A D.C. circulator bus in the street.
A D.C. Circulator bus // Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org

It’s very unfortunate that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has not fought tooth and nail with the city council to keep the circulator bus running for free. For anyone wondering who the council member that fought viciously against the mayor’s proposal, look no further than Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.

This is the same person that chairs the D.C. Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment. Her primary job is to oversee all the transportation in D.C.; work towards its improvement, reliability, and accessibility; and most importantly, make it more efficient, accessible and affordable for her constituents.

Instead, she is waging war against people who are utilizing a very essential and much-needed service in the District. This is a service that saves so many people money; not everyone in the District can afford to take the Metro back and forth seven days a week. People need the Circulator to go to work, get to school and appointments, and deal with medical emergencies.

Cheh doesn’t seem to have any empathy for those that depend on this service. She recently openly bragged about how the budget for 2020 has already been passed and there was noting the mayor could do to change it. “She can keep tweeting,” she said of Bowser, “but she knows what the story is. The budget is done. It’s not going to happen,”

With all the money being spent on non-essential events in D.C.—like some beautiful fireworks at the Lincoln Memorial for some guy to stroke his ego—the District would do better to spend all those resources towards having the circulator run through every ward. The DC council should focus on running with a service that has been working perfectly fine, and is accessible, convenient, and, best of all, free.

Shutting down this service will have a heavy impact on many workers that rely on public transportation to get to work. It’s also a service that takes away all of the headaches and worries of waiting for someone to find the right change to pay for a regular bus fare. It also cuts down on the wait time in traffic since all passengers can board without waiting to pay.

Message to the mayor: Don’t let the D.C. Council stop you on doing this. People are in full support of it. Keep the Circulator bus running for free by any means necessary.

Colly Dennis is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.