Mayor Bowser Announces Plan to Improve Transit Service Along 14th Street
(Mayor Muriel Bowser at La Cabana restaurant in Columbia Heights. ANC Commissioners Kent Boese (1A08), Dotti Love Wade (1A11), Zach Teutsch (4C05), and Stacey Lincoln (4A02) were among those in attendance.)
Yesterday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her support for express bus service on 14th Street, stating that she included funding for the 59 in her upcoming budget. The event was held at La Cabana restaurant on 14th Street just south of Spring Rd, and was attended by neighbors, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and government officials. While the Mayor’s announcement stated that funding for the 59 bus was in her budget, it still needs to survive the D.C. Council’s budget oversight hearings — though the Council appears to be very supportive. Presuming the funding survives intact, the 59 could be operational by December 2017.
Following the announcement, Mayor Bowser took a few questions from those in attendance. I took the opportunity to ask the Mayor for a commitment to review traffic on 14th Street from Monroe (north) to Irving (south), stating that the road infrastructure created a bottle-neck at DC USA which not only prevents drivers from moving efficiently through Columbia Heights but would also prevent the 59 bus from achieving its full potential as a faster alternative to downtown. The Mayor appeared to respond positively to the request and several of the ANC Commissioners in the room voiced support for the request and the need to find a solution to the bottle-neck.
The full announcement from the Mayor can be found after the jump >>
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced funding for the much-anticipated MetroExtra Limited Stop bus route on the 14th Street corridor.
“As the District continues to grow, so must our public transportation options,” said Mayor Bowser. “Moreover, our Administration is committed to inclusive prosperity so that residents in every corner of the District benefit from our growth. The new Route 59 is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance service and give residents more options to get to work, school and beyond.”
The new 59 route will serve the area between the Takoma Metrorail station and the Federal Triangle Metrorail station. The limited-stop bus service will operate in addition to the existing 52, 53, and 54 bus services. The route will initially operate every 15 minutes during weekday rush hours. The estimated operating cost is approximately $1.2 million annually. If approved in the budget, the funds will be in place in October 2017, allowing the 59 to begin service when the next Metrobus service adjustments occur in December 2017.
“We are grateful for Mayor Bowser’s support for MetroExtra service along the 14th Street corridor, which has been a long-sought-after improvement for residents, commuters, and businesses,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld. “Today, the 14th Street buses carrier more average weekday passengers than any other line in the District, and the addition of faster, limited-stop service will mean a more convenient trip at the same price as regular bus service.”
“I’m pleased Mayor Bowser continued her strong commitment to public transportation in the District by dedicating funds to establish a new 14th Street NW express Metrobus line,” said Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans. “We’ve seen enormous growth along the 14th Street corridor over the past 15 years, and this express bus will help alleviate crowding and provide better service for riders.”
Through substantial development and growth, the 14th Street corridor has become one of the most heavily traveled routes in Washington, DC, with more than 15,000 trips taken in the corridor daily. The new service is designed to reduce overcrowding and provide faster trips.
The FY2018 budget also includes funds to improve bus service in the W4 corridor in Wards 7 and 8 which operates between the Deanwood Metro Station and Anacostia Metro Station on South Capitol Street, Alabama Avenue, Southern Avenue, and Benning Road.
“14th Street is a major corridor and today it gets the better, more efficient bus service it needs,” said Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. “As the population along 14th Street continues to grow, this express bus service will ease congestion and help improve the transportation options available to residents. I’d like to thank Mayor Bowser for getting the funding to provide this needed improvement.”
“I am excited to have worked with Mayor Bowser and the community to ensure that Ward 4 will now have an express bus line on 14th Street,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd. “This new express line is yet another example of how our government and the community can work together to address pressing transportation needs.”
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