Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. DC Circulator Bus Service.


§ 50–921.31. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “DC Circulator” means a local transit facility passenger bus service operated by the District of Columbia government that provides a network of fixed-route bus service solely within the District of Columbia.

(2) “DC Circulator Fund” means the fund established by § 50-921.33.

(3) “Department” means the District Department of Transportation.

(4) “Ticket” means passes, tokens, or any other form of payment, including those sold in bulk for resale, that may be used in lieu of cash.

(5) “WMATA” means the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority created pursuant to § 9-1107.01.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11a; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(b) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-321, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2557).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 3(b) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-134, June 16, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 5762).


§ 50–921.32. DC Circulator.

The Department shall have the power to:

(1) Plan, develop, finance, operate, control, and regulate the DC Circulator, including fares, charges, tickets, fines, and the establishment of routes and schedules;

(2) Sell space on and within DC Circulator vehicles or other assets for the display of advertisements and enter into one or more agreements with entities to sell such space on such vehicles or other assets in return for a fee, a percentage of such revenues, or as a gift or donation of services approved by the Mayor;

(3) Enter into contracts with third parties, including WMATA for the procurement, construction, operation, and maintenance of DC Circulator vehicles or other assets; and

(4) Enter into agreements to allow the private sponsorship of vehicles, equipment, and facilities used in the DC Circulator program, and the placement of a corporate logo, slogan, or other indicia of sponsorship on the vehicles, equipment, or facilities, and on related websites and social media; provided, that a proposed private sponsorship agreement entered into pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted, before execution, to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. The agreement submitted to the Council shall include detailed information about the proposed private sponsorship agreement, including, if the agreement contemplates the placement of a corporate logo, slogan, or other indicia of sponsorship on the vehicles, equipment, or facilities, or websites or social media, a drawing depicting how the vehicles, equipment, or facilities, or websites or social media, will appear. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed private sponsorship agreement by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed private sponsorship agreement shall be deemed approved.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11b; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 6072(b), 64 DCR 7652.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-921.33.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6072(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6072(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-321, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2557).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-134, June 16, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 5762).


§ 50–921.33. DC Circulator Fund establishment.

(a) There is hereby established the DC Circulator Fund as a nonlapsing special fund, the funds of which shall be for the Department to pay for goods, services, property, or for any other authorized purpose, subject to authorization by Congress, into which shall be deposited all revenue collected pursuant to § 50-921.32 by the District, WMATA, or their agents, parking meter revenue from the National Park Service for meters on the Mall, and all monetary gifts intended to be used to assist in the funding of the DC Circulator.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, during any period of time in which a contract with WMATA is in effect, monies from the payment of fares, the purchase of tickets, and the sale of advertising space by third parties may be, with the written consent of the Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia and pursuant to the terms of the contract, deposited in a WMATA interest bearing account for the benefit of the District of Columbia and used by WMATA to offset its costs of contract performance, but only to the extent that Congress has appropriated funds to the District to perform or procure those services; provided, that for a period of 8 months following March 2, 2010, no DC Circulator route shall replace more than 20% of the revenue miles or revenue hours of any WMATA route.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11c; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232; May 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-182, § 2(a), 57 DCR 3404; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 9093, 58 DCR 6226; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 6112, 60 DCR 12472.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-921.31.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-182, in subsec. (b), substituted “procure those services; provided, that for a period of 8 months following May 27, 2010, no DC Circulator route shall replace more than 20% of the revenue miles or revenue hours of any WMATA route.” for “procure those services.”.

D.C. Law 19-21, in subsec. (a), substituted “lapsing” for “nonlapsing, revolving”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61, in (a), substituted “nonlapsing special fund” for “lapsing special purpose revenue fund” and substituted “or their agents, parking meter revenue from the National Park Service for meters on the Mall” for “or their agents”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-321, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2557).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6112 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6112 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-134, June 16, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 5762).

Short Title

Section 6111 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle L of Title VI of the act may be cited as the “District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.


§ 50–921.34. Fares; structure; purpose.

(a) Insofar as practicable, and consistent with the provision of adequate service at reasonable fares, the rates and fares and service shall be fixed by the Department, so as to result in revenues that shall:

(1) Pay the operating expenses and provide for repairs, maintenance, and depreciation of the DC Circulator vehicles or other assets owned or controlled by the District;

(2) Provide for payment of all principal and interest on outstanding revenue bonds; and

(3) Provide funds for any purpose the Department considers necessary and desirable to carry out the purposes of this section.

