Park Service plans to put parking meters on the National Mall and use the money for a Circulator
The long years of having no public bus, or only an expensive $27 Tourmobile, to get around the National Mall may soon come to an end. The National Park Service is now planning to fund a Circulator bus route in part through adding parking meters on the Mall.
The meters will be the multi-space kind and will go along the roads under NPS control and which allow parking. They will charge $2 an hour, likely including weekends and holidays, according to news reports.
Today, all of that parking is free. In many areas, like Constitution Avenue, workers in nearby buildings show up early and grab the spaces all day. That might be a good deal for those people, but it doesn't help anyone reach the Mall and isn't the best use of the spaces.
This has been in the works for years. For a long time, the Tourmobile was the only option to get around the Mall. NPS had a long-standing exclusive contract which prohibited any other transportation service.
That meant that when DC first launched the Circulator bus, it couldn't use the internal roads on the Mall. Nor would NPS allow any signs on the Mall pointing visitors to the buses.
In 2011, the Park Service terminated its contract with Tourmobile, and began talking with DC officials to create a Circulator route. DC wasn't ready to launch it back in 2011, but this year they are, and NPS is now getting ready to add the meters.
There is a public meeting at 6 pm on February 11 to discuss the plan.
Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!
- More than 20% of people bicycle to work in some DC neighborhoods
- DC added record housing in 2015. That's slowing down price increases.
- Walkers were left out in the cold after the blizzard
- How the Navy, baseball, and government planners made Capitol Riverfront one of DC's hottest neighborhoods
- Nobody cleared the Mount Vernon Trail after Snowzilla. Future storms might be different.
- Did Metro handle buses correctly in this mostly-non-storm?
- If students were cars, schools would have opened sooner