Given that Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail service is largely out of range for the Hilltop, the Georgetown community increasingly looks to bus services as a means to get around the city. The D.C. Circulator, which has served Georgetown well both in terms of its routes and $1 fare, has generally been a reliable method of transportation.

However, its routes and fares are likely to change in the near future, and the wisdom behind these changes should not go unquestioned. The D.C. Circulator recently announced that prices will be upped from $1 to $1.50 for SmarTrip users and $2 for people paying with cash. These price increases, Circulator says, are meant to ease the financial burden of what will be a large expansion of service over the coming years.

While many Georgetown residents will be unaffected by a 50-cent price hike, a 50 percent or 100 percent increase will have an adverse effect on the District’s low-wage workers who commute on the Circulator every day. This increase will not go unnoticed by workers who make their daily commute twice a day and five or more days a week via Circulator. It is this burden that we should be most concerned about.

The centerpiece of this expansion, however, is a new line that circles the National Mall. The proposed route would traverse the Mall using Madison and Jefferson Drives, also circulating the Tidal Basin. This means that it would have little, if any, benefit for commuters.

While the expansion of any service initially seems like a good idea, it is detrimental when tourists’ mobility is financed by a city’s low-wage workers.

D.C.’s Department of Transportation will be holding an open house in the coming weeks in order to garner feedback about the proposed changes. The Georgetown community would be wise to examine whether this change in service is worth its cost.

A DDOT open house will held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Pinstripes located at 1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Comments on its website will be allowed starting on Nov. 7.

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