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.