The Circulator's distinct red buses are unlike any other public transit service 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 10 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 and the most recent, in October 2011. Now, there are five Circulator routes in all, providing easy connections to neighborhoods throughout the District and into Rosslyn, Virginia. This dynamic transit system promotes ease of movement in our world-class capital city and complements Metro's transit services throughout the region.