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43 The primary benefit of the Phlash is that it provides a low- cost, easy link aimed primarily at visitors, between downtown Philadelphia's historic destinations and the city's cultural attractions, a distance of approximately 2 miles. The addition of a "leg" from the cultural attractions to the zoo and chil- dren's museum west of the downtown area has resulted in ridership increases. The primary drawback of the downtown circulator is fund- ing, with a significant subsidy needed from the state. Other drawbacks include its seasonal nature, with no service from November through April, and the difficulty meeting head- ways consistently owing to downtown traffic. FIGURE 14 Phlash vehicle. Changes in downtown have not affected operation signifi- cantly. The TMA has adjusted Phlash stops to incorporate The Phlash charges a fare of $2.00. An all-day PhlashPass new destinations and extended the route, as noted earlier. is available for $5.00 and an all-day Family PhlashPass costs $10.00. Seniors and children under five always ride free. In The TMA would not change any aspect of the Phlash's 2009, the Phlash began accepting SEPTA passes. There are design and implementation. Funding is the major issue. The several stops where passengers can transfer to a SEPTA bus. TMA offers a single lesson learned through its implementa- Also, the Phlash stops at downtown's two multi-modal transit tion and operation of the Phlash; a subsidy is required for stations with access to regional rail, subway, and trolley lines. operation, because the circulator does not make money. The TMA markets the Phlash extensively in various ways. The Central Philadelphia TMA's advice to another agency It prints thousands of brochures and provides them to muse- trying to replicate its program is to identify a funding source ums, hotels, and the convention center. A Phlash video is to subsidize operation of the downtown circulator. Success is shown in hotel rooms, at the convention center, and on the vehi- measured by ridership and also by the number of satisfied rid- cles themselves (see the video at http://www.centercityphila. ers. The TMA always has survey cards available on the street- org/about/CPTMA.php). There are advertisements in WHERE cars and asks drivers to encourage passengers to fill them out magazine (distributed in hotels and elsewhere), website pro- and return them. The contractor continuously trains drivers on motions, and special "Phlash Day" events throughout the sea- various aspects of customer service. Rider satisfaction is the son, occasional press releases, and a Park `n Ride discount at TMA's most important goal; making visitors to Philadelphia various parking facilities. State grants of approximately feel welcome and putting them at ease on how to get around $850,000 per year support the marketing efforts. to all the major attractions. Governor Rendell appointed an advisory group when the DISTRICT DEPARTMENT OF TMA assumed responsibility for the Phlash. After the first TRANSPORTATION--WASHINGTON, DC year of TMA operation, the group was convinced that the TMA could run the circulator. Members of the advisory group are now members of the TMA Transportation Committee. The TMA has occasionally received requests for weekend- only service or a shortened route serving the cultural institu- tions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the zoo, but without additional financial support from these destinations, operating the Phlash between November and April is cost- The District DOT (DDOT) funds and oversees the DC Circu- prohibitive. lator network in Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia pays Metro (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Author- Funding and the inability to identify a long-term funding ity) a management fee to manage the DC Circulator service, source are the major constraints. There is concern regarding and Metro contracts out the actual 45-bus operation to a pri- continuation of the state grants supporting the Phlash when vate contractor. Metro is the regional transit agency in the Governor Rendell leaves office at the end of 2010. The TMA Washington D.C. area. It operates 1,261 peak buses directly and SEPTA have discussed the possibility of the transit agency and another 24 under contract, along with 830 heavy rail vehi- assuming responsibility, but no decision had been reached at cles in a service area with a population of 1.3 million. Annual the time of this review. ridership on all Metro services is 425 million.

