Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ride On Extra buses will be free during October

Two of the alternatives to the proposed boondoggle of Bus Rapid Transit in Montgomery County - express buses and free Ride On fares - will be realized on a very limited basis in October: A new express bus service called Ride On Extra will begin service along MD 355, and fares on Ride On Extra will be free that month. Service will run between Gaithersburg and Medical Center station in Bethesda.

The buses are a lite version of BRT, with similar features like low-floor boarding, 10-minute peak rush hour headways, and free Wi-Fi, but will not take travel lanes along Rockville Pike from cars (as BRT will). Ride On Extra buses will also have traffic signal priority, but the County has never addressed how that random impact on traffic signals will affect the synchronization of lights up and down the Pike. It could cause major rush hour delays on an already-jammed road.

There's no mention of how much the month of free service will cost taxpayers, either. Ride On Extra stops will include Lakeforest Transit Center, Summit Ave., Westland Dr., Shady Grove Metro, Montgomery College, Rockville Metro, Edmonston Dr., Halpine Rd., Marinelli Rd., Security Ln., Tuckerman Ln., and Medical Center. There will be new bus shelters and bus stop flag signs to identify Ride On Extra bus stops.

1 comment:

  1. The fare (which is normally only 2 dollars) is free for the month of October to incentivize people to try it and see if it makes sense as part of their commute. If they didn't do it, many potential users who could incorporate the service into their route might not know about it, such as riders of route 46 (which is immensely busy) and 55.

    The Bus runs every 10 minutes for 8 hours a day, 22 days in october. That's about 96 rides a day, or 2100 rides in the month of october from one terminal to another. If, over the length of the route, 100 people ride, that's 420,000 dollars max, if the route is as busy as I have said. Dyer, a person of your values might be interested in the economic benefit having a free bus service across 355 might have. A person who lives close to medical center might be more tempted to visit Rockville Town Center, for example. A person who lives in Lakeforest might be able to justify commuting to a lower paying job in North Bethesda, if they don't have to spend 1.5 hours and 6 dollars commuting every day