Confused by the array of letters and numbers that make up Metrobus route names? The D.C. transit agency could soon be changing how it names routes for the first time in 50 years.
Metro is encouraging its customers to take a survey gauging how the transit agency can rename bus routes to make it easier for customers to understand. The online survey will be open for responses until Sept. 28.
Some ideas floated in the survey include naming the routes after the major streets they run on or the states or cities they operate in. Other letters, like an “X,” could signify express routes.
The existing names date back to when the agency initially took over other private bus and streetcar companies, according to Metro.
The effort is part of Metro’s Better Bus initiative, which includes plans to implement zero-emissions vehicles, create more bus lanes and transit signals and improve bus communications, among other projects.
“Our region needs more consistency across all facets of bus stop design including signage and real-time information, accessibility, lighting and other safety elements, plus modernized shelters, seating, and other amenities,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke in a Friday news release announcing the survey launch. “Engaging and collaborating as a region will help make a better transportation system for us all.”
This isn’t the first time Metro has sought public opinion on name changes. In 2020, the agency conducted a survey asking for feedback after two jurisdictions requested station name changes: rebranding Tysons Corner Station in Fairfax County, Virginia, as simply “Tysons Station” and Prince George’s Plaza Station in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to “Hyattsville Crossing.”
Last year, the station names were officially changed, along with three others: White Flint became North Bethesda, Largo Town Center became Downtown Largo and the secondary name of West Falls Church changed from VT/UVA to VT only.
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