The District is looking to extend its popular Circulator bus service across the Anacostia River into the poorest part of the city by next fall.


The extension would arrive as the city is looking to pull back on a discount program for Metrobus, giving residents of Anacostia and other neighborhoods east of the river an inexpensive, alternative transportation option.

City officials say the timing of the two proposals is not related.

Want to go?
WHAT: The District is proposing to extend one of the five D.C. Circulator routes across the Anacostia River to the Congress Heights Metro station.
HOW: The bus would initially run to 11 additional stops from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with service until 9 p.m. and Saturday service starting in April.
WHERE & WHEN: A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the United Planning Organization Building, 1649 Good Hope Road SE.

The District is proposing to add 11 new stops to the D.C. Circulator route that currently runs from Union Station through Capitol Hill to the Navy Yard.

Kwame Brown, now D.C. Council chairman, had proposed extending the popular bus service across the river in January 2010. At the time, city officials were laying the groundwork for the buses instead to cross over the Potomac River, extending from Dupont Circle through Georgetown and into Rosslyn.

His proposal for an east-of-the-river line was shot down, but he pledged to keep pushing for a line as the Rosslyn one moved forward.

Now the city is holding a public hearing Monday on doing just that, and hopes to have another hearing later this summer before starting the line on Oct. 1, said Aaron Overman with the District Department of Transportation. "This is all part of our new governance policy to work with the community well in advance of any service change," he said.

Meanwhile, the city has asked Metro to discontinue a Metrobus discount that has been in place for Anacostia riders since 1991. The city is proposing to increase the size of the transfer discount for riders who switch between bus and Metrorail, but other bus riders who currently enjoy a 50-cent discount off their $1.50 fares would have to pay full rates. Metro's board still needs to approve the change.

The Circulator's fares cost $1 each way, the same fare riders currently enjoy with the special Metrobus discount. So for riders who take the new Circulator line, the cost of the trip would be the same.