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The Metrobus 16th Street Line Study (En Español)

Quick Facts:

  • Who was involved? The study was a partnership between Metro and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT).
  • What was studied? The Metrobus 16th Street Line corridor, including routes S1, S2, and S4.
  • Where is the corridor located? The 16th Street Line runs from Silver Spring Metro to Federal Triangle (S2 and S4) and from Missouri Avenue NW to Foggy Bottom (S1).
  • Why was this corridor chosen for study? The line serves around 16,000 passengers on an average weekday, the third-highest ridership in the Metrobus system. But the line suffered from overcrowding, delays, and other reliability issues, prompting Metro and DDOT to explore potential improvements.
  • When did the study take place? The initial portion of the study took place from April to October 2008, followed by a brief implementation period during which Metro determined the best ways to put the first phase of recommendations into effect. The restructured line went into service in March 2009. Metro and DDOT have considered future additional improvements to the line that would require further study, but they have not been brought to the Metro Board for approval.
  • How is service on the line being improved? See below for the study's recommendations, as well as specifics on how the study was conducted.

First Phase of Improvements, Implemented March 2009:

New Limited-Stop Service

The study is now complete and the first set of recommended improvements took place on March 30th. The centerpiece of the restructured service is a new limited-stop Metrobus Express route called the S9 (see map below). Instead of stopping every block or two like most local buses, the S9 stops at only 16 locations in each direction between Silver Spring Metro and Downtown DC. It runs every 10 minutes on weekdays between 6:30 am and 10:00 am, and from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Additional Improvements

On top of the new S9 limited-stop service, Metro implemented several other features to make the 16th Street Line run more reliably:

• The 16th Street Line now has strreet supervisors whose sole job is to monitor activity on the line and prevent problems before they occur.
• Supervisors and bus drivers are now in closer communication with one another via laptop computers and hand-held devices. Through greater communication, Metro staff can more
easily have illegally parked cars and trucks removed; keep riders posted about detours, delays, and other information; and put more buses into service when necessary.
• Bus drivers are receiving training specific to the 16th Street Line, and supervisors have a “playbook” that gives instruction on how to deal with problems unique to the line.
• Updated, easy-to-read schedules have been posted at stops, and information cases, flags, and poles have been added or repaired.
• Articulated (“accordion”) buses have been added to the S2 and S4 in the late evening hours, to provide more room and make crowding on buses less of a problem.

For information about other improvements being made to the 16th Street Line, please see the Frequently Asked Questions memo.


Timetables and Maps:

Click here for a Metro Express S9 schedule, and here for an S1/S2/S4 schedule.

To see a map of the Metro Express S9 service, click on the icon at left. To see a map of the S1, S2, and S4 routes, click on the icon at right.


Reports and Publications:

The following 16th Street Line study materials are available for download in PDF form. Some of the documents are large and graphics-heavy, so please allow ample time for the files to open.

S9 Metro Express, Frequently Asked Questions - March 2009

16th Street Line Study Final Report - Feb 2009. Please note that at this time, the WMATA Board has only approved Phase 1 of the 16th Street Line Study recommendations for implementation. Phases 2 and 3 have not yet been approved.

Summary of Public Meeting # 2 - Sept 2008

Slide Presentation, Public Meeting # 2 - July 2008

Display Boards, Public Meeting # 2 - July 2008

Newsletter # 2 - Sept 2008

Summary of Public Meeting # 1 - July 2008

Slide Presentation, Public Meeting # 1 - July 2008

Display Boards, Public Meeting # 1 - July 2008

16th Street Line Fact Sheet - July 2008

Preliminary Results of the Rider Survey - June 2008

Newsletter # 1 - June 2008


Events:

S9 METRO EXPRESS CEREMONY TAKES PLACE

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new S9 Metro Express Limited-Stop route was held on Monday, March 30, 2009, at 10:00 am at the corner of 16th Street and Columbia Road NW. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, WMATA Board Chairman Jim Graham, DDOT Director Gabe Klein, WMATA General Manager John Catoe, and other WMATA and City officials were all on hand for the first run of this important new transit service.

SECOND PUBLIC MEETING IN SEPTEMBER 2008

The second of two public meetings for the 16th Street Line study took place on Tuesday, September 23, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the same location as the first meeting—St Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 16th and Newton Streets NW.

During the first segment of the meeting, participants reviewed new project materials and spoke individually with the study team. This was followed by a slide presentation at 7:00 pm. During the presentation, the study team talked about the preliminary recommendations for improved transit service on the 16th Street Line, which were based on feedback received at the first meeting, as well as technical analyses performed over the past two months. The group then split into smaller discussion groups to ask questions and comment on the preliminary recommendations before they are further refined and presented to the Metro Board of Directors for review at the end of 2008.

Click here to view the results of the second public meeting, which include the draft recommendations for the 16th Street Line Study.

FIRST PUBLIC MEETING IN JULY 2008


The first of two public meetings for the 16th Street Line study took place on Tuesday, July 15 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at St Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 16th and Newton Streets NW.

During the first segment of the meeting, participants reviewed project materials and spoke individually with the study team. This was followed by a slide presentation at 7:00 pm. The group then separated into three breakout tables to have a focused discussion on issues and suggestions for improving transit service the 16th Street Line.

Click here to view the results of the first public meeting.

RIDER SURVEY ADMINISTERED

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), in partnership with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), conducted a rider survey on Wednesday, June 18, for the Metrobus 16th Street Line study. Surveys were available on S1, S2, and S4 buses during the day and evening, and survey takers had the option of placing their completed surveys in pouches on the buses or mailing them in later postage-paid. The purpose of the survey was to receive feedback from 16th Street Line riders about what works well on those routes and what needs improvement. The input from riders was used in the development of options, and ultimately recommendations for enhancing service on the line.

Click here to see the results of the rider survey.