Monday, December 1, 2008

Taking the Bus: 14th Street

This second installment of Taking the Bus, my series on buses in the neighborhood, focuses on the 14th Street Buses, the 52, 53, and 54, which go from Takoma down 14th Street to downtown/L'Enfant. In short, I hate them.

I've taken this bus heading south during rush hour and not during rush hour, and it's always a pain. They don't come very regularly, and they make so many stops (often every block) that it's practically faster to walk. I've started taking them for work during rush hour, and it's terrible - it takes about half an hour to go from 14th and Euclid St NW, roughly, to 14th and F. That's less than 2 miles. I could roll down the hill faster.

The line also sometimes has a problem with bunching, where a bunch of buses show up at once - of course, when you aren't waiting for 10 minutes or more for it to show up, especially when it isn't rush hour. Hopefully, they'll take out some of the stops or add an express - stopping every block increases the time it takes exponentially, because aside for waiting for people to get on and off, you catch more red lights that way. It stinks.

The bus seems like a good idea, but you're better off walking to 16th or 11th and catching those buses, or taking the Metro. Here's the map and schedule of the 14th Street buses.


  1. I ride these buses regularly and its a mess. They come three at a time, are wall to wall people at ALL TIMES of the day and night. I have no idea why WMATA does not add at least 5 more to this route. And why can't the drivers self correct the bunching. Just wait a few minutes at a stop to give the bus in front a chance to move at least one block away! I hear the circulator is coming though so maybe that will help.

  2. I deal with the same thing being off 16th Street. It drives me nuts when there are three buses back-to-back. It would take me 50 minutes to go from 16th Street Heights to downtown on one of the S buses. Now I just walk. It takes me one hour to walk the 3.3 miles I was riding. Better exercise and less stress.

  3. Nearly regardless of where you're going in town, it's faster to ride your bike. I implore everyone to give it a shot.

  4. I drive now because I can't stand being late for work or dealing with the mess that is public transportation. It's a sad state of affairs when your willing to put up with expensive gas because public transportation is a clusterf*ck.


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