Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Better Bus initiative?
- What is the Network Redesign project?
- Where will Metro be redesigning bus service?
- Why Is Metro doing the Better Bus Network Redesign now?
- How will this affect my bus route?
- How do I provide my input?
- Will you be renaming or renumbering all the bus routes?
- I recently participated in a bus redesign effort for my local bus service. Is this different?
- What if I have a current issue with my existing bus stop or bus route?
- Will this project improve bus arrival predictions (like busETA)?
What is the Better Bus initiative?
Metro has launched a new initiative-Better Bus-to rethink, redesign, and revitalize bus service. Better Bus is Metro's overarching initiative to improve Metrobus for the region. In the coming years, Better Bus will bring a lot of changes, including new facilities and electric buses, enhanced service, improved customer information, and more bus lanes and transit signals to help buses travel faster.
What is the Network Redesign project?
The Better Bus Network Redesign project is Metro's first holistic redesign of the entire Metrobus network since its creation in 1973. This project will develop a bus network that better serves customers by aligning with where and when people want to travel. It also will make the bus network easier to use and understand.
Where will Metro be redesigning bus service?
This project encompasses the entire Metrobus service area - approximately 1,500 square miles. This includes the District of Columbia, the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George's, and the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington and Fairfax plus the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church.
The redesign will focus mostly on the Metrobus network and coordinate changes with local transit operators like DC Circulator, Fairfax Connector, and others.
As part of this project, we also are supporting partner agencies TheBus in Prince George's County and City-University Energysaver (CUE) in the City of Fairfax in evaluating and redesigning their local bus networks.
We also are working closely with Ride On as Ride On Reimagined redesigns service in Montgomery County on a similar timeline.
Why is Metro doing the Better Bus Network Redesign now?
Believe it or not, the Metrobus network has not been comprehensively redesigned a single time in its 50-year history!
The Bus Transformation Project was completed in 2020, which helped lay the groundwork for the Better Bus Network Redesign. The Bus Transformation Project outlined recommendations for transforming the bus system into a fast, frequent, reliable, and affordable service that feels unified and advances transit equity. Redesigning the bus network was a top recommendation, and Metro has spent the last couple of years working with local partners and preparing resources to launch this effort.
How will this affect my bus route?
We are incorporating feedback from everyone to help determine future network plans. We'll share more detailed maps and show you how your trip might change based on the specific routes you ride. Regularly scheduled service changes, such as schedule adjustments, will continue during this time and will be listed at wmata.com/alerts.
How do I provide my input?
First off, sign up for Better Bus Dispatch, your up-to-date news source, to stay in the know about the latest input opportunities plus other timely information about the project. You also will have many other easy ways to share your thoughts throughout this process. Some of these include speaking directly with a team member at a community event or taking a survey from the convenience of your phone, laptop, or other mobile device.
Will you be renaming or renumbering all the bus routes?
We want to make the bus system as easy for people to use as possible-and that means making it easy to understand. In the past, some have suggested renaming or renumbering bus routes to help make the bus system easier to use. Over the course of the project, we will seek feedback from current customers, those who have never ridden the bus, visitors, and others to determine if this is a good idea and identify how renaming routes could help make the bus better. If our research shows that renumbering the bus routes could be beneficial, we will ask for public feedback on a proposed renumbering system alongside the revised networks in early 2024.
I recently participated in a bus redesign effort for my local bus service. Is this different?
Many bus systems in this region are taking a fresh look at how to best serve the needs of their community and customers, and we're working closely with them.
Ride On in Montgomery County currently is conducting its own network redesign called Ride On Reimagined. For more information, visit this link. DASH in the City of Alexandria recently launched the New DASH Network, and its service is not anticipated to change as a result of this project. For more information, visit this link.
We also are collaborating with Fairfax Connector in Fairfax County, ART in Arlington County, and the Circulator in DC to ensure our recommendations are coordinated with any changes being planned by those agencies.
What if I have a current issue with my existing bus stop or bus route?
Please contact Metro's Office of Customer Service here.
Will this project improve bus arrival predictions (like busETA)?
The Better Bus initiative is focused on improving the customer experience across all aspects of service. While real-time information isn't specifically included in the Network Redesign project, we are working on a separate project that will improve the accuracy of bus arrival times for customers.