H Street Shuttle Returns Today
It's back, and ahead of schedule (Dec. 21st) too! Go ahead and read that press release:
H Street Shuttle to Resume Service Friday December 18th
(Washington, DC) The popular H Street Shuttle will resume its nightly service Friday December 17, 2009. The free shuttle, which connects the emerging H Street Corridor with both Chinatown and Minnesota Avenue Metro stations, ceased operations due to the end of its initial funding. Funding renewal was slow to arrive and the shuttle ceased operations after Sunday December 6th.
After a public outcry the Department of Transportation has identified funds to continue the free service through the fiscal year. Local entrepreneur Joe Englert, an owner of several popular nightlife destinations along H Street expressed great relief at the news. “I’m elated that we have the shuttle back. It’s integral to the corridor’s success have safe reliable transportation while H Street undergoes its remarkable transformation and metamorphosis. “
The shuttle, while popular, has met with some detractors who say the route mimics that of existing bus routes. “That’s not really the issue here, “ said Scott Kenison, Chief Operating Officer of the Atlas Performing Arts Center, “It’s not about whether or not patrons will ride the bus. It is about the dozens of new businesses which have taken a chance to locate in a neighborhood which has not been known as a destination for the arts and entertainment. The Streetscape project will be fabulous when it is all completed but we need to make sure these businesses to survive the process. ”
Kenison is referring to the reconstruction of H Street an extensive multi-year project which will result in new walkways, tree canopy and lighting. A final piece of the renovation will be the return of Streetcars to H Street. “We have always understood the shuttle to be a temporary solution,” said Kenison, “To mitigate the negative ramifications of the road construction and to act as a precursor to the streetcar.”
U Street Parking and Transportation runs the shuttle for the H Street Business Cooperative, a group of H Street businesses such as business, such as the Rock and Roll Hotel, the H Street Country Club, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, SOVA, the Argonaut Tavern, Granville Moore's, The Pug, Sticky Rice and many others.
U Street Parking Co-owner Ben Tesfaye was thrilled to hear he will be able to get the shuttles back up and running. “This is such great news! People really love the shuttle. Our drivers are ready to get back to work! “