A shortage of Metrobus drivers has reduced service levels with cancellations or delays on bus lines across the city and near campus.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced on its website that 52 bus routes were experiencing delays and disruptions as of Wednesday evening because of “periodic” operator shortages resulting from the number of drivers who have recently contracted COVID-19. Fewer bus services will be available during peak rush hour times – from morning opening times until 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays – which will impact travel within the District, according to WMATA’s website.
The shortages will likely impact the 31, 32 and 36 bus lines, which service the Foggy Bottom area and run near the GW Hospital, and the D6 bus line, which runs near the Mount Vernon Campus, according to the website.
“As new COVID-19 variants such as the Delta and Omicron spread, others are on leave as they recover from COVID infections,” WMATA officials said in a statement last week. “Allowing employees recovery time related to COVID polices is necessary to protect the health of our workforce, customers and the communities we serve.”
The delays come after Metro officials announced long-term service changes to Metrobus routes last week to increase “reliability” in bus arrivals and accommodate for increased traffic in parts of the District. The changes include additional buses to routes in Arlington and suspended services in parts of Maryland.