Five Bus Routes Serving ICC Corridor
Now you can travel on the InterCounty Connector - without driving your own vehicle. Maryland Transit Administration offers five bus routes via the ICC, three of which are brand new.
New for 2012: MTA Routes 203, 204 and 205 began operating on January 3 - adding to Routes 201 and 202, which had started running last year when the ICC opened.
MTA Says: "A key benefit of the ICC is the ability of express bus service to operate efficiently along this key east-west corridor. This expansion of MTA service is part of a larger intermodal plan to help accommodate the estimated 40,000 to 60,000 extra jobs coming to Maryland over the next six to ten years due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)."
Pick Your Route: Here's a run down on all these buses so you can see your options.
- Gaithersburg to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport: Route 201 operates seven days a week with hourly service accommodating 34 weekday trips and 30 weekend trips between the Gaithersburg Park & Ride (MD124 & I-270) and the BWI MARC / Amtrak Rail Station.
- Gaithersburg to Fort Meade: Route 202 operates weekdays with three morning trips, three afternoon trips and one midday trip between the Metropolitan Grove MARC Train Station and Fort Meade.
- Columbia to Bethesda: Route 203 operates weekdays with three morning trips, three afternoon trips and one midday trip, providing access for Howard County residents from the Snowden River Park & Ride to the Medical Center/NIH Metro Station in Bethesda.
- Frederick to College Park: Route 204 operates weekdays with four morning trips and four afternoon trips between the Monocacy MARC Station and the College Park Metro/MARC Station.
- College Park to Germantown: Route 205 operates weekdays with three morning trips, three afternoon trips and one midday trip between the College Park Metro / MARC Station and the Germantown Transit Center.
More Info: You'll find a link to the ICC Commuter Bus Service website at montgomerycountymd.gov/commute. You can also view detailed route maps and download schedules at http://www.mta.maryland.gov/commuter-bus.
New Shuttle Helps Germantown MARC Riders
Germantown commuters get an easier commute starting January 30, thanks to new shuttle service from the Kingsview Park & Ride Lot to the Germantown MARC Station. The shuttle service will run regularly during weekday morning and afternoon rush hours.
The service is the result of a team effort by Montgomery County Ride On and MARC Rail, that will help commuters avoid the hassle of driving around looking for an empty parking space at the Germantown train station.
Riders can simply park at the Kingsview Park & Ride Lot (located minutes away at Clopper Road and Kingsview Village Avenue) and take the Ride On Route 94 shuttle to the Germantown MARC Station.
So, if you're a Germantown commuter, here's what you do:
- Grab your favorite calendar.
- Find "Monday, January 30" on there.
- Then write these words: "Wow! Go to Kingsview Park & Ride Lot - take Ride On Route 94 shuttle to Germantown MARC Station."
It'll be kind of like a shortened version of the 1987 movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles - without the 'planes' part. Or the John-Candy-driving-Steve-Martin-crazy part. But, hey, have fun anyway.
Ride On Route 94 Timetable and Flyer.
DoD Helps Fund BRAC-Related Transportation Upgrades
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded almost $90 million in transportation-improvement funding to address traffic congestion resulting from the move of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) to the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda under the Base Realignment & Closure Act (BRAC). WRAMC and NNMC have been merged to become a single facility - the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, located at Naval Support Activity Bethesda.
- $40 million for the County to construct the Maryland Route 355 Crossing. The project will install deep elevators on the east side of Rockville Pike to the Metro station platform and a pedestrian tunnel for bus and carpool commuters and walkers.
- $49 million for the State to construct improvements at four major intersections: Rockville Pike at Cedar Lane and at Jones Bridge Road; Connecticut Avenue at Jones Bridge Road; and West Cedar Lane at Old Georgetown Road.
These projects are in addition to new or renovated bike paths and sidewalks the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has already constructed in the vicinity of the medical complex.
The Route 355 Crossing project will accommodate Metrorail riders, as well as bus and carpool commuters and pedestrians using the Metro Station who don't use Metrorail. This project will enhance transit use, provide safe and convenient access for pedestrians, and alleviate gridlock around the Navy's main gate.
Together the projects will improve transit and vehicle mobility and promote pedestrian safety.
"These infrastructure enhancements will enable commuters to make the most of non-drive travel modes into Bethesda," notes Sandra Brecher, Chief of the County's Commuter Services Section. "The projects will make it easier for commuters working at the medical complexes to carpool, use public transportation, or bike to the area - which in turn will help to mitigate traffic congestion."
For more information, visit the County's BRAC website and MCDOT's website.
New Hybrid Buses Unveiled
Montgomery County is one big step closer to its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, thanks to the addition of 13 new, energy-efficient hybrid buses to the Montgomery County Ride On fleet.
The new buses will offer a clean, comfortable ride to more than 10,000 commuters, seniors, and others who take transit daily. The vehicles were purchased with $6.6 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding that the State of Maryland steered to Montgomery County.
"This is one of the many investments we have made in our transportation infrastructure and our workforce to create new opportunities to put Americans back to work," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The buses meet the Recovery Act's Buy America requirement, meaning all the iron, steel, and manufactured materials used in the buses are produced in the United States.
These new "green" additions to the fleet mean 18 percent of the County's 339 buses are hybrids, 27 percent run on compressed natural gas, and 19 percent are clean diesel. The new buses will operate on routes serving the Wheaton, Friendship Heights, Silver Spring, Bethesda, and Takoma Park Metro stations.
TRiPS Commuter Store Hours: The Friendship Heights TRiPS Commuter Store's hours changed January 3, to Monday-Friday 10am - 6pm (closed 1-2pm for lunch). The Silver Spring TRiPS Commuter Store maintained its original hours: Monday-Friday 7am - 5pm. The Friendship Heights store is at 17 Wisconsin Circle (between Wisconsin & Western); the Silver Spring location is 8413 Ramsey Avenue (corner of Wayne & Ramsey). Check out the stores online here.
Live in Fairland/White Oak? If so, and you currently drive to work or are a new resident in the Rt. 29 corridor, you may be eligible for a $35 bus pass subsidy from HD-Maple Ridge, L.L.C. The company is offering the incentive to reduce the number of commute trips in its project area. The bus passes are for use only during weekday rush hour commutes. Space is limited, and there might be a waiting list since the program can accommodate a maximum of 50 participants. Contact Teresa Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-476-9588.
Congress Fails to Extend Transit/Vanpool Benefit Parity: Despite the 50,000+ letters sent to Congress through the commuterbenefitsworkforus.com website, legislators did not act to extend the $230/month allowable pre-tax limit on employer-provided commute benefits. Thus, effective January 1, the allowable transit/vanpool benefit fell to $125/month - while the parking benefit increased to $240/month. The American Public Transportation Association and Association for Commuter Transportation have called on Congress to correct this bias that favors driving over alternative travel modes.
Mobile Device Site Helps Your Commute: You can plan your trip, find out when the next train or bus will arrive, and much more. Visit http://www.wmata.com/mobile/ on your mobile device for optimized links. More details: http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/mobile_services.cfm.
Individuals interested in helping these areas improve transit and other alternative commute modes of travel are needed.