‘DC CIRCULATOR’ Set for July Launch

First-of-Its-Kind Transit Service to Provide Crosstown Connection in the City

WASHINGTON, June 23 /PRNewswire/ — The DOWNTOWN DC CIRCULATOR (http://www.dccirculator.com/), a new fleet of 29 colorfully-designed buses connecting many of the city’s tourist spots and major business centers, is set to launch on Sunday, July 10.

Operating seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., the CIRCULATOR will transport residents, workers and visitors quickly and inexpensively along two initial routes designed to complement existing commuter-friendly bus and rail lines:

* An east-west link between Union Station and Georgetown along K Street,
* A north-south route connecting the Southwest Waterfront with the
Convention Center via the Mall and 7th Street, NW.

Here’s how the CIRCULATOR will work:

* Patrons pay $1 per ride on the bus or can purchase a ticket at fare
machines located on sidewalks along the designated routes.
* Transfers from Metro services (rail and bus) will be free.
* SmarTrip smart fare cards will be accepted for payment.
* Riders will flash their tickets to “checkers” on buses.
* CIRCULATOR buses will run at 5 to 10 minute intervals.

The CIRCULATOR fleet consists of 29 Belgian-made, 55-seat, unique-looking buses featuring three street-level doors, low floors and large, tourist-style windows. The multiple doors will allow passengers to enter and exit quickly. There will be 24 buses in service with five buses in reserve.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) owns the CIRCULATOR. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will manage the service, and First Transit, a private sector transit operator, will operate it. The District, the federal government and city business leaders that supported the service will fund operating costs.

DC Surface Transit Inc. (DCST), a non-profit comprised of the Downtown, Golden Triangle and Georgetown Business Improvement Districts; the Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA); the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation (WCTC); and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), oversees CIRCULATOR marketing.

The DCST is aiming for annual ridership of 4.6 million people when the system is fully implemented in 2008. DDOT Director Dan Tangherlini said immediate goals for the CIRCULATOR include short waiting times (5 to 10 minutes), friendly and reliable service and cross marketing opportunities with businesses, venues and institutions along the routes.

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