Metrobus Report Card

Grading the performance of buses in the D.C. Priority Corridor Network in May 2019

Metrobuses are an essential part of how people get around DC

On an average weekday, Metrobuses transport over 200,000 riders around DC,1 serving 3,422 stops on 298 miles of roadway in the city.2

Yet Metrobus ridership in DC has dropped by 12% over the last five years

This is a steeper annual decline than many peer cities including Chicago, New York City, and Atlanta.4

Source: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (unpublished)

And Metrobus speeds have decreased by over 10% system-wide over the last ten years

In 2007, the average Metrobus traveled 11.3 mph. Today, the average bus travels only 10.1 mph.

Source: The National Transit Database

In 2008, Metro launched the Priority Corridor Network (PCN) focused on improving the highest-ridership corridors in the system

Metro and DC have steadily implemented improvements to these corridors, including adding additional service to MetroExtra limited-stop routes, running buses at higher frequencies, and using shorter runs and headway-based scheduling. 9 of these 24 priority corridors are in DC: Anacostia/Congress Heights, Fourteenth Street, Georgia Avenue/7th Street, H Street/Benning Road, North Capitol Street, Rhode Island Avenue, U Street/Garfield, and Wisconsin Avenue/Pennsylvania Avenue.

How are DC's Metrobus Priority Corridors performing today?

To answer this question, we evaluated bus performance for 34 routes in DC's 9 priority corridors for the entire month of May 2019. This report card provides a snapshot of the current state of the Metrobus system in DC to help riders and decision-makers understand where service is in need of improvement.

Does DC make the grade?...

Overall grade for the DC Priority Corridor Network routes:

Routes receiving grade
(View our grading criteria)

Headway adherence

Bus headways refer to the spacing between two sequential bus arrivals at the same stop. Buses are considered to be "maintaining headway" if they arrive at a stop no more than 3 minutes beyond the spacing window for that visit (as reported by WMATA). In May 2019, we observed that xxx of all bus stop arrivals respected their scheduled headways.

Schedule adherence

Bus schedule refers to the physical clock time that a bus is supposed to arrive at a given stop. Buses are considered to be "adhering to schedule" if they arrive at a stop no more than 2 minutes earlier or 7 minutes later than the scheduled clock time for that arrival (as reported by WMATA). In May 2019, we observed that xxx of all bus stop arrivals were on-schedule.

Average speed

A bus's average speed (in miles per hour) is calculated by dividing the distance traveled from the start to the end of the route by the time elapsed between that bus's visits to the first and last stop on that route. In May 2019, we observed that the average speed of a bus in the DC Priority Corridor Network was xxx.

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