Public Meeting on Circulator Routes

Proposed changes include possible addition of Southwest routes


The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today released the final 2017 Transit Development Plan, and announced a public comment period and hearing on proposed major service changes.

The plans include a recommendation to change to the existing Union Station / Navy Yard route to extend down M Street and up to L’Enfant Plaza.

“DDOT heard Southwest,” said Commissioner Andy Litsky, Chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D. He has been advocating for revival of service along the former route of the Southwest Circulator route for some time.

One of the options that was presented as DDOT collected feedback is similar to the now defunct Southwest Circulator. This public meeting comes as DDOT finalizes the decision about route changes.

DDOT suspended the Southwest Waterfront-Convention Center Circulator route on September 30, 2011 due to low ridership. It was replaced by Metrobus Route 74 which follows a similar path, but comes less frequently and costs more to ride. Metrobus fares are $2 for regular routes, and $4.25 for express. DC Circulator fare is $1.

The area has changed a great deal since the route was canceled, notably with the addition of the shops and restaurants at The Wharf.

The major service changes involve reconfiguration of two routes and the addition of regular late-night service between McPherson Square and Union Station, as well as a proposed fare media change to eliminate the use of DC Circulator-exclusive paper passes. DDOT expects the proposals to be implemented in April 2018.

“We are excited to begin implementation of the Transit Development Plan,” said DDOT Acting Director Jeff Marootian. “The service changes are intended to better align our resources with growing activity centers that improve the reliability of the service.”

The public is invited to comment on the proposed service adjustments and proposed fare media adjustment at a public hearing to take place Thursday, Jan 4th, 2018 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Miracle Theatre (535 Eighth St. SE).

Based on feedback from the DC Circulator 2017 Transit Development Plan Update, DDOT is formally proposing the following major service changes. Options three and four relate to a Southwest route:

  1. Potomac Avenue Metro – Skyland (PS) Route – Realignment of route to serve Union Station and Congress Heights Metro via Barracks Row and Downtown Anacostia
  2. Potomac Avenue Metro – Skyland (PS) Route – Regular Saturday service from 7 am – 9 pm and new Sunday service 7 am – 9 pm
  3. Union Station – Navy Yard Metro (US-NY) Route – Realignment of route to serve Eastern Market Metro to L’Enfant Plaza Metro via Barracks Row, Navy Yard Metro, M Street SE/SW, and Waterfront Metro
  4. Union Station – Navy Yard Metro (US-NY) Route – Regular Saturday service from 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM and new Sunday service 7 am – 9 pm
  5. Georgetown – Union Station (GT-US) Route – Regular late-night service between McPherson Square and Union Station from 9 pm to 3 am on Friday and Saturday

DDOT is also formally proposing the elimination of the unlimited-use paper passes that are valid only on DC Circulator. DC Circulator will continue to accept the unlimited Regional Bus Pass available on SmarTrip cards. No change is proposed to the base fare of $1 per trip.

The proposed major service adjustment plan and fare adjustment plan can be found at A hard copy of either document may also be obtained from the DDOT’s headquarters at 55 M Street SE, Washington, DC 20003, 4th floor.

Please email with “DC Circulator Major Service Adjustment Document Review” or “DC Circulator Fare Adjustment Document Review” in the subject line to arrange for pick-up.

Persons who wish to speak at the hearing may testify after signing up for a spot by visiting or by calling 202-671-2020. All presentations will be limited to two minutes to accommodate as many speakers as possible.

The comment period on the major service change will last through Friday, January 19, 2018, and attending the public hearing is not required to submit a comment. All comments submitted in one of the following ways will be reviewed:

  • Using the online comment form, found at
  • Using a paper comment form, found on DC Circulator buses. These can be left in the bags on buses or mailed to the address on the form.
  • Speaking at the public hearing
  • Filling out a paper comment form at the public hearing
  • Emailing

The major service changes to Potomac Avenue Metro – Skyland and Union Station – Navy Yard Metro were part of the 2017 Transit Development Plan (TDP) Update planning process. The final TDP document is available online at