(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent the Department from offering tickets at no cost or at discounted prices as part of the Department’s marketing of the DC Circulator.

(c) Beginning August 26, 2013, the Department shall not charge a DC Circulator fare to students on regular school days.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11d; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 10004, 60 DCR 12472.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 added (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-321, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2557).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 10004 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 10004 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-134, June 16, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 5762).

Short Title

Section 10001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Title X of the act may be cited as the “Revised Revenue Estimate Adjustment Allocation Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.


§ 50–921.35. Rulemaking; enforcement.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (a-1) of this section, the Mayor, or his designee, may promulgate, amend, or repeal rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter, including the manner and amount of any fares, fees, or fines, pursuant to the Mayor’s authority under subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(a-1)(1) Before making a fare or service adjustment for the DC Circulator, the Mayor shall hold at least one public hearing and publish notice of the fare or service adjustment in the District of Columbia Register. The notice shall:

(A) Establish a public comment period of not fewer than 45 days from the date of publication;

(B) Set a date for a public hearing on the fare or service adjustment, which shall be held not fewer than 20 days from the date of publication; and

(C) Include a hyperlink to a fare or service adjustment plan, which shall include:

(i) A summary of the proposed fare or service adjustment;

(ii) A proposed timeline for the implementation of the fare or service adjustment;

(iii) An equity analysis illustrating any disparate impact of the proposed fare or service adjustment on populations protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, approved July 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 252; 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.); and

(iv) An explanation of the necessity of the fare or service adjustment and a description of alternative fare or service adjustments examined.

(2) In the event of an emergency declaration, the Mayor may make a fare or service adjustment for the DC Circulator for the duration of the emergency without complying with the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "fare or service adjustment" shall mean a change in the fare, the creation of a new route, or a significant change to an existing route or schedule of the DC Circulator.

(b) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as sanctions for an infraction of any rule promulgated under subsection (a) of this section pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11e; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 101(d), 63 DCR 7076.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-321, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2557).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 3(d) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-134, June 16, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 5762).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority-Department of Transportation Establishment Act of 2002, see Mayor’s Order 2009-43, March 26, 2009 ( 56 DCR 6781).


§ 50–921.36. Consolidation with WMATA.

The District Department of Transportation shall coordinate with WMATA to evaluate whether operations under this subchapter should be consolidated with existing services provided by WMATA, while maintaining the distinctive features of the DC Circulator service.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11f; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 153, 56 DCR 1117.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in the section heading.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).


§ 50–921.37. Jurisdictional applicability.

The District Department of Transportation is authorized to plan, develop, finance, and operate the DC Circulator, as set forth in this subchapter, solely within the District of Columbia. Any expansion of the DC Circulator or such like service by another name into a jurisdiction beyond the District of Columbia shall require Council approval.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11g; as added Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-225, § 3(e), 53 DCR 10232.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-921.38.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(e) of District Department of Transportation DC Circulator Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-3, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1439).


§ 50–921.38. Jurisdiction expansion and evaluation.

(a) Pursuant to § 50-921.37, the Council approves the expansion of the DC Circulator to and from Rossyln Metro station in Arlington, Virginia, once it assumes the route for the Georgetown Metro Connection.

(b) No later than 6 months after the initiation of service authorized in subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor shall submit to the Council a report for this route. The report shall include:

(1) The overall ridership statistics;

(2) The passenger origin and destination statistics;

(3) The bus stop utilization rates;

(4) The operating and capital costs;

(5) The impact of DC Circulator expansion on the finances and viability of WMATA Metrobus routes;

(6) The WMATA estimates for the cost of extending Metrobus route 38B to Dupont Circle; and

(7) The WMATA estimates for the cost of adding new Metrobus service between the Rosslyn Metro station and Dupont Circle, with buses operating at intervals similar to buses of the DC Circulator route authorized under this section.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 11h; as added May 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-182, § 2(b), 57 DCR 3404.)

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 19-168, § 3012, added Title IV, consisting of §§ 11h to 11k, to D.C. Law 14-137. D.C. Law 14-137, § 11h, as added by D.C. Law 19-168, § 9002, is codified as 50-921.51.