaccessibility to major entertainment venues already in place, more emphasis should have gone towards, enhancing the service versus cutting it.  Be sure to attend the hearing and reach out to  City Council to prevent this from happening.

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7 thoughts on “Updated: Notice of Bus Cancellations (citywide)”

  1. WHY, METRO now is overpriced and has poor service as it is. This cancellation will impact senior citizens who do not drive and families who have no other way of getting around. The B8/B9 is already a inconvenience as it does not run on Saturday and Sunday and its irregular with the schedule that its suppose to run already. Please do not get rid of this line even with its inconsistencies it is still convenient to our seniors and families who have no other means of transportation.

  2. If they cancel the B8/B9 route, I’m more concerned with what a new H6 route will look like around the Fort Lincoln area. On average, it takes about 25 minutes to go from Petersburg Apt to Brookland Metro station. When you add in Banneker Drive, another 7-10 minutes. Add Colmar to the mix, then we’re talking another 8-12 minutes. Merging these two routes can add another 15 minutes to the time. We could be possible talking about a 40-minute ride to the metro station. Unacceptable, especially when we are only 10-12 minutes away by car. If they are thinking about using those small buses for this expanded route, then we better get ready for crowded busses. There has to be a better way to utilize both routes. to alleviate some duplication, maybe, instead of B8 taking franklin ST to Rhode Island Metro, perhaps that can take an alternate route that’s underserved. As Robert alluded to earlier, with the expected growth to the Lincoln area in the next couple years, the last thing we need is to cut service. Someone is not thinking. If it’s doesn’t affect the budget, why bother.

    Another thing – the numbers they use to evaluate ridership is skewed. It focused on paying customers only. What about students? I ride the B8 around 7:30 am during the school year. There are atleast 10 kids on average who ride the same bus. They almost never scan their metro cards, yet take up quite a few seats. I’m sure more kids ride the earlier and later buses and weren’t included in the “numbers.”

  3. We have a chicken and egg situation here. People do not ride the metro bus because it runs so infrequently and it takes too long to get anywhere.Therefore, whether we like it or not, the reduction in service is justified. BTW, this is why the only retailers willing to locate at Dakota Crossing are the chains that rely on suburban shoppers with cars. If we think traffic is bad now, wait until Lowe’s opens. Costco shoppers do not use metro.

    Buses run between destinations. Fort Lincoln is not a destination. I would settle for an express bus to Deanwood metro or New York Avenue metro. However, we know that will not happen.

  4. Robert, thanks for bringing the proposed elimination of the B8 and B9 bus routes to the attention of Fort Lincoln residents, and for galvanizing opposition to it. I agree that we must strategically oppose it. In that regard I want to make sure that you are aware of the last battle Fort LIncoln residents (through the Fort Lincoln Civic Association) fought over a proposed bus change, and an important ally in that battle who is now the Mayor of the District of Columbia — Muriel Bowser.

    Back in November of 2012 WMATA proposed to eliminate the B9 business, and to change the route of the B8 bus to cover a portion of the bus route the B9 bus takes (up to and back from the shopping center on Bladensburg Road in Maryland). Because of the adverse impact that proposed change would have on seniors in particular, who needed access to the CVS store in Maryland for their prescriptions, the FLCA opposed the fact of the change, the specific route, and if the change nonetheless took place, the FLCA argued that it should not occur until The Shops at Dakota Crossing contained stores that provided all of the services the stores in the shopping center in Maryland currently provides (i.e., a CVS, a sit down restaurant, a grocery store, etc.).

    The FLCAs staunchest ally in this regard was Muriel Bowser, who was one of 3 representatives of the District of Columbia on the WMATA Board at that time. She saw to it that the proposal died a quick death and assured FLCA representatives that no version of it would resurface so long as she was on WMATA’s Board.

    Well she no longer is. So its no surprise that this even more draconian proposal — to eliminate both the B8 and B9 bus — has surfaced. But her election as Mayor makes it strategically imperative that this rear guard action is brought to her attention, so that she can line up D.C.’s 3 current representatives on the WMATA Board (particularly Jack Evans who has replaced her as the D.C. Council designee to the WMATA Board) against it. The 3 D.C. Board members can then take steps to ensure that the Maryland and Virginia reps on the WMATA Board know that this proposal must die a quick death, never to resurface.

    One other strategic suggestion. If you post news of the proposed elimination at the bus stops for the B8 and B9 (at least the stops inside Ft. Lincoln), you can be sure that you will have dozens of folks who will attend the Sept. 17 hearing to physically support your testimony.

    FYI I will send you an email with the testimony the FLCA submitted in opposition to the then proposed bus changes. And I will try to dig up the name of Ms. Bowser’s staffer who was her point person in burying it. I believe he is now on her Mayoral staff.

  5. The staffer who was Councilmember Bowser’s point person on WMATA matters is Judah Gluckman. He is now on Mayor Bowser’s staff, in the position of Deputy Director, Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Executive Office of the Mayor

    As such, he is a liason for the Mayor with members of the D.C. Council and their staff. That is an ideal position from our perspective because it means he is in daily contact with Jack Evans (who is now on the WMATA Board) and Jack Evans’ staff.

    Judah made a number of trips out to Fort Lincoln while Ms. Bowser was on the WMATA Board. The the FLCA regularly communicated with him so he knows the whole history of this issue and should be gung ho to ensure that his bosses’ commitment to ensuring Metro service is expanded, and not contracted, in Ft. Lincoln, becomes a reality.

    So he will be a willing behind-the-scenes advocate for us on this issue. And if the Mayor needs to go high profile to make it (expanded service) happen, I have no doubt she will. This lame brained proposal just needs to be brought to Judah’s attention. The general telephone number for the Executive Office of the Mayor is:(202) 727-2643, The person answering the phone should be able to give you Judah’s direct dial number and his email address.

  6. Robert, can you provide a link to the bus route in Fort Lincoln, WMATA is proposing the H6 will take if WMATA’s request to cancel the B8 and B9 bus routes is granted? I have been unable to find a map of the proposed new route. The post, above, by “dcdallasfan” makes a good point about how long it could take to reach Rhode Island Avenue if the proposed new H6 route does two loops around Fort Lincoln, goes to Costco, then goes to Colmar Manor. If WMATA has not posted a map of the proposed new H6 route that makes it impossible to assess the full extent of its impact on Ft. Lincoln residents. In that case there should be a second public hearing after that information is provided.

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