Bethesda-Based Late Night Shuttle Service Debuts


Published:

North Bethesda residents Brandon Yu and Alex Middel were tired of waiting for late night Metro service or paying for taxis back from bar spots in Washington D.C., so they came up with what they say is a much needed alternative. Last weekend, the pair of Winston Churchill High School grads introduced The DC Hopper, a late night shuttle service catered exclusively to those who want to make the trip from Bethesda to Dupont Circle or Georgetown without waiting for Metro trains or taxi drivers that will make the drive across the District line at the end of the night. The system of 30-passenger mini buses will make stops at the corner of St. Elmo Avenue and Norfolk Avenue on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., with final pick ups in Georgetown at 3 a.m. and in Dupont Circle at 3:15 a.m. "We're both local guys who go out in Bethesda a lot and who used to like to go to D.C. more often," Yu said. "Walking to the Metro was just a pain in the butt, with all the delays. Getting back was a pain. No one out on a Saturday night wants to wait for an unpredictable 20 to 30 minutes for a train to arrive." Just more than 100 people used the service last Friday night. Yu and Middel partnered with a number of D.C. bars to promote the service and provide drink specials and line-passing perks to the riders. Saturday night was a little slower, something Yu attributed to the Taste of Bethesda, Taste of DC and Virgin Mobile Free Fest events going on the same day. The two contracted with a shuttle company in Virginia that can provide as many as 14 shuttles in a night. The DC Hopper is not, the two said, a party bus, meaning no neon lights or dance music on your way to the bar. They do provide free Red Bull energy drinks and water, as well as TVs to show off partner bars. "The term I coined is an 'above-ground Metro,'" Middel said. "In a sense, it's to be more reliable than Metro service and tailored toward people that are going out." Yu said last weekend's customers, who paid between $16 and $24 for the full trip from Bethesda to D.C., expressed tremendous support of the idea. In the long run, the two would like to expand the idea to Arlington, U Street, or H Street and perhaps to other cities. Next week, they'll meet with Bethesda bars and restaurants to propose a "Hopper Hour" concept that would allow riders to grab dinner in Bethesda before heading out for D.C. "It's not necessarily just transportation," Yu said, "it's the perks you get with our transportation." For more information, visit The DC Hopper website.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Small Bites: Italian Coffee Shop Opens in Park Potomac

Plus: Food writer Tim Carman applauds Lina’s “cool” menu; Jeff and Barbara Black plan next dining venture

Suburban Hospital Pipe Break Leads to Limited ER Access; Firefighters Respond

Operations have returned to normal at the Bethesda hospital

Inside Addie’s, the Return of a Longtime Community Favorite

Restaurant opens in new location in Park Potomac today

Update: Police Locate Man Who Went Missing Near Downtown Silver Spring

Man was missing for nearly a week
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

Beautiful Brick Colonial

Potomac, $1,089,000

Luxury Colonial in Glen Echo

Bethesda, $1,195,000

Renovated Colonial in Potomac Village

Potomac, $1,198,000

Stunning Custom Home With Every Amenity

Chevy Chase, $3,395,000

Great New Price

Potomac, $1,119,000
Edit Module

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit Module