DC Circulator Bus Charging
It's Electric!
DC Circulator is expanding its fleet to 100%
electric, zero-emission vehicles and continues
to make substantial investments in charging
equipment and bus facilities.

Zero Emissions Fleet Conversion 

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is in the process of transitioning the entire District of Columbia Circulator (DC Circulator) bus fleet to battery-electric bus (BEB) vehicles by 2030, fifteen years prior to the DC Clean Energy Omnibus Amendment Act’s zero-emissions conversion deadline of 2045. BEBs, do not produce harmful tailpipe emissions, instead they use batteries that store and distribute energy to power an electric motor and other onboard systems. Batteries are charged at charging stations located at bus garages or at stops along a route. Learn more about our electric fleet.

Our transition to BEBs highlights the District’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of climate change. Our new buses and infrastructure will be paid for in part through the Federal Transit Administration’s low- and no-emission grant program. 

The timeline below summarizes our plan to reach a fully electric fleet by 2030:

Timeline summarizing DC Circulator's plan to reach a fully electric fleet by 2030

DDOT began transitioning our fleet to electric between April 2018 and April 2020, when we operated a 14 BEB demonstration pilot across the DC Circulator system. The purpose of the pilot, conducted in two phases, was to assess the performance of BEBs in comparison to DDOT’s existing diesel bus fleet. Click below to read our report on the pilot, which provides data on cost and performance to evaluate the strengths and opportunities of our BEB fleet.

Read Our DC Circulator Electric Bus Pilot Report

Sustainable Facilities

As our battery-electric bus program grows, DC Circulator is upgrading existing and constructing new facilities with a focus on sustainable energy usage and storage. DC Circulator has planned extensive upgrades to its South Capitol Street garage, currently the only location with electric bus charging capability. South Capitol Street, which will continue operations during construction, will feature additional bus charging stations as well as a state-of-the-art solar power canopy and battery storage system that will provide reserve power for electric bus charging and ensure continued operations in the event of a utility grid power failure or emergency. 

In addition, for the first time in the District, our South Capitol Street facility will use geothermal power, a renewable energy source, to power the building.

DC Circulator is also planning a new garage to house our entire future fleet. The site, which is anticipated to open by 2028, will store and charge electric buses only. Our new garage will include:

  • Parking space for approximately 120 BEBs.
  • Charging positions for the entire fleet, including overhead pantograph chargers and potentially, a solar canopy.
  • 12 bus maintenance bays, administrative offices, training classrooms, and an employee lounge.

Bus Priority

Mayor Muriel Bowser established the Bus Priority Program to improve bus speeds and reliability for riders across the District, whether on Metrobus, DC Circulator, or commuter buses. The bus network provides vital connections to jobs, schools, healthcare, and other destinations. By improving bus service, DDOT is improving mobility and access to opportunities for District residents, workers, and visitors. Bus priority interventions include bus lanes, stop relocation/rebalancing, queue jumps, bus bulb outs, and transit signal priority. 

Creating a better bus system for the District is critical to meeting District goals for equity, growth, and sustainability. Bus priority interventions can lead to increased ridership and a better rider experience. The table below lists which bus priority corridors intersect with DC Circulator routes.

You can learn more about DDOT’s Bus Priority Program and read the District’s Bus Priority Plan here.

DC Circulator Route Bus Priority Corridors
Woodley Park – Adams Morgan
  • 14th St
  • Connecticut Ave/Columbia Rd
  • Irving St/Michigan Ave/Monroe St
Eastern Market-L’Enfant Plaza
  • 7th St/M St
Georgetown-Union Station
  • Key Bridge/M St/Pennsylvania Ave
  • Wisconsin Ave
  • Key Bridge/M St/Pennsylvania Ave
Congress Heights-Union Station
  • Massachusetts Ave
  • Naylor Rd/25th St/Alabama Ave
  • S Capitol St/MLK Jr Ave/11th St
  • U St/Florida Ave/8th St