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WMATA May Change Some Metrobus Routes

Rock-throwing attacks prompt changes to W6, W8 routes

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WMATA is holding public hearings on proposed changes to bus routes.
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WMATA is holding public hearings on proposed changes to bus routes.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is holding public hearings on proposed changes to bus routes starting Monday. Most of the proposals aim to improve service, but one proposal in particular is due to violence, Metro says.

The W6 and W8 bus lines have been subject to people throwing rocks at the buses, putting customers and bus operators in danger, according to officials.

"The most recent serious incident occurred less than a month ago, where a bus operator on one of these routes was struck in the head by a rock that came through the driver's window, and she had to be hospitalized as a result of that," says Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

These incidents are happening in two residential areas off of Stanton Road in southeast D.C., Stessel says. Metro's proposal would move those stops to the main road after 8 p.m., which Stessel says is when the rock throwing starts.

"It varies," he says. "There are times where it's a daily occurrence. There are times where it's several times a week. It's regular enough where it's a serious concern for us."

The bus stops on Stanton Road would be less than half a mile away from the farthest homes in the neighborhoods, according to Stessel.

Five public hearings on proposed bus route changes are scheduled between now and Oct. 30.

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