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44 Circulator Origins and Operation character. Today's circulator includes five color-coded routes, shown in Figure 15. The DC Circulator began with the District of Columbia's desire to provide better connections in downtown. The concept had The Orange Route (Georgetown to Union Station) been studied for years, and the Downtown Business Improve- operates every day between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., with late ment District was interested. The National Capital Planning night service between Georgetown and downtown until Commission was another early proponent of a downtown cir- midnight Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday culator. DDOT worked with Metro to identify potential fund- and Saturday. ing sources, and the DC Circulator began operation in 2005. The Green Route serves Woodley Park, AdamsMorgan, and the McPherson Square Metro station. This route The first routes focused on the core of downtown, Union operates every day between 7 a.m. and midnight, with Station, and Georgetown. In 2009, the DC Circulator system late-night service until 3:30 a.m. on Friday and Satur- expanded to serve neighborhoods that are more residential in day nights. Ordway St NW Rock Creek Georgia Ave/ Cleveland Kling Petworth Park le Rd NW Macomb St NW Mt P Park Ward Catholic Brookland- Ad Park Rd NW University Co CUA leas am NW of America Pl NW er St nn Lamont St NW sM rk Rd Irving St NW an ect Pa ill Kilbourne Pl NW t St 7th St NE 8th St NE Columbia icu NW Rd Kenyon St NW NW Heights tA Cl Cathedral Ave NW NW Irving St NW 34th St NW ev ve ela WOODLEY NW nd PARK NW Av Harvard St NW Michigan Ave BROOKLAND/ Georgia Ontario Sherman Av e N Woodley Park-Zoo/ Rd NW W NORTHEAST W Adams Morgan R dN bia McMillan Franklin St NE 14th St NW 13th St NW 15th St NW lum 16th St NW Calvert St NW Reservoir Co Naval Ave NW e NW Bryant St NW Rhode Observatory EM M Island Ave ek ADAMS 15th St NW BA ass SS ach Cre MORGAN U St/African-Amer 29 ck 2nd St NW W St NW Y us Ro 3rd St NE 5th St NE 4th St N 4th St NE RO et Civil War Memorial/ V St NW W ts A KALORAMA Cardozo 1 ve HEIGHTS U St NW Flor U St NW W NW ida W eN T St N U STREET/ Ave W W T St NW Av NW CARDOZO NW Shaw- A ve N ire Howard land ve S St NW SHAW S St NW sh R St N de Is tA W Univ Rho mp Oak Hill New Sheridan R St NW R St NW on Ha Cemetery 50 rm 17th St NW GEORGETOWN Circle NE w 1st St NW 6th St NW 5th St NW 7th St NW 9th St NW Jers Q St NW Q St NW Ave Ne Ve Q St NW ork ew Y ey A Dupont P St NW Logan P St NW N 29th St NW 30th St NW 28th St NW NE 31st St NW 22nd St NW 33rd St NW 11th St NW 34th St NW 23rd St NW 12th St NW 35th St NW 10th St NW Circle 24th St NW Circle ve N O St NW St DUPONT Scott 6th W CIRCLE Thomas N St NW New Flor Circle ida Mt Vernon Sq-7th St/ Ave M St NW CircleMa Convention Center M St NW York Ave NE Canal Rd NW ssac White Farragut h uset 1 Washington ts A N Capitol St NE hurst L St NW 27th St NW North ve N L St NE 4th St NW 8th St NE 7th St NE 3rd St NE Fwy 2nd St NE 4th St NE Circle W 50 DC K St NW 29 K St NW K St NE I St NW 395 I St NE VIR Geo Farragut CHINATOWN H St NW Union FOGGY McPherson GIN West Metro Station rge Foggy BOTTOM Square IA Center Gallery Place - Bottom/ 19th St NW 18th St NW Wa Chinatown Potomac Ri 17th St NW Columbus 14th St NW GWU Judiciary 1st St NW shi The White House Theodore PENN Square Circle ngt Roosevelt Penn QUARTER Mas sylva sac on Island Vir nia A hus 66 gin ve NW W ver eN etts Mem Ave ia Archives- rg Federal Av Ave C St NE ial B NW Navy Mem'l NE lt Memor na Constitution Ave NW oria Rooseve Triangle is i a Theodore 50 Constitution Ave NW ou l Pk 50 Little L Madison Dr NW NW NE y Island 1 Smithsonian NATIONAL MALL CAPITOL E Capitol St NE Reflecting Pool rg Jefferson Dr SW SW SE HILL A St SE 110 rial B nM e mo Independence Ave SW gto Kutz Brg Arlington/ Arlin Federal Eastern 4th St SW 4th St SE 6th St SW C St SW 2nd St SE 3rd St SE Cemetery Center SW Market Oh D St SW io Tidal r Columbia Dr L'Enfant 395 Capitol D Basin orial Island SW rg Plaza E St SW South Mem Je lB E St SE SW ria 7th St SE ffe mo rso G St SW G St SE St Ge Me Southeast nD or se Fwy I St S th ge DC Po Ca Ma E 14 is Ohio ine av tom rg New W I St SW nc lB 1 W is as ac Av Eisenhower Dr 395 a Dr r SW ashi Waterfront/ K St SE ria Hw hi Ri F eS Marshall Dr ng Navy Jers ve mo n VI W SEU L St SE y to gto RG r d Yard Me n nC IN Blv M St SW ey A Me AI au 110 m ha nn SOUTHWEST/ Oh be ton or el ve S Tingey St am io ial WATERFRONT N St SW Washington Dr hing ch Pk Navy Yard SW Ro y Nationals E r O St SW Park nD Was to Pat P St SW Colum 27 Fort Lesley Q St SW Anaco bia P J McNair stia Riv ike er Pentagon 395 1st Ave SW 5th Ave SW 2nd St SW 1st St SW 244 Effective October 2009 FIGURE 15 DC Circulator map.

