Metrobus complements Metrorail by providing access to high quality public transportation in areas not currently served by Metrorail. Many residents also use the bus to travel from their homes, offices, and schools to Metrorail stations. A popular third form of public transportation in the District is the D.C. Circulator. The D.C. Circulator bus does just what its name suggests—it circulates along routes that contain major commercial, educational, and entertainment venues. The D.C. Circulator connects major activity centers areas such as Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Navy Yard, Union Station, and Dupont Circle.
As a system, the District’s public transportation options make traveling the city more convenient and accessible while reducing the number of cars on the District’s streets. Escalators and elevators make Metrorail convenient for families, people with mobility limitations, and bikers. Cyclists can carry their bicycles on board Metrobus anytime and Metrorail during non-rush hour trips; the front of each Metrobus is equipped with two bike racks to accommodate those who bike. Residents can access the NextBus website on their computers or mobile devices to determine exactly when the bus will arrive in real time based on buses’ mobile tracking devices. To access the Circulator NextBus Arrival feature, visit the Circulator website. WMATA’s online Trip Planner is another convenient feature. By simply typing your starting point and your destination, Trip Planner will provide details on cost, suggested routes, and departure and arrival times.
Public transportation reduces congestion and the emissions of pollutants, including carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to climate change. Public transportation riders also save money. The average American can save over $10,000 by using public transportation and owning one less car in his or her household.
This indicator depicts monthly ridership for Metrobus buses that operate in the District. Metrorail ridership includes those trips that originate in District Metrorail stations. Monthly Circulator ridership is based on ridership from all Circulator buses. Monthly Metrorail and Metrobus ridership data is provided by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and monthly Circulator ridership data is provided by the District Department of Transportation.
What influences this indicator?
Many factors at the individual and societal level contribute to the usage of Metrorail, Metrobus, and D.C. Circulator transportation. The ease of access to Metrorail stations, Metrobus, and D.C. Circulator bus stops influences ridership. Car drivers deterred by the high prices of fuel, parking, and maintenance may opt to use these more economically efficient modes of transport. Concern for reducing one’s carbon footprint may convince some riders to use public transportation as well. Personal schedule conflicts with public transportation service, or a lack of a convenient bus or rail station near some areas of residences and workplaces may deter ridership.
Related indicators: Air Quality, CO2e levels, Capital BikeShare, Walkability, Cars
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