Friday, May 08, 2015

Get free stuff as Ride On bus celebrates 40 years serving Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will celebrate 40 years of Ride On bus service this coming Monday, May 11, at the Executive Office Building in Rockville at 1:00 PM. Leggett will be joined by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D), Delegate Charles Barkley (D), and County Councilmembers Sidney Katz (D-District 3) and Hans Riemer (D-At-Large).

While the gathering of Democratic officeholders will mark the anniversary, many people are not aware that the Ride On system was actually launched by a Republican - Montgomery County's first elected County Executive, James Gleason.

If you can't make that ceremony, you can celebrate with some free giveaways at the Bethesda Metro station next Tuesday, May 12. From 4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday, Ride On employees will be at the Metro station to thank you with free water bottles, t-shirts, reflectors, fans and transit bags.

Next Friday, May 15, at 7:00 AM, there will be a public demonstration of a new Ride On bus feature - a "turn warning" system that can alert pedestrians and cyclists - in the parking lot at Dawson's Market in Rockville Town Square (facing N. Washington Street). County representatives will show how to load a bike onto a Ride On bus, and cyclists will ride free all day. May 15 is Bike to Work Day.

Hopefully, all of the celebration for what is a fine transit service will inspire county elected officials to address Ride On's aging fleet, which includes buses that burst into flames (most recently in Takoma Park) and too-limited schedules on some routes (Ride On 23 in Bethesda, for example).

Perhaps too much attention has been given to their shiny new object, the $5 billion Bus Rapid Transit boondoggle, and too little to the bus service actually in operation.


Anonymous said...

"While the gathering of Democratic officeholders will mark the anniversary, many people are not aware that the Ride On system was actually launched by a Republican - Montgomery County's first elected County Executive, James Gleason."

The GOP of 1975 is not the GOP of 2015. Gleason, and Montgomery County's Congressman at the same time, Mac Mathias, would have no place in today's GOP, nor would Barry Goldwater.

Gleason fought very hard for mass transit - if not for him, we might not have the Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations on Metