Spurred by a federal TIGER grant, planners at WMATA and DDOT are moving closer to making bus priority measures a reality in the District of Columbia.
WMATA has identified operational savings estimated at $5.6 million annually for six corridors in the District for measures funded by the grant including transit signal priority (TSP), bus bulb-outs and stop improvements. Similar projects in Maryland and Virginia are also being funded by the TIGER grant.
|16th St.||20 TSP & 30 improved bus stops||$1,000,000|
|Georgia Ave||36 improved bus stops & bus bulbouts||$300,000|
|H St/Benning Rd||22 improved bus stops & 1 queue jump||$400,000|
|Wisconsin Ave||20 TSP and 54 improved bus stops||$2,000,000|
|TR Bridge to K St.||unidentified TSP locations||$900,000|
|14th St. Bridge to K St.||unidentified TSP locations||$1,000,000|
In addition to the TIGER grant improvements, DDOT is developing a comprehensive multi-modal network plan that includes bus lanes and other bus priority measures. The first place that we may see a difference is a new bus lane on I Street NW between 13th and 19th Streets and the removal of the 9th Street bus lane downtown. The new lane could be operational by the fall.
Planners at WMATA have also been busy developing several new ideas. They have developed “hypothetical” bus lanes that would produce roughly estimated additional savings of about $13 million. WMATA designates them as “hypothetical” because the feasibility of implementing the lanes has not been evaluated yet.
|7th St.||Fla. Ave.||N St.||$500,000|
|7th St.||Penn. Ave.||Indep. Ave.||$2,300,000|
|16th St.||Spring Rd||Fla. Ave.||$2,300,000|
|H St.||17th St.||13th St.||$1,800,000|
|I St.||13th St.||19th St.||$3,200,000|
|Penn. Ave.||Potomac Ave.||Minn. Ave.||$3,000,000|
WMATA’s cost saving assumptions are not unreasonable, but depend heavily on good implementation of the improvements.
WMATA also has a consultant looking at potential bus lanes based on the number of buses and the slowness of speed and have identified a “top 10” list that overlaps some of the TIGER projects. Several other corridors narrowly missed being included in the “top ten.” Among those just missing the list were Columbia Road NW, 7th Street NW (further north) and Wisconsin Avenue near Tenley Circle.
|Corridor||From/To||Average Speed||Buses per Day|
|Conn. Ave. NW||K St. to Dupont Circle||4.5 mph||360|
|H St. NW||5th St. to 13th St.||6.5 mph||550|
|11 St. NW||Pennsylvania to K St.||4.5 mph||340|
|13th St. NW||H St. to I St.||6.5 mph||530|
|I St. NW||11th St. to Conn. Ave.||6 mph||400|
|M St./ Penn. Ave. NW||Wash Cir. to Wisc. Ave.||6.5 mph||420|
|H St. NW||Conn. Ave to 13th St.||6 mph||350|
|P Street NW||Fl. Ave. to Dupont Cir.||5 mph||250|
|14th St. NW||K St. to Buchanan St.||6.5 mph||350|
|7th St. NW||Constitution to H St.||6 mph||280|
The elements of well designed bus lanes, wider stop spacing of up to one every 0.2 or 0.25 miles, transit signal priority with proper stop location, queue jumpers and bulbouts when implemented around the country have resulted in time savings. If done properly in the District, buses can become an increasingly attractive part of urban mobility—and provide substantial savings that can be used to further improve transit service.