Staff Editorial: Agency was right to reverse planned Circulator cut

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The DC Circulator runs along M Street NW in Georgetown. (Brian Kapur/The Current/May 2017)

In a city with a surging population and no room to expand its roads, it’s a given that we need a strong public transportation system. And in a neighborhood that lacks a Metro station, it’s also a given that such a system relies on buses.

That’s why we saw such strong objections to a June D.C. Department of Transportation recommendation to reduce the DC Circulator’s Georgetown service. The draft proposal called for turning around the Georgetown-Union Station line at M Street NW, eliminating the leg that travels up Wisconsin Avenue to serve the residents and businesses of upper Georgetown and southern Glover Park.

Fortunately, sanity prevailed. Amid an outcry from affected residents and business leaders, the Transportation Department dropped that recommendation from this month’s updated package of planned modifications to Circulator service.

We now shift our attention to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which is planning its own bus service cut elsewhere on Wisconsin Avenue: truncating the 96 line at Newark Street NW, rather than continuing north to the Tenleytown Metro station. As observed by Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh, it’s particularly valuable for neighborhoods without their own Metro station to have a convenient link to other transit options. Lopping the ends off popular bus lines is a step in the wrong direction.