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45 The Purple Route (Smithsonian to the National Gallery Ridership is heaviest on weekdays, with more than of Art loop) operates on weekends between 10 a.m. and 13,500 riders on a typical weekday. Saturday ridership aver- 6 p.m. ages almost 9,000 and Sunday ridership is 6,500. The Red Route (Convention Center to the Southwest Waterfront) operates every day between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. The DC Circulator has gathered information on the age The Blue Route (Union Station to the Navy Yard via and trip purpose of its riders, with the majority of riders Capitol Hill) operates weekdays between 6 a.m. and between the ages of 25 and 49. Customers use the DC Circu- 7 p.m. Additional service is provided for Washington lator for multiple purposes, with recreation, shopping and din- Nationals evening and weekend home games at Nation- ing, and work commute ranking highest among trip purposes als Park. The DC Circulator charges a fare of $1.00, less than the cash fare on Metro. DC Circulator passes and transfers are The primary market for the DC Circulator is downtown available, and the circulator also accepts Metro transfers, employees. As the circulator system has expanded the mar- monthly passes, and SmarTrip cards. Several stops offer kets served have also changed. Employees are the predomi- transfer connections to Metro. nant market during peak commute hours and during lunch, but the focus shifts to entertainment at night. The DC Circu- DDOT recognized early on that transit agencies are not lator's main purposes are to encourage public transit use by marketing experts and has relied on the marketing expertise of employees, improve general mobility through downtown, its business community partners. Marketing efforts include provide a connection between Union Station and the down- use of the website, cross-promotion with area business town core, provide a way for visitors and tourists to get improvement districts, where the buses have advertisements around, and serve residential areas in or near downtown. featuring local businesses, brochures, and partnerships with hotels and conventions. Each DC Circulator route operates every 10 min. Specially purchased Van Hool buses are used on Circulator routes. The The 2009 expansion of service has created new stakehold- original 29 buses are 40 ft in length, and the newer 14 vehi- ers. The original routes were concentrated in two of the city's cles are 30-ft buses that are easier to maneuver through resi- wards, but current routes serve four wards. The city funds all dential neighborhoods. The buses are branded, as shown in costs of the DC Circulator and funding is subject to annual Figure 16. The city purchases the vehicles and the contractor appropriation; therefore, a broader base of support is promis- maintains them. ing in terms of funding stability. DDOT and the city have been aggressive in searching out unused capital funds for use DDOT opted for the Van Hool buses because their dis- on the circulator. Even so, funding is the major constraint. tinctive, modern appearance helps them to stand out in downtown. Feedback from riders has been very positive. DDOT sees several benefits accruing as a result of the DC Circulator. Public perception toward transit has improved The DC Circulator routes were designed to connect spe- greatly owing to frequent service, strong branding, great cus- cific destinations and thus have fewer stops than a typical tomer service, and easy-to-understand routes. Linkages to transit route. This improves the speed of the service, and downtown destinations have improved; it is much easier to leaves the impression among riders that you can get any- travel between some of the most important activity centers where within 10 min. without having to transfer. Cross promotions with business improvement districts has created a positive linkage between local businesses and transit serving those businesses. Busi- ness improvement district members are enthusiastic support- ers of the DC Circulator. The primary drawback of the DC Circulator is that it is a victim of its own success in terms of its popularity leading to requests for circulators in neighborhoods all over the city, whether or not the demand is sufficient to justify service. The changing role of downtown has definitely affected the design of the DC Circulator routes. The circulator's primary market continues to be employees in downtown, but it has attracted a broader market that includes tourists, visitors, and residents. Each route has developed its own character, depend- ing on the neighborhoods and areas it serves. The one aspect of the DC Circulator's design and imple- FIGURE 16 DC Circulator vehicle. mentation that DDOT would change is that it would have