WMATA introduces courtesy stops for night time Metrobus customers
As part of its Better Bus Initiative, WMATA has introduced courtesy stops for Metrobus customers travelling at night time, prioritising safety and enhancing the bus experience.
Credit: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced a new initiative aimed at enhancing customer safety and providing a better bus experience for Metrobus travellers. As of 25 June 2023, Metrobus customers travelling at night now have the option to request ‘courtesy stops’ between bus stops along their route, allowing them to disembark closer to their destination.
The introduction of courtesy stops during the hours of 21:00 and 05:00 prioritises customer safety, especially during the darkest hours of the day. If deemed safe by the bus operator, the bus will pull over to the curb and allow the customer to exit. However, it is important to note that in certain situations, such as busy highways, intersections, or areas lacking a curb or place of safety, it may not be feasible to accommodate courtesy stops. Customers are advised to utilise the front door when exiting the bus.
“The safety of every customer is important to us and for those travelling alone at night, having the option of a courtesy stop will provide an additional sense of security,” said WMATA General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “It’s a small but meaningful measure, along with the added value that comes with your peace of mind.”
The courtesy stop programme implemented by WMATA draws inspiration from successful practices employed by transit agencies across the country, including Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Austin, Texas.
To request a courtesy stop, customers should communicate their preference to the bus operator, who will determine the feasibility of accommodating the request and provide appropriate guidance if it cannot be granted. While courtesy stops will be permitted on all regular route Metrobuses during night time hours, they will not be available on Limited-Stop and Express Metrobus routes.
This customer-oriented initiative is part of WMATA’s Better Bus Initiative, a comprehensive effort to enhance the overall Metrobus service. The Better Bus Initiative encompasses various improvements such as new bus facilities, the introduction of zero-emission buses, the expansion of dedicated bus lanes, enhanced communications and additional customer service enhancements.
As part of these ongoing improvements, WMATA has already begun introducing new buses equipped with charging ports beneath every seat, customer information screens and larger tail lights to increase visibility for other drivers. Approximately 20 out of the 95 new buses ordered in 2023 have already been put into service, with all future buses featuring the same technological and communication upgrades.
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