DC to test out red bus-only lanes downtown beginning Monday

A pilot program creating bus-only lanes along busy downtown D.C. corridors launches Monday.

Bright red paint marks the dedicated bus lane along the right curb of H Street between 18th and 14th streets Northwest and on I Street between 13th and 20th streets Northwest.

Restrictions apply 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“We plan to be fully operational on Monday, so we will be enforcing. That includes ticketing and towing,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Of all the people who ride Metro buses in D.C., 40% are on H or I streets for at least a portion of their routes.

A pilot program creating bus-only lanes along busy corridors in downtown D.C. launches Monday. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A pilot program creating bus-only lanes along busy corridors in downtown D.C. launches Monday. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Bright red paint will mark a dedicated bus lane on H Street between 18th and 14th streets in Northwest and on I Street between 13th and 20th streets Northwest. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Bright red paint will mark a dedicated bus lane on H Street between 18th and 14th streets in Northwest and on I Street between 13th and 20th streets Northwest. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
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A pilot program creating bus-only lanes along busy corridors in downtown D.C. launches Monday. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Bright red paint will mark a dedicated bus lane on H Street between 18th and 14th streets in Northwest and on I Street between 13th and 20th streets Northwest. (WTOP/Kristi King)

“On the busiest blocks, we can see up to 70 buses per hour,” Bowser said.

The program downtown to test the impact of bus-only lanes lasts through Sept. 27, but Bowser said there’s already evidence suggesting it will work to move buses more quickly.

“Existing bus lanes on Georgia Avenue have increased bus speeds by 20%,” Bowser said. “The 16th Street dedicated bus lane stretching almost 3 miles between Arkansas Avenue to downtown should be up and running next year.”

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