After years of working to bring bus service to Greenbelt, it’s official, and the first bus rolled into town Easter morning, greeted by Mayor Emmett Jordan. Via Facebook, he invited residents to join him at 7 a.m. to celebrate the arrival of the first bus arriving at Roosevelt Center.
Another group of Greenbelters met and rode the bus that arrived at 9:45 am.
Above, celebrants/riders include Cynthia Newcomer, Anna Socrates, Jennifer Errick and Melissa Ehrenreich. Thanks to Cynthia for the photos.
More Sunday-bus adulation was evident in a video posted by “Alan Alan” of a bus arriving at 7:15 p.m.
Mayor Jordan said about the occasion:
Now that we finally have it, let’s publicize and patronize the new bus service on Sundays. While it’s a convenience for some, it will be a lifeline for folks that do not have a car. In order for the service to succeed, we need to make sure that people are aware that it is available and use it frequently.
And the next day he received this email from Jessica Pitt, Superintendent of the Bus Division in Landover for WMATA.
Greenbelt Station had light ridership this afternoon and the operators stated its been like that most of the day. I’m sure it will increase as the word gets out. I spoke with some of the customers and they were excited!
I asked Greenbelters what Sunday bus service would mean and got lots of answers (via the Greenbelters group on Facebook):
- It means more people from all around town can take part in community events that happen on Sundays–like the Greenbelt Farmers Market, the City’s Artful Afternoons, get to the Greenbelt Aquatic and Fitness Center and take a dip in the pool, ride buses to easily get to kids soccer games at Schrom Hills Park, attend church services throughout Greenbelt on their own, or take their kids when they are sick to PM Pediatrics for urgent care needs.
- Friends who don’t drive can visit Greenbelters on Sundays.
- The ability to leave the car at home when we go out of town. Catching the bus to Amtrak or the airport or Bolt means not paying for parking. A bus ride is a heck of a lot cheaper than eight days of parking at any extended lot.
- Guests from out of town have easier access to DC without parking issues.
- Access to jobs on the weekend as well. Not everyone works M-F.
- It means that on holidays during the week, our bus service won’t revert to “no service” because Metro’s policy is to use Sunday service schedules on holidays.
- Tourists who can come to Greenbelt and spend money here.
- It means that visitors to the Greenbelt Museum can use public transportation to get to us! We are open for drop-in visitors just on Sundays, and it was very difficult for folks to get here without a car.
- It means I can attend Sunday events in DC! When I was working for a convention staffing agency, I lost gigs because I had no Sunday transportation.
- It makes living without a car much easier. I have a Prius now but my goal is to live car-free. It has 120,000 miles on it and I am 60 and I want it to be my last car. I want to live as carbon-free as possible. (Another commenter added: “I dream of living car-free too!”)
- My daughter and her family can get here on Sunday by public trans.
- It means my daughter, who does not drive, has access to transportation and won’t have to use Uber or beg rides.
- I hope more people who have cars will choose to use public transportation, to support its continuing service, and for environmental reasons.
- Access to the Greenbelt Museum is a big improvement for many potential visitors.
- Having the ability to save parking at the airport is huge.
- Those families with children can get to the sights and museums in DC on the subway with greater ease. Good work and thanks to the activists who helped make it possible.
- Along with Sunday bus service, Metro Access will be available for door-to-door service throughout DC/MD/VA.
Greenbelters join in thanking the people who made this happen, especially the Transit Riders United of Greenbelt (Tru-G) group on Yahoo, The long campaign was chronicled in the Washington Post and on Greater Greater Washington.