FROM THE ANNANDALE BLOG
The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) is proposing to streamline Metrobus service along Columbia Pike between Annandale and Pentagon City and between Skyline Center and Crystal City/Pentagon.
The restructuring plan would simplify and consolidate the confusing array of bus lines and complicated timetables, which could discourage people from taking buses.
According to a blog post in Greater Greater Washington, the changes are based on Arlington County’s 10-year Transit Development Plan, which calls for a “Premium Transit Network” for Columbia Pike to make up for the cancelled streetcar project. That plan recommends more frequent bus service and improved bus stops with more features, such as real-time arrival information and off-board fare collection.
The following is a summary of the proposed changes from Greater Greater Washington, affecting nine of the 10 Columbia Pike routes, divided into two groups.
For the 16A, 16B, 16E 16J, 16P, and 16X routes:
Option 1: Service would be increased on the 16A route to operate every day. The 16J and 16P would be eliminated. The 16E and 16X would be consolidated into the 16B with evening and peak service extensions into the District. To speed up travel times, both the 16A and 16B would have limited stops within Arlington County, similar to the existing 16X.
Option 2: Instead of changing existing routes, there would be limited stop service within Arlington County for the 16A, 16B, and 16J.
For the 16G, 16H, and 16K routes:
Option 1: The three routes would be consolidated into just the 16H, which would run seven days a week and be extended at both ends – north to Crystal City, and south to form a loop around Skyline City. Coverage lost from the elimination of the 16G and 16K in Columbia Heights West would be replaced by Arlington Transit service.
Option 2: Same as Option 1, but also retains the 16G, which would similarly be extended to Crystal City.
Option 3: Same as Option 2 without the southern extension of the 16H, leaving its terminus at Skyline City unchanged.
Option 4: Would not improve or eliminate the 16H or 16G, but would drop the 16K which currently only operates in the very early mornings on weekends.
The proposed Metrobus changes proposed by WMATA would affect other routes, too, including 4A and 4B between the Seven Corners Transit Center and Rosslyn and 7A and 7F between Lincolnia and the Pentagon.
WMATA invites the bus-riding public to submit feedback on the proposed bus route changes on an online survey, open through 9 a.m. on Oct. 2.
There will also be a public hearing on the changes Sept. 26, 6 p.m. (open house at 5:30 p.m.), at Metro Headquarters, 600 5th Street N.W. Washington, D.C.