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   Newsletter Vol 32 | December, 2006 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 

Construction Projects Update  back to top

The Department of Public Works and Transportation’s Division of Capital Development recently completed several major storm water management projects to keep roads passable during heavy rainstorms and protect stream beds from erosion.

Culverts under Elton Farm Road near Brookeville were deteriorating, causing the road to flood. New culverts will now handle a typical rain storm from the 1,400 acre drainage area.

Another major storm drain project was recently completed south of Aspen Hill, along Boiling Brook Parkway. This project stabilized a stream bed with extensive use of gambions, large rocks bound into bails and stacked along stream banks, which provide a more natural method of preventing erosion.

County crews or contractors also constructed a stormwater project along Clement Lane in Brookhaven to control stream erosion.

New Bethesda Circulator Buses Now Operating — back to top

In November, the Bethesda Urban Partnership unveiled their new red trolleys, called the Bethesda Circulator. The Bethesda Circulator replaces the Bethesda 8 Trolley. The Circulator provides free bus service around Bethesda to help people get to and from work, enjoy restaurants and shopping or take in after-hours attractions – all without worrying about driving and parking. The Circulator will run the same route, hours and stops as the old trolley.

The Bethesda 8 shuttle service started in September 1999 and was named for the frequency of its bus service – every eight-minutes – and the figure “8” shape of its route. Trolleys were introduced later to give the service a more visible and distinctive identity.

To learn more about the Bethesda Circulator, visit the Bethesda Transportation Management District's Transportation Solutions website at www.bethesdatransit.org or call 301-656-0868.

Ride On News — back to top

Ride On’s Growth Continues Two Year Trend
In October 2006, Ride On ridership grew by more than six percent over the same month the previous year and, for the 20th consecutive month, surpassed two million riders.

Ride On Returns to Friendship Heights Terminal
Ride On buses are once again using the recently refurbished Friendship Heights bus station. Ride On bus routes 1, 11, 23, 29, and 42 serve the Friendship Heights bus station.

For information on Ride On, visit the Division of Transit Services' website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon or call the Transit Information Center, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 240-777-7433 (RIDE).

More Transit Benefits Now Available With Fare Share and Super Fare Share — back to top

Montgomery County’s Fare Share and Super Fare Share programs have been significantly enhanced this year, offering transit subsidies for additional years; a greater maximum subsidy for employers; an increase in the tax-free benefit available each month to employees and a progressive employer contribution. These transit subsidy programs help businesses pay for their employees’ transit and vanpool costs as an incentive to reduce solo driving. Employers encourage transit use by providing a transit benefit comparable to the subsidized parking many offer, while helping to address traffic congestion and improve air quality. Benefits of participating include increased ability to recruit and retain employees; reduced parking costs; less employee time wasted in traffic and transit savings for employees. Fare Share applies to businesses throughout the County, while Super Fare Share targets businesses in the County’s Transportation Management Districts (TMD’s) of Bethesda, North Bethesda, Silver Spring and Friendship Heights.

The improved Super Fare Share Program gives employers located in the TMD’s a nine-year commute subsidy for their employees, an increase of four years. This new benefit is worth up to $30,000 a year in benefits, or $270,000 over the life of the program. For the first year of the program, employers pay just $1 per employee per month, while the County will increase its contribution to $109 in January,. During years two through five, the subsidy is shared fifty-fifty. During the remaining years, the County will match the employer contribution on a sliding percentage basis, so that by year nine, the employer picks up 90 percent of the costs and the County is responsible for 10 percent. Employers do not have to provide the maximum monthly benefit, but can contribute at whatever level they choose.

Fare Share’s additional funding this year extends the County’s commitment from two to three years, offers a $30,000 maximum annual subsidy and increases the total match by the County to $109 in January.

A special transit discount program is also available for Wheaton and Montgomery Hills, with up to $30,000 in matching dollars from Montgomery County. For the first six months, the employer pays $1 per participating employee per month and Montgomery County provides up to $109 per employee per month. For the remaining six months of the first year, the employer pays 50 percent of the cost, 60 percent during year two and 70 percent in year three.

Employers contributing to their employees’ transit costs are eligible for a 50 percent tax credit from the State of Maryland, further reducing their out-of-pocket costs for these benefit programs. Check www.mdot.state.md.us/Planning/CommuterChoice for information. To learn more about Fare Share or Super Fare Share, call 301-770-POOL (7665) or go to the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/commute.

Residents Can Request Pedestrian Safety Improvements or Repairs on the
County’s Website — back to top

Residents can ask for pedestrian safety improvements or repairs by visiting the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/walk. Whether the problem is a broken sidewalk panel, a crosswalk needing restriping or a malfunctioning street light, the website provides information on getting in touch with the right office to report the issue. The website also contains other resources on pedestrian safety, including the activities of the County's Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

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Last edited: 12/21/2006