Ride On Route Responds to Customer Concerns — back
With a serious budget shortfall of $400 million looming in Fiscal Year 2009, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed savings to reduce the current year budget by two percent. No department or service was exempted. His savings plan included reductions in service to some Ride On routes with the lowest number of riders.
Cutting any existing service is a painful and difficult decision. That is particularly the case with transit service. Residents are encouraged to use alternative transportation to relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality, and they have responded. Ride On ridership has increased every month for 45 months. But, no service in County government should be immune from examination for potential increases in efficiency or cost reductions. Several times a year, Ride On routinely looks at its operations to identify and deal with the poorest performing bus routes and duplicative service. But, before any changes were made to our critical transit service, Ride On wanted to hear from its customers.
What they heard has made a difference. Ride On has revised its plans and will retain Route 7 Weekday Service, because of the limited availability of alternatives; retain Route 37 Weekday Service, but reduce the frequency service to every 30 minutes, effective May 5; retain Route 90 Saturday Service, but reduce the span of service by two hours each day, effective April 12; and transfer operation of Route 127 Weekday Service to Montgomery College, starting in fiscal year 2009. The College can operate the route more cost effectively by offering service only when school is in session.
As originally proposed in the savings plan, Ride On will eliminate weekday service on Route 124 (effective March 17), Saturday service on Routes 30 and 36 (effective April 12), and Sunday service on Route 98 (effective April 6). The consolidation of Routes 34 and 42 will continue as planned, starting on May 4.
This revised plan will still save $200,980 in fiscal year 2008, or about 58 percent of what was originally proposed, and $925,860 in fiscal year 2009, or about 57 percent of the original proposal.
Leggett Celebrates Groundbreaking for US 29 Sidewalk — back
On February 8, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the last missing sidewalk segment along the east side of U.S. Route 29 between University Boulevard and Oak Leaf Drive.
The new sidewalk will improve pedestrian safety, especially for White Oak and Four Corners residents, and provide a connection between neighborhoods and schools, transit stops, parks, commercial areas, places of worship, and other community facilities, and serve as an optional bicycle route to the Food and Drug Administration in White Oak.
The sidewalk segment, running between Lorain Avenue and Northwest Branch, will be about 2,750 feet long and will connect to existing sidewalks. The sidewalk will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Construction will take about a year. Funding for the project includes $3.82 million from the County and $850,000 from the State.
Farecards Now Accepted for MetroAccess — back
MetroAccess passengers can now pay for their trips with paper Metrorail farecards, as well as with cash or two tokens. One trip with the paper farecard will cost $2.50. MetroAccess is a shared ride, curb-to-curb paratransit service for people who cannot use public transportation due to a disability.
Sales offices at Metro Center, Metro headquarters, and the Pentagon will sell packages of five farecards, each with $2.50 in value, for $12.50. The pre-packaged, pre-printed cards also will be available at Metrobus garages, commuter stores, and select retail outlets. In addition, passengers can use fare vending machines in Metrorail stations to purchase a $2.50 farecard.
For more information, call Metro customer service at 202-637-7000.
Ride On Fares Paid in Cash to Increase in March — back
Starting March 2, regular Ride On bus fares in Montgomery County will rise 10 cents per ride -- from $1.25 to $1.35 -- if paid by cash or tokens. The increase keeps the Ride On cash fare consistent with Metrobus' cash fare, which earlier this year also increased by 10 cents per ride to $1.35.
Riders paying with a SmarTrip Card, now accepted on all Ride On and MetroBuses, will not have to pay the fare increase. For more information, go to the Division of Transit Services' website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon or call 240-777-RIDE (7433).
Metro to Refurbish Glenmont Garage — back
Starting in January, Metro began construction to rehabilitate the parking garage at the Glenmont Metrorail station. About 200 parking spaces will temporarily be unavailable until the project is complete.
With parking at a premium in the garage, customers are urged to consider some alternatives. The Park and Ride lot at Georgia Avenue and Norbeck Road has Ride On and Metrobus service, with seven trips an hour to the Glenmont Metro station during rush hours. Metrobus also has added extra service to the lot until 10 a.m.
The Wheaton Metro parking garage offers parking at a dollar a day less than the Glenmont garage and usually has spaces available. Or, customers can use the County's Wheaton parking garage on Amherst Avenue, which is even cheaper. To reach this garage from Georgia Avenue southbound, turn left on University Boulevard, then right on Amherst. The garage is about a block and a half from the Wheaton Metrorail station's entrance.
Repairs to the Glenmont garage, which opened in 1989, include concrete, structural and drainage corrections. Metro has placed signs in the parking garage and in the Metrorail station to alert drivers about the construction work.
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