Metro Ends Temporary Bus Route Detour Created in Southeast D.C. Due to Violence

Metro has ended a temporary bus line detour the agency created because of violence along the route.

Metro Transit Police said Tuesday afternoon that buses again will travel on Elvans Road SE. The announcement is a reversal of a decision the agency announced Monday night. Metro said then that the W8 bus would bypass Elvans Road SE after 7 p.m. for a week because of a shooting on Friday and other recent violence.

Mayor Muriel Bowser indicated she had not known Metro service on the Garfield-Anacostia Loop Line line would be cut.

"It sends a message that we have to have some conversations with Metro," she said. "No part of our city can be abandoned by the public transit agency."

Metro Transit Police instead will place a cruiser in the neighborhood around the clock. 

"Starting this evening at 7 p.m., you will see a Metro Transit Police cruiser in the block to ensure the safety of our riders and the safety of our employees," Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald Pablum said at a news conference Tuesday.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents bus drivers, supported the detour, spokesman Earl Beatty said. Many drivers fear for their safety.

"We are concerned about our operators and the riding public," Beatty said.

A man riding the W8 bus was shot about 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 2400 block of Elvans Road SE, Metro said Monday night.

The shooter fired from outside the bus, hitting a man believed to be an unintended target, a Metro spokeswoman said. The victim ran from the bus and was found outside an apartment complex. He was rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

No one has been arrested in connection to the shooting, Metro said. Metro Transit Police are reviewing surveillance footage. 

People regularly throw rocks at buses, Beatty said, and juveniles even have found a way to completely disable buses, Pablum said. 

"Some of our young riders have found a way to disable our buses and that's a safety feature required by the fire department, so it's not like we can lock it," he said, declining to elaborate, for security reasons.

In a separate incident nearby, a bus driver reportedly was threatened July 28 at 19th and Savannah streets SE, Metro said.

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