Bus services graded 'D' in the District

WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) -- Slow and unreliable -- that's how a new report describes bus service in the nation's capital, giving Metrobus a grade of D.

Compiled by Coalition for Smarter Growth and MetroHero, the first-ever DC Bus Report Card found that service was largely "unpredictable" in the month of May on 34 high-ridership routes. The report also found that bus speeds averaged just 9.5 miles per hour, down from an average of 11.3 miles per hour in 2007.

"Bus service is getting slower and slower and less reliable, and we must make the hard choices of using our limited roadways more efficiently," said Coalition for Smarter Growth Policy Director Cheryl Port.

Recommendations to improve service include adding dedicated bus lanes, speeding up the boarding process, giving buses transit signal priority, balancing bus stop spacing, and also making customer-focused service a priority.

DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said he largely agreed with the report's findings.

"The report tells us largely what we already know, which is that we've got a lot of work to do to improve bus transit across the District of Columbia and across the region, and under the leadership of Mayor Bowser we're taking steps to make those things happen," Marootian said.

The report gave both DDOT and Metro some credit for recent changes, including new pilot bus lanes on H and I streets in D.C.