GUTS buses rerouted under plan

November 18, 2009

Georgetown University is planning to send nearly all GUTS buses out of the Canal Rd. exit, which would add a mile to the Dupont Circle route that would use the heavily-trafficked Whitehurst Freeway. The changes are part of the proposed 2010 campus plan.

The new Dupont route would be longer, however, only when compared to the current rush hour route that travels along Q Street. The new route is shorter than the current non-rush hour route that goes up Wisconsin Avenue, turning onto Massachusetts Avenue near the National Cathedral.

The GUTS buses, which shuttle roughly 2 million riders a year, according to Vice President for Facilities and Student Housing Karen Frank, have been the subject of a heated debate between the university, its students, and neighbors in West Georgetown and Burleith.

The changes have been proposed partly as a response to complaints from West Georgetown residents that passing GUTS buses shake the wooden frames of their houses, according to Frank. Residents have also pointed to the number and frequency of GUTS buses as a contributor to traffic in the neighborhood.

In a presentation of the 2010 Campus Plan on Tuesday Frank noted that the increased number of GUTS buses has resulted in fewer cars on the road.

“We’re a victim of our own success,” Frank said.

To address community complaints, the University has proposed that buses traveling to Rosslyn, Arlington, the Law Center and Dupont Circle will enter and exit the University only on Canal Street. GUTS buses will no longer travel on Prospect Street, eliminating the stop at the Car Barn.

Frank said that the loss of a Car Barn stop is an issue for students.

“We’re still working on the issue of the Car Barn, because I think that’s a problem, and I don’t have what I consider to be a good answer to it,” Frank said.

Frank has said she is unsure when these proposed changes, which could be adjusted before implementation, would go into effect.

One potential difficulty is the lack of a route on campus that would allow buses to enter from Canal Road, and then loop around and exit from the same entrance. Furthermore, a traffic restriction prevents left-hand turns from the Canal Road exit between 6:15 to 10:15 in the morning. Both issues need to be resolved before buses could enter and exit on Canal Road.

Student Commissioner for the Advisory Neighborhood Council Aaron Golds (COL `11) said that he has advocated for student concerns when he could.

“As somebody who rode the GUTS bus to my internship every day this summer, I understand the disappointment … But there is very little I personally can do. It’s not a decision I get to make,” Golds said.

The ANC will be reviewing the final draft of the 2010 campus plan and making recommendations to the Zoning Commission, which ultimately approves the plan.

Noting that the proposed routes are far from finalized, Georgetown University Student Association President Calen Angert (MSB `11) said that he would have to review the completed plan before forming an official position. Angert said that he would work for a solution that didn’t add extra time onto the route or eliminate stops, but noted that the decision was ultimately one that had to be reached between the University, its students, and residents of Georgetown.

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Dupont Circle buses carry 2 million riders per year?!?! I smell baloney. You didn’t even cite a source, which a responsible and ethical journalist would have done.

Brian J Larkin

I hope you are more careful with your facts than with your editing. Your text contains multiple spelling errors and typos.


They are so annoying, the Gtown residents and Burleith residents. If the gtown buses dont go on your roads: delivery trucks, city buses, and other trucks will still travel your roads. Are you going to complain to WMATA? Stop acting like the university is the problem to all your issues; and get a life.