Priority Bus Lane Pilot Comes to DowntownDC

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DowntownDC is now home to bright red priority bus lanes on H and I Streets NW as part of the city’s new pilot program designed to ease traffic congestion.

We picked this corridor because each day, more than 80,000 people and over 40 percent of District Metrobus riders, use routes that travel on H and I Street NW,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said on May 31 at the bus pilot launch event in Franklin Park. “Up to 70 buses per hour are here during peak hours. The future of transportation for the downtown is getting cars off our already congested roads.”  

According to the District Department of Transportation, bus riders on H and I Streets experience travel speeds as slow as 2.8 miles per hour in some sections.

From June 3-Sept. 27 during peak rush hours, the right-side curb lane on H and I Streets between Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Streets NW is now designated for buses and other select transportation modes. Additional users of the red lanes include right-turning vehicles, bicycles, charter buses, school buses, and marked taxis are be allowed to use the bus lanes. Buses will continue to service all existing stops.  Morning rush hours times are 7- 9:30am, and evening rush hour times are 4-6:30pm.  

The bus pilot will coincide with the partial shutdown of the Metrorail’s Blue and Yellow Lines from May 25-Sept. 2.

Parking was restricted on both H and I Streets NW during peak rush hours, so no parking was eliminated as part of this pilot.  

DDOT reports that their department will collect data throughout the pilot period to evaluate the performance of the bus lanes, including multimodal safety, bus speeds and reliability, and vehicle operations and access.

To learn more, visit the District Department of Transportation’s webpage here.