Gaylord agrees to restore original NH1 route
Gaylord National Hotel, the convention center operator at National Harbor, has joined HERE Local 25 in asking Metro to restore the NH1 bus to its original route along Southern Avenue.
Union members were protesting the recent changes, which switched the route from one that passed through Oxon Hill and other nearby neighborhoods to one almost entirely on the freeway from Branch Avenue. Workers in Oxon Hill now had to walk miles or talk multiple buses and Metrorail, while workers in other neighborhoods lost an easy transfer from other lines which terminate on Southern Avenue. Also, weekend service began later, making it impossible for workers with early morning shifts to reach their jobs.
Gaylord had originally requested the change, and though there was no concrete evidence, many believed the purpose was to make (mostly white) convention-goers more comfortable using transit to and from Gaylord without mixing with the (mostly black) bus riding employees.
According to the joint letter from Gaylord and the union, the original change was revenue-neutral, meaning Metro should be able to restore it without cost. I'm curious how it could be revenue-neutral despite operating fewer hours and making fewer stops.
Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson must also agree to the change, as does MDOT and the WMATA Board. At a special RAC meeting Tuesday to discuss the NH1, Metro bus planner Jim Hamre said it's probably too late to make the change for the December round of bus schedule adjustments. The change would take place in the spring of 2010, unless the Board asks staff to accelerate it.
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