WASHINGTON — Transportation leaders with the District and Metro unveiled a new bus route Monday that will help commuters who travel along the busy Rhode Island Avenue corridor during the most hectic times of the day.
“Customers will now enjoy faster and improved connections to downtown from Bloomingdale, Edgewood, Brentwood, Brookland, Woodridge and Langdon Park communities,” said Metro’s General Manager Paul Wiedefeld.
“There’s been tremendous growth and development along Rhode Island and this service will support that.”
The new bus service, known as MetroExtra G9, runs weekdays only during rush hour periods from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It goes along Rhode Island Avenue from Eastern Avenue to Franklin Square in downtown D.C. with limited stops.
Buses arrive every 15 to 20 minutes.
“Today is a wonderful day,” said D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie, who pushed for the bus line. “It’s so exciting to know that they’re going to have a bus route to get us up and down this major corridor.”
The new service is funded by the D.C. Council through its 2017 fiscal year budget.
“This is going to add an additional lifeline to Rhode Island Avenue, not only for the residents but also our businesses,” McDuffie said.
The project is something Metro has been considering since 2014 when it looked at the way commuters move back and forth between Rhode Island Avenue in D.C. and Prince George’s County.
Before the new route, people who live in neighborhoods surrounding Rhode Island Avenue had to use the G8 bus service to get downtown. Residents say the G8 is not the best option because it gets very crowded during rush hours, plus it does not run along the entire length of Rhode Island Avenue.
“It’s certainly going to relieve some of the congestion on the overly-packed G8 bus,” said Kyle Todd with the economic development group Rhode Island Avenue Main Street. “This is a great transportation option to get to work in the mornings.”
The G9 service is expected to serve more than 1,000 people per day.