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Mayor Bowser Announces Increased DC Circulator Ridership for Third Consecutive Month

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Circulator Ridership Increases 37 Percent from April 2018 to April 2019
Keep Circulator Free

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a third month of significant increases in DC Circulator ridership. In April 2019, nearly 150,000 more passengers rode the DC Circulator, a 37% increase in ridership compared to the same period in 2018. While the Mayor has proposed to #KeepCirculatorFree in her FY2020 budget proposal, the Council has ignored the supportive response from residents and has proposed to eliminate free DC Circulator for residents.

“We’ve heard from many residents that the free Circulator puts money back in their pockets and that even saving $2 a day makes a noticeable difference,” said Mayor Bowser. “With the free Circulator we are proving that when public transportation is affordable and convenient, people will use it.”

April marks the third consecutive month of increased ridership since Mayor Bowser announced that she was making the DC Circulator free as part of Fair Shot February. The free DC Circulator rides attracted 20,000 more riders in February and 77,000 more in March compared to the same months last year. Comparisons in ridership show a six percent increase between February 2018 and February 2019 and a 20 percent increase between March 2018 and March 2019.

“We know that free Circulator rides make it easier for Washingtonians to go between their homes, work, and some of the District's most popular neighborhoods," said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. "Keeping the Circulator free is how Mayor Bowser invests in making the District a city where public transportation is an affordable, safe, and efficient way to get around the city."

In March, the Mayor extended free rides for an additional month and announced that her Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal includes $16.1 million to make the zero-fare policy permanent and to expand the system’s routes into Ward 7.

The Fiscal Year 2020 budget also includes significant investment in the city's streets and transportation infrastructure with $4.7 million for Vision Zero initiatives, including $2.8 million to hire 40 new enforcement officers, with 20 of those officers dedicated to bike lane enforcement; $700,000 to expand pick-up and drop-off zones for ridesharing; $150,000 to install 500 additional bicycle racks; and $300,000 for open streets events. The budget also includes $122 million for a new K Street NW Transitway and $240 million for new streetscaping projects, including the reconstruction of “Dave Thomas Circle.”

Learn more about the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal at mayor.dc.gov/2020budget.