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Pinned in Palisades: M4 bus leaves students stranded on weekends


Think about it: It’s  Saturday afternoon and the so called “move” is in Tenleytown. You think to yourself “Hey, that’s convenient for me,” because Tenley is a mere one point five to three miles from your hypothetical abode in the Palisades/ Chevy Chase area. Except you’re wrong. It’s not convenient for you. Because you’ve failed your driving test three times, your parents won’t drive you, you can’t afford/don’t have/don’t want to receive the backlash of taking an Uber, and you’re not about to make the trek by foot in the scorching humid or freezing cold Washington DC weather.

So you’re stuck at home for the two most important days of the week, practically in an isolated bubble with nowhere to go other than Broad Branch Market or Palisades Park. Why?? Because the M4 does not run on weekends. It’s bad enough that it stops running at 9:30 p.m., sometimes even 9:00, often leaving you stranded with your backpack in Fort Reno where you are now forced to wait until after curfew so a police officer can pick you up and take you home.  And for the bus to not run at all? INSANITY.

The popular bus route, running all the way from Pinehurst Circle to Sibley Hospital, is quite infamous for a multitude of reasons. For one, there is the fact that it is nearly impossible to snag a seat on it on the way to school, and a flat-out miracle if managed on the way home. And even if you do happen to push past the crowds of Deal kids and pop a squat, you are 100% guaranteed to have to share the seat with an entire friend group of middle school girls who genuinely think it’s acceptable to sit seven people to a chair. However, all this talk is besides the point.

The M4 is amongst an array of DC Metrobusses, including the E6, W47, and N2 that do not run on weekends, likely because they do not receive enough passengers and would therefore be a waste of government resources. Additionally, running a bus all day, specifically without a significant amount of riders, is probably pretty bad for the environment. The lack of these bus routes running on weekends will be additionally problematic if the rumored metro shutdown proves to be true. This would further increase the already large hassle of finding a means of getting around the District, making the need for a solution to the bus dilemma urgent. The bottom line is that a solid third of the Wilson population (this is not statistically proven whatsoever) is without a mode of transportation on their days off, and a solution is needed. Not to mention that both the closest metro station and the majority of alternate bus routes are located in Tenleytown, the M4s most populous pick-up and drop-off stop, meaning they are basically setting us up for failure.

Without an alternate mode of public transportation, citizens from all over the 202, myself included, are often forced to make the unpleasant journey to Tenleytown on foot. As an avid rider of the M4, I speak for myself and most likely others in saying that whoever made the decision to run the bus only on weekends was out of their mind.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA

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