For Immediate Release
October 27, 2022
Contact: Chantal Fuller, Communications Director
Councilmember Christina Henderson Introduces Legislation to Pilot Universal Metrobus Access
Washington, DC- Today, Councilmember ChristinaHenderson introduced the Universal Metrobus Access Pilot Act of 2022. This legislation would establish a pilot program with free fares for the X2 and 80 Metrobus lines.
Metrobus provides a lifeline to for people who live along bus routes for communities with few alternative public transit options, providing critical transportation. Based on WMATA data, Metrobus riders overall are more likely than residents in the WMATA Compact Area to live in households without a car, live in households earning less than $30,000 annually, have limited English proficiency, and are more likely to be Black or Brown residents. Nearly 70% of Metrobus customers are frequent riders, riding busses 12 or more days per month.
The X2 and the 80 lines have been two of the top five most-used Metrobus lines for the past 12 years. The X2 line runs east-west from Benning Road in Ward 7, passing through Ward 6, and ending Downtown in Ward 2. The 80 line runs north-south from Fort Totten inWard 5 to McPherson Square in Ward 2. These bus lines travel through many of the Transportation Planning Board’s Equity Emphasis Areas, which are small geographic areas that have significant concentrations of residents who are low-income and people of color.
DC piloted a version of the Universal Metrobus Access pilot in 2019, when the DCCirculator was fare-free for two months (as it was again during the COVID-19 pandemic), and reported significant increases in ridership during the 2019 pilot. The Circulator is primarily a tourist-serving bus, and residents also deserve the same opportunities on their normal routes.
Metrobus riders’ top priorities for bus system improvements are more frequent service and more reliable and faster service. “The Universal Metrobus Access Pilot would incentivize bus ridership along busy routes, reducing congestion on highly traveled roads and contributing to bus service reliability. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming months to advance this legislation,” stated Councilmember Henderson.
The Universal Metrobus Access Pilot Act of 2022 was co-introduced with Councilmembers Kenyan R. McDuffie, Brooke Pinto, Charles Allen, and Vincent C. Gray.