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DC Circulator

DC Circulator red bus
The Circulator's distinct red buses are unlike any other public transit around town - with low floors, big windows, and multiple doors for easy on-and-off service. Also, passengers don't need a bus schedule.
  • The Circulator comes every ten minutes and each ride only costs $1.
  • Metrorail riders using SmartTrip cards are also eligible for discounted transfer fares.

The Circulator is the product of a unique public/private partnership between the District Department of Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and DC Surface Transit, Inc. The idea for a quick, efficient, low-cost, public-transit system originated in the National Capital Planning Commission's 1997 "Extending the Legacy - Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century" vision for the District; the Downtown Business Improvement District was an early champion of its implementation.

Now more than a decade later the DC Circulator is expanding to link cultural, entertainment and business destinations within the city's central core and District neighborhoods. Two new routes were added in March 2009. Now, there are five Circulator routes in all and this dynamic transit system promotes ease of movement in our world-class capital city and complements Metro's transit services throughout the region.

The Brand

Hours of Operation: 6 am-7 pm (Monday thru Friday)*
High Frequency and Limited Stops: Short wait time - 10 minutes between buses; only 3-4 stops per mile
Fare: Regular - $1.00; Senior/Disabled - $0.50
High Quality Service: Friendly & Reliable
Comfortable: Buses are clean and well maintained
* Union Station—Navy Yard—East of the River Extension

Union Station - Navy Yard - East of the River Extension
Roundtrip Route Length: ~16 miles
Metrorail Stations Served: Anacostia (Green), Navy Yard (Green), Eastern Market (Blue/ Orange)

Union Station (Red)
Buses Required for Service: 12 (6 for existing Navy Yard - Union Station route, 6 for East of the River Extension)

East of the River Stops

  • Congress Heights Metrorail Station
  • Alabama Ave SE and Stanton Rd, SE (Giant Food)
  • Alabama Ave SE and 22nd St SE
  • Alabama Ave SE and Naylor Rd, SE (shopping center)
  • Good Hope Rd SE and Woodmont St, SE (residences)
  • Good Hope Rd SE and 18th St ,SE (Anacostia Library)
  • Martin Luther King Jr Ave, SE and Good Hope Rd, SE
  • Martin Luther King Jr Ave, SE and V St, SE (The Big Chair)
  • Anacostia Metrorail Station (on Howard Rd, SE)
  • N St, SE and South Capitol St, SE
  • Navy Yard Metrorail Station


Regular - $1.00
Senior/ Disabled - $0.50
DC Students (elementary through high school) - Free with DC Student Travel Card
Children Under 5 - Free with paying adult rider


The Circulator uses a paperless transfer system - if you pay your fare with a SmarTrip card, you’ll automatically received the following discounted fares when transferring:

  • From Metrobus/Circulator (within 2 hours) - Free
  • From Metrorail - $0.50
  • From Metrorail (Senior/Disabled) - Free

Contact Information

Aaron Overman
Deputy Associate Director
Progressive Transportation Services Administration
(202) 673-1736
Email: Aaron.Overman@dc.gov

Route maps and other service information is located at DCCirculator.com.


To help residents, workers and visitors move about the Nation's Capital.

Program at a Glance

Program Title: DC Circulator
Agency: District Department of Transportation
Office: Progressive Transportation Services Administration (PTSA)
Type: Planning and Strategy
Website: DC CIrculator

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