Greater Greater Washington

Crystal City-Potomac Yard BRT will be "Metro Way"

WMATA has chosen a brand for its upcoming Crystal City Potomac Yard BRT line: Metro Way, featuring a flashy new blue paint scheme.


Metro Way. Image from WMATA.

The BRT line will run south from Pentagon City through Crystal City and then into Alexandria. It will have dedicated lanes, with large rail-like stations. The line will run every 6 minutes during rush hour and every 12-15 minutes at other times.

In a few years it will be upgraded to a streetcar line. But in the meantime, it's the DC region's first bona fide BRT.

WMATA selected the Metro Way brand and livery following a survey this past March that considered several options. The blue livery, although clearly unique, reflects the blue Metro uses for its MetroExtra express buses.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a professional transportation planner for the Arlington County Department of Transportation. He has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Colorado, and lives a car-free lifestyle in Northwest Washington. His posts are his own opinions and do not represent the views of his employer in any way. He runs the blog BeyondDC and also contributes to the Washington Post Local Opinions blog. 

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Reminds me of something you might see on a 1990s-era stereo system.

by Ben Schumin on May 10, 2013 11:51 am • linkreport

Maybe this sounds crazy... Could it be extended to Rosslyn to compensate for the lack of blue line trains?

by WM on May 10, 2013 12:05 pm • linkreport

It COULD...but A) how would you route it, and B) it wouldn't have dedicated lanes like it will through much of Potomac Yard (and eventually Crystal City).

by Froggie on May 10, 2013 12:15 pm • linkreport

If you wanted to send it to Rosslyn, couldn't you route it on 110 which is typically free-flowing even during rush hour and then just deal with being stuck in regular traffic for a couple blocks from the end of 110 to the metro station? Seems like this BRT could be a good way to compensate for the loss of Blue trains to Silver.

by Falls Church on May 10, 2013 12:29 pm • linkreport

Seems like this BRT could be a good way to compensate for the loss of Blue trains to Silver.

Partially. I think a lot of those Blue Line riders are destined for Farragut West, not necessarily Rosslyn.

That's not to say that an extension up 110 couldn't work, but I don't know that it would solve the Rush Plus problem.

by Alex B. on May 10, 2013 12:37 pm • linkreport

I think they should do 110 to Rosslyn Metro and then into Foggy Bottom via 66. Right now I don't think anyone has any money buses budgeted for that kind of thing. And honestly I'm not sure that will beat even cut back Blue service in rush hour traffic and or most people going downtown could jump on the Yellow

by Alan B. on May 10, 2013 12:46 pm • linkreport

wrt your original post, I agree that the blue arrowhead design was better, but this is a step forward. I still don't know if Metro Way is the best branding for brt though. Probably not.

by Richard Layman on May 10, 2013 12:49 pm • linkreport

Best way to compensate for loss of blue line service is to advocate for a new tunnel at Rosslyn and actually restore it. This project is included in the MOMENTUM plan, but with a hefty price tag, will only happen if the jurisdictions get behind and advocate for it!

by Rob on May 10, 2013 12:51 pm • linkreport

Partially. I think a lot of those Blue Line riders are destined for Farragut West, not necessarily Rosslyn.

Those riders don't lose much time vs. status quo by taking Yellow to L'enfant and transferring. The biggest losers are people going to Rosslyn/Pentagon.

by Falls Church on May 10, 2013 12:52 pm • linkreport

Best way to compensate for loss of blue line service is to advocate for a new tunnel at Rosslyn and actually restore it.

True, but that project is likely 10-20 years away. I wouldn't rule out taking steps in the meantime.

by Falls Church on May 10, 2013 12:55 pm • linkreport

I can see Metro's next fare increase PR campaign now:

Burly bus driver: "I'm telling you straight, it's the Metro Way or the highway. So if anybody wants to walk… do it now."

by Chris S. on May 10, 2013 1:15 pm • linkreport

The design won't matter if WMATA goes and wraps a gigantic ad over it: https://www.cbsoutdoor.com/PhotoGallery/Bus%20Wrap_Washington%20DC_Tourism.JPG. I've never understood how WMATA intended to increase their brand value by doing that. Anyway, I also liked the arrowhead design (green or blue)

by 7r3y3r on May 10, 2013 1:19 pm • linkreport

This is such great news for folks living there, I had to double check that it wasn't April 1st. And I read that it's at least a year away, and I knew it was real .:-)

by Tom A. on May 10, 2013 1:20 pm • linkreport

The wife and I are looking forward to using this bus.

by Fitz on May 10, 2013 1:43 pm • linkreport

Bus service along VA-110 would be fine. The problem is the circulation in Rosslyn to connecto the Metro station. Just getting from 110 to the Rosslyn station bus bays alone would take about 12 minutes, and by that time a Blue Line train would be providing service. Also, there is no direct connection from the Pentagon transit center to points north. Buses would, if I am thinking correctly, need to travel south to 15th St to then drive north of Route 1 to connect with north VA-110.

Keep in mind all of the funding and capital resources required to have bus routes duplicating rail. The extension of Metrobus A9 to McPherson Square is a good example of this. The district is now paying WMATA to run buses along the rail line, often through thick downtown traffic which holds up the buses. I would prefer of DC's funding would go to improving bus service where there is no rail service.

by Transport. on May 10, 2013 1:47 pm • linkreport

I don't like the branding of buses because it decreases WMATA's flexibility in which bus they send where. I've seen times MetroExtra buses are used for 70 runs (they normally do 79 runs along the same route) and it is super confusing for everyone.

by sbc on May 10, 2013 1:50 pm • linkreport

Did that say BRT with 12 minute headways and 20 stations in 4 miles? Talk about taking the rapid out of bus rapid transit.

by ArlngtonRider on May 10, 2013 4:13 pm • linkreport

Concur with sbc to the extent that I've occasionally seen regular Metrobuses used for the Richmond Highway Express (REX), which has its own livery but is operated by WMATA.

by Froggie on May 11, 2013 8:45 am • linkreport

Similar (or nicer) buses should be placed in service along Columbia Pike now to provide a one-seat ride along the proposed joint streetcar route.

by Allen Muchnick on May 11, 2013 12:51 pm • linkreport

Does this mean that cabs in certain parts of the city will need to be painted blue?

by Mike on May 13, 2013 6:51 am • linkreport

You need more buses to run 7 days a week to and from DC to Arlington and Alexandria -- Before the metrorail system was built that is exactly what we had -- now that we have MORE commuters this is once again badly needed.

by YTK on Mar 5, 2014 3:59 pm • linkreport

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