The Next Generation of Transit

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

By DowntownDC

Looking to the future of transit, the Downtown BID is once again taking a leadership role to sustain a larger Downtown population with an efficient, environmentally appropriate transportation system.

Downtown BID Board Chairman, Matt Klein, described the 2012 vision for Downtown DC in his speech celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the BID:

“We would expect to see expanded Circulator service running not only along the K Street transit way, but reaching out into neighboring areas such as Adams Morgan and Capitol Hill. The Circulator would also be providing a new kind of public transit service that the National Park Service began studying in 2003. We expect to see the launch of a new streetcar service in 2009 along the east side of the Anacostia River. By 2015, we would hope that cross-town street car planning would be well underway, extending the service across H Street NE, to connect to K Street NW, and terminating in Georgetown."

On Thursday, January 31, the Downtown BID will bring together a panel of transit and urban design experts in the Carnegie Library - Map Room (801 K Street NW at Mount Vernon Square) at 6:00 pm to discuss the next generation of transit as well as DC’s transit future.

BID Transit Initiatives
Since its beginnings in 1997, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) has led continual efforts to improve mass transit.

In 2000, the BID championed extended Metrorail hours from midnight every evening to closing at 3:00 am on Friday and Saturday evenings to support growth in entertainment, sports and cultural attractions.

Most DC residents use Metrobus to travel Downtown, but often bus shelters offered little information on bus routes and schedules. The lack of bus service information was not only discourteous to existing bus customers, but it also discouraged new customers from trying bus transit. A Downtown BID demonstration project that solved the problem in 2003 by producing bus shelter maps in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).

In 2005, the Downtown BID and its organizational partners in DC Surface Transit, Inc. (Golden Triangle, Georgetown and Capitol Hill BIDs, NCPC, WMATA…) helped launch the DC Circulator. This fixed route surface transit filled the gap for short, local trips in Downtown.  The sleek, low-floor, European vehicles attract new riders to bus transit every day, as documented in annual customer service surveys. The service has reached 5 million riders in the short span of time since its launch, further demonstrating the need for more and better transit options for residents, workers and visitors.

Download an invitation to the The Next Generation of Transit [PDF 47KB]