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Montgomery Plans Bus Service Cuts

Montgomery County's Ride On bus service will cut some routes and curtail others starting April 5 under a plan developed as part of the county government's $50 million reduction in spending for this fiscal year.

The county says the reductions affect the routes with the lowest ridership. While they are extensive, they're not the end. County Executive Isiah Leggett asked Ride On to come up with a plan for further cuts in fiscal year 2010, which starts in July. Ride On is going to hold a forum about this on March 24.

To see the full list of cuts that take effect on April 5 and the proposed cuts for fiscal 2010, use this link.

But here's a sample of the April 5 cuts, so you get the idea:
Route 4: Eliminate weekday midday service between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Route 18: Reduce weekday midday service frequency from 15 minutes to 30 minutes between Langley Park and Takoma Park.
Route 43: Reduce weekday frequency from 20 minutes to 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Route 75: Bus stops north of Maryland Route 121/Clarksburg Road to the Urbana Park & Ride Lot will no longer be served.
Route 98: Reduce weekday rush hour frequency from 15 minutes to 30 minutes from 5:30 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m.

Many of the suburban bus and train lines have either curtailed service or imposed fare increases, or both, because their costs are rising and the governments that support them are losing revenue in the poor economy. The one thing that isn't declining is ridership. In fact, that has surged on most of the lines.

Metro, the big dog of our transit services, is about to go through the same thing. It's already deciding on staff cuts, and its board will meet this morning to work on how to further reduce a budget shortfall that could lead to service cuts. I'll send a report to you about that.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 19, 2009; 6:55 AM ET
Categories:  transit  
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