Popular Georgetown Bus Routes Saved
By April 6, 2020 0 521•
“We did it! We saved Georgetown’s cross-town bus routes!”
That was the exuberant text sent by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kishan Putta to The Georgetowner on April 1. Not an April Fool’s joke, the good news arrived after the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority voted unanimously to leave the D2, D6 and G2 bus routes pretty much as is.
In February, the board had announced that the three major bus lines serving Georgetown were going to be rerouted, rescheduled and/or eliminated in the District’s fiscal year 2021 budget. “Over 5,000 unique individual comments, criticisms and responses were recorded on WMATA’s open commentary lines and in person throughout the month of March,” Putta said.
“Almost all the comments protested the changes,” he continued. “WMATA had to extend the deadline. I personally appeared several times before the board to make the case for keeping the routes as is.
“One board member told me he was struck not only by the number but also by the intensity of the comments. What was unusual was that at one point this board member left the closed meeting to meet with us,” said Putta, who declined to name the board member.
Putta believes the board misunderstood the importance of the three bus routes, both to residents and to people from outside Georgetown. The latter group includes high school and college students from all over the city, many of whom take Metrorail to Dupont Circle, where they pick up the D2 or D6 bus to the Duke Ellington School for the Arts or the G2 to Georgetown University.
The decision to keep the schedules might be temporary, however. The District’s stay-at-home order — due to the coronavirus pandemic — has severely affected usage of public transportation. But, for the time being, the budget that goes into effect on July 1 includes a reduced price for seven-day bus passes, a $1 bus/rail transfer discount, extended late-night Metrorail hours, a $2 Metrorail flat fare on weekends and increased train frequency on Sundays.