DC’s Circulator bus is going to start operating on the National Mall this Sunday, June 14th.

The Circulator and the Smithsonian Castle. Image from DDOT.

DDOT announced the Circulator’s National Mall route in December along with plans to start this spring. The new National Mall route is operating with support and funding from the National Park Service, unlike the former loop that operated from 2006 through 2011. This means the buses can travel within the interior of the Mall.

The route will begin at Union Station and travel along Louisiana Avenue to loop the Mall via Madison Drive, West Basin Drive, Ohio Drive, Constitution Avenue, and Jefferson Drive. The route will operate through 8 pm in the summer and 7 pm in the winter on ten-minute headways.

There has been no public bus service on the Mall since the an earlier Circulator, which ran around the outside of the Mall, and the $27 Tourmobile shut down in 2011.

DDOT purchased a fleet of eighteen hybrid buses to meet the additional service demand. The buses feature more powerful air conditioning units, wider doors with a lower entrance for additional accessibility, and 19 USB ports for electronics charging. These new buses bring the Circulator fleet to 67 buses total.

DDOT will host a launch event for the new route on Friday at the Lincoln Memorial. The event, featuring Mayor Muriel Bowser and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, begins at 11 am.

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Ashley Robbins, recently described as a “transit gun for hire,” is a psychologist by training who fell in love with transit advocacy. She moved to DC from Atlanta in 2014 to become a policy wonk and explore a more extensive transit system. She works as a research analyst for Mobility Lab.