A District-run public bus replaced the popular Georgetown shuttle that previously stopped next to the Foggy Bottom Metro station.
The Circulator, a bus line run by the District Department of Transportation, will now pick up passengers at 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and take them to Georgetown. The Metro Connection, a blue and yellow minibus, will no longer stop at 23rd and I streets.
The substitution is part of a six-month pilot project that began March 26 and will run until Sept. 30. If the transportation department and Georgetown Business Improvement District find the new Circulator route successful, it will become a permanent fixture, said Juanita Crabb, executive director of the Georgetown BID.
The Circulator will now run every ten minutes during peak hours – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. – in addition to a late-night bus, which will run when the Metro is open.
Crabb said the decision to change the bus routes was a response to the increased comfort and convenience on the Circulator, a bus line that was introduced last year.
“When you’re talking about moving as many people as we did (with the Metro Connection), it makes sense to be a part of the larger transit system,” Crabb said. She added that many people would rather ride on the Circulator.
“There are people who will ride the Circulator who will never ride mass transit in their life,” Crabb said.
Though Georgetown BID will not have total control over the public bus route, Crabb said that they have a “very good working relationship” with the transportation department.
The Georgetown BID created posters that ran on the Metro Connection bus, and assigned goodwill ambassadors to the Foggy Bottom Metro Stop to inform confused patrons of the change, a spokesperson from Georgetown BID said.
Mandeep Grewel, a medical student, said she liked that the Metro Connection dropped students off at K Street underneath the Whitehurst Freeway because of its proximity to the AMC Movie Theater.
“It was really helpful to have that bus drop us off at the movie theater and other parts of Wisconsin Avenue when it was really cold outside, especially, and I think it was really convenient to GW,” Grewel said.
Grewel also said that the Circulator seems more complicated.
Sako Nita, a second-year graduate student, hopes that the new Circulator bus stop is here to stay.
“I use the Circulator so for me (a new stop) moved closer to GW,” Nita said. “So it’s more convenient for me.”