Metrobus celebrates 50 years of serving customers in the National Capital Region
Today, Metro's Board of Directors marked the 50th Anniversary of Metrobus service, now the nation's sixth largest bus network. The milestone coincides with Metro's Better Bus Initiative to redesign the bus network and improve the Metrobus system for decades to come including new bus facilities, zero-emission buses, more bus lanes and signal priority.
Long-time Metrobus employees joined the Board to celebrate, among them was Bus Operator Robert Miles, who worked for DC Transit when it merged with three other bus companies in 1973 to become Metrobus. Retired General Superintendent of Bus Services Sherman Ramey, who also started with DC Transit in 1964 and transitioned to Metro, was recognized too along with Depot Clerk James Woods, marking his 50th year with Metrobus, and other past and present bus employees.
"Before Metrorail, there was Metrobus and over the past 50 years our buses have transported tens of millions of people throughout the region," said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. "Today, we celebrate the history of Metrobus with an eye on tomorrow and creating a better, sustainable, more efficient and equitable system that will be the future of #YourMetro."
On February 4, 1973, Metro took over DC Transit; the Washington, Virginia, and Maryland Coach Company; the Alexandria, Barcroft, and Washington Transit Company in Northern Virginia; and the Washington, Marlboro, and Annapolis Transit Company in Prince George’s County to form Metrobus. During those first years, bus fares ranged as low as 40-50 cents.
“Metrobus remains the backbone of the region’s transportation network,” said Metro Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “Buses are lifelines that connect people and places, families and jobs. It means possibilities. As we look to the next 50 years through our bus network redesign, we are prioritizing the needs of our customers to create a world class transportation system that works better for you and the region.”
Today, Metro's fleet of 1600 buses can be seen across DC, Maryland and Virginia serving 11,500 bus stops, more than 260 routes and 11 transit centers.
In celebration, Metro this month launched a series of community events featuring our Rosa Parks Bus. The 1957 era Metrobus was dedicated to the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” on the 50th anniversary of her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus that changed the course of history. Last week, the bus made its first stop at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Hyattsville and will make additional stops at selected schools throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Metro will also hold events for employees at our Metrobus garages and facilities to commemorate their contributions. Bus operators and employees received a 50th anniversary uniform patch and a special book on the history of Metrobus is also being produced.
As the region continues to grow, Metro is building on the first 50 years of bus service. Through the Better Bus Initiative, we are working to rethink, redesign and revitalize bus service to better serve the needs of our customers. Phase 2 of the Better Bus Network Redesign will begin this spring to get feedback. Learn more about the future of Better Bus here.