Saturday, June 17, 2006

X6 Update

As regular readers may remember, the WMATA recently held hearings to determine the fates of several underperforming bus routes, many of which it planned to eliminate or cut back. One of these routes was the X6, the main bus route that serves the National Arboretum. Decisions have not yet been made, but if you want to see the results of the hearings, you can reference this PDF file.

According to the document, nine statements were received regarding the X6, and all nine opposed to proposal to end the route. Here is the WMATA's reasoning for cutting service:

Route X6, National Arboretum - Discontinue all service (operates weekend only)
Route X6 was established as experimental service effective March 31, 2001, in order to provide direct bus service between Union Station and the Arboretum. The route serves all bus stops along the route via Maryland Avenue and Bladensburg Road. Service operates between 8 AM and 5 PM on weekends and holidays. Current ridership is approximately 90 passengers per day, which is an average of three passengers per trip. Approximately 40 percent of riders board or alight at the Arboretum stop.
Given the opposition - the X6 received more support than most routes - the WMATA is exploring other solutions:
Staff met with the National Arboretum officials to discuss alternatives for serving the Arboretum
• We are working with Arboretum officials to find alternative funding to operate service.
• Service will be retained for a portion of the year; details will be worked out with the “Friends of the Arboretum”.
So there appears to be some reason for hope that the route will be maintained. I hope that a solution can be worked out between the WMATA and the Arboretum.

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