The County Council decided May 27 to terminate or alter service for 14 Ride On routes. County executive Ike Leggett submitted a proposal March 15 to the County Council that included changes to 18 bus routes. The County Council voted to reject many of the proposed route cuts, including one to Route 29, which students frequently use the route to get from Whitman to downtown Bethesda or Friendship Heights. The County Council understands the effect terminations will have on riders, and worked to make changes with the least impact.
“Those routes that were proposed for elimination were generally our poorest performing services,” said Phil McLaughlin, Ride On operations manager.
The final decision constituted a two percent reduction in Ride On service, while the county executive’s original proposal would have reduced service by 5.5 percent had it been fully approved. The County Council already decided to end the “Kids Ride Free” program that allowed all Montgomery County students to take the bus for free between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays with proper school IDs.
“I work in Bethesda after school, so I take the Ride On once or twice a week,” junior Kristina Laukitaus said. “It would get really expensive to pay every time I take the bus to or from school.”
The route changes will take effect Labor Day. SOURCE: Black & White