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Changes in Montgomery Bus Plan

After hearing pleas from riders, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has told the County Council he no longer recommends cutting some Ride On bus service. But he is adding a new budget request to increase certain bus fares.

What's off the cut list:
* Weekday service on Route 53.
* Saturday service on Route 29.
* Route 93, but with less frequent service and range, and a higher fare (see below).
* Route 7, but part of the route would be eliminated.

Higher fares:
* Route 70 riders would pay an express fare of $3 with a SmarTrip card and $3.10 if paying cash.
* Route 93 riders would pay the regular Ride On fare of $1.25 with SmarTrip and $1.35 in cash. This would eliminate the 35 cent shuttle fare on the route.
* Route 96 riders also would go from paying the shuttle fare to paying the regular Ride on fare.

The County Council is reviewing the executive's budget proposal for the Fiscal 2010 year, which starts in July. Some additional proposals to increase fares and parking fees are detailed in this previous posting.

To see the county's original list of proposed cuts to Ride On, use this link. At a March 24 hearing, many riders who use the Route 53 bus, a peak period service between the Shady Grove and Glenmont stations challenged the proposed cut. They said they need the 53 to get from their upcounty community of Olney to work and have no realistic alternative.

Others made pitches to save their weekend service or to maintain extensions on their route that connect with their workplace.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 22, 2009; 11:43 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics , transit  
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