WMATA increasing service, implementing courtesy stop option for late night riders

June 26, 2023
Starting June 26, WMATA says riders will see the “most train service” in the authority’s history and the bus service options exceed bus service pre-COVID.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will be increasing its service on bus routes and Metrorail starting June 26, as well as implementing an overnight courtesy stop policy to enhance rider safety.

The new service plan represents the most train service in WMATA’s 47-year history. There will be 58 percent more trains in service on weekdays compared to July 2022, which will allow the authority to provide 73 percent more train trips.

On WMATA’s bus network, the new service plan exceeds pre-pandemic levels by four percent. Improvements will be delivered on 68 routes and WMATA notes this includes expanding the reach of its Frequency Service Network to more customers and routes.

WMATA’s Metro rail service will include:

  • Orange Line trains every 10 minutes from opening until 9:30 p.m. and every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m.
  • Blue and Silver Line trains every 12 minutes from opening until 9:30 p.m. and every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m.

On WMATA’s bus network, service improvements include:

  • Improving Route B2 midday, evening and weekend frequency to every 12 minutes or better for most of the day to provide better connections between northeast and southeast District of Columbia.
  • Extending Route A12 and beginning service on new Route L12, including new service to Downtown Largo and New Carrollton stations in Maryland and Woodmore Towne Centre, every 20 minutes for most of the day.
  • In Virginia, a new Route, 16M, will combine routes 16G and 16H to extend service along Columbia Pike from Skyline City to National Landing and operate every 12 minutes for most of the day.

Courtesy stop requests

The overnight hours between late June 25 and June 26 saw WMATA implement a new policy that will allow riders to exist a bus between stops along the route if it is safety to do so. This optional courtesy stop request is modeled after best practices at transit agencies that allow these types of stops.

Customers will be able to request a courtesy stop between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. WMATA says safety is at the heart of the new stop option, and bus operators will be able to use their discretion on whether it is safety to stop in between designated stops. The authority says stopping along busy highways, at approaching intersections or locations without a curb are a few examples where it would be unsafe to exit a bus between stops.

“The safety of every customer is important to us and for those traveling alone at night, having the option of a courtesy stop will provide an additional sense of security,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “It’s a small, but meaningful measure, along with the added value that comes with your peace of mind.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.

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