There are two bits of information of interest to riders of the busy X2 bus line that runs down H Street and Benning Road. First, WMATA is tweaking scheduling and routes as part of its Better Bus initiative. For the X2 this means fewer Saturday buses.
Saturday Supplemental trips will be eliminated.This change takes effect August 23rd.
Regular Saturday service will operate on affected holidays with articulated buses.
The 4:45 p.m. eastbound school trip to Minnesota Avenue Metrorail station will be eliminated due to low ridership.
WMATA included the above image in its press release
While the Saturday cuts might not impact weekday riders, anyone who rides the bus might soon notice new video monitors installed on certain buses. As part of a pilot project, the new monitors will go into 22 articulated (60 foot) buses, all of them on the X2 route. WMATA hopes the monitors will deter fare evasion and bus driver assaults. The related issues (WMATA identifies fare evasion as the number one cause of driver/passenger disputes) have long been concerns on the X2 and other bus lines. The X2 is a heavily traveled line (average weekday ridership of 12,180 trips) with a bit of a reputation. So far this year the line has seen four bus driver assaults, more than any other bus route in the District.
As part of the pilot program, each bus will be outfitted with two screens: an 8.4 inch screen above drivers, so passengers can see themselves board, and a 19 inch screen behind the driver (facing the main bus cabin) that will show a four camera view of the bus interior. All Metro buses already have multiple cameras, but the thinking is that reminding people about the cameras via highly visible screens will reduce undesirable rider behavior. It's something other cities do, and WMATA hopes that a combination of visible monitors and increased law enforcement presence will ease the minds of riders and drivers alike. The pilot program will cost roughly $81,000 and WMATA will evaluate the program's success over a period of several months before deciding whether we could see a fleet-wide roll out of such video monitors.