A public hearing to discuss the possible elimination of two Metro bus routes serving Alexandria and Arlington lasted a grand total of just over 15 minutes last Thursday night. That’s all the time it took for three citizens to express their views.
Held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St., the hearing, chaired by Alexandria William D. Euille, a WMATA Board member, was to receive public input on the proposed elimination routes 9B and 10P serving Alexandria and Arlington. All three speakers addressed only Route 9B, according to Fred Simms, bus operations specialist, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“All three opposed the elimination of 9B. There was absolutely no comment on 10P,” he said.
Since the public session, WMATA has also received a petition with 20 signatures and one email expressing opinions on the proposal, according to Simms. “The petitioners are all opposed to eliminating 9B. But, the one email supports the elimination of both routes,” he said.
Reasons expressed at the hearing in opposition to elimination included: Routes have not be properly promoted; Buses are not running on time and therefore riders can not depend on them; and Their are concerns that if the routes are eliminated senior citizens and many disabled riders will be without adequate public transportation.
Metro is considering eliminating the service at the behest of both Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, according to Metro’s news release for the hearing. “The 9B and 10P, which provide weekday service between Mount Vernon Avenue and Old Town corridors in Alexandria, Potomac Yard shopping center and Crystal City have low ridership and fail to meet Metro’s productivity standards,” according to the Metro press release.
WMATA also maintained that the two routes “duplicate other Metrobus routes and DASH bus service.” Simms acknowledged that “DASH is considering service to replace 9A and 10B.”
Written comments will be received through March 16, according to Simms. Following that deadline WMATA will make their decision.