Demand for bus transit in the District has increased significantly in the last decade. Results from the recent DDOT North-South Corridor Study, show bus ridership has increased 47% for north-south bus routes since 2005.
Bus routes along Georgia Avenue are some of the most daily used routes along the north-south corridor. A significant portion of bus ridership on Georgia Avenue is during the midday period, resulting in average weekday boardings of over 4,500 during that portion of the day. The target speed for buses throughout the corridor is 10 MPH; however, average bus speed is below that throughout the day. Travel speeds are slowest in the PM peak for the 7th Street/Georgia Avenue corridor. Buses are further impacted by bunching in the north segments.
The Georgia Avenue Dedicated Bus Lanes project is part of the moveDC plan, which established a 25-year vision for the District's transportation system. The moveDC plan's goal is to make the city more liveable, sustainable, prosperous, and attractive with a world-class transportation system. In October 2014 DDOT announced a two-year action plan that identified 36 specific actions to begin the moveDC implementation process. Bus priority improvement is one of the 36 implementation actions, and Georgia Avenue from Florida Avenue to Barry Place is identified as a key corridor for bus transit.
The dedicated bus lane concept for Georgia Avenue was developed through a detailed study of strategic transportation improvements to improve multimodal mobility along the Georgia Avenua corridor, while enhancing the public realm with a consistent and attractive streetscape. The study was commissioned by DDOT and was released in December 2007.