The Bus Stops Here Where D.C. waits: A photo essay

Streetcars are the hot new thing in D. C, with the first trolleys set to roll out soon on H Street NE. Two-wheeled public transit, in the form of Capital Bikeshare, has been all the rage since a few years back. Even Metro’s stodgy old subway system, which turns 38 in March, is getting some buzz: The Silver Line will open soon, and planners are dreaming of building new tunnels under the Potomac and new stations all around town.

Even with all that competition, though, on the average weekday in the District, riders still take more than 235,000 trips by bus. Which means a lot of standing around at the 11,490 bus stops served by Metro around the region. Sure, waiting for a bus has gone high-tech; now you can use your phone to see when the next one’s coming, and kill time digitally, too, while you’re at it.

But not even the fanciest apps or the coolest retro modes of transportation can entirely wipe bus stops from the cityscape. They’re not just a place to take shelter from the cold, or the rain, or the wind, while you wonder where that 64 is. (They’re also the closest thing D.C. has to billboards, with little advertising opportunities popping up every block or two on busy streets.) In our increasingly atomized city, standing under that red, white, and blue Metrobus sign remains one of the few universal experiences, shared by everyone from late-shift service workers to former Cabinet secretaries. Washington City Paper’s Darrow Montgomery collected these images at, of, and from bus stops around the city for more than a year. Flip through them, maybe while you wait for your ride home. We think they’ll look familiar.

1500 Block of 14th Street NW
3000 Block of Mount Pleasant Street NW
Unit Block of Florida Avenue NE
800 Block of 14th Street NW
600 Block of H Street NW
800 Block of 14th Street NW
1300 Block of I Street NW
1400 Block of Irving Street NW
600 Block of 7th Street NW
800 Block of 14th Street NW
1500 Block of I Street NW
2000 Block of Georgia Avenue NW
1400 Block of Irving Street NW
1700 Block of I Street NW
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3000 Block of Mount Pleasant Street NW
600 Block of Florida Avenue NW
1000 Block of 14th Street NW
1300 Block of I Street NW
1700 Block of I Street NW
1700 Block of I Street NW
700 Block of 9th Street NW
700 Block of 7th Street NW
3100 Block of Mount Pleasant Street NW
1400 Block of Irving Street NW
1700 Block of Columbia Road NW
1300 Block of I Street NW
600 Block of 7th Street NW
3000 Block of Mount Pleasant Street NW
700 Block of 7th Street NW
600 Block H Street NW
600 Block H Street NW
600 Block of 11th Street NW
1400 Block of Irving Street NW
Correction: Due to a reporting error, this feature originally listed an incorrect address for a photo from the 2000 block of Georgia Avenue NW. It was not taken on the 1600 block of Georgia; that address does not exist.

Our Readers Say

Great photos and excellent concept. But it seems weird that an essay that calls waiting for the bus a universal experience, only one photo is outside of NW. For such a relatively small city, it has so much geographic diversity from undeveloped woods, to tree-lined residential neighborhoods, to sterile industrial properties, to (boring) commercial buildings. It feels like this is kind of missing out on that. Just one man's opinion.
This is great, thanks. I really like the way the photographer used the reflections off the plexiglass, which to me conveys a sense of the street bustle that I notice when waiting for a bus in the denser parts of the District.
Are all of the photos in this series by the same photographer?

Yes, Alexandra, they are all by our staff photographer, Darrow Montgomery
Darrow does it again! Fantastic photographs from the city's best photographer.
Man the "Bubble Shot" from 800 Block of 14th Street NW looks 1000 times better here than on the printed City Paper cover. Excellent stealth mode shots all around. Wonder if he shoots from the hip or has one of those sneaky smart phone camera apps?
Darrow Montgomery is my idol. I have done street photography and it's fun. But Darrow is the Rock Star of street photographers.
D-MO DOES IT AGAIN!

WCP GOT A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH IN THEIR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER!
JUST SAYING??

THIS FEATURE IS WASHINGTON CITY PAPER AT ITS BEST.
BLURBS AND PHOTOS THAT BLEND.

YEAH IT IS A LIL N.W. HEAVY BUT I'M FROM N.W. SO I'LL TAKE IT.
SOLID JOB MAD MIKE & DMO. SOLID JOB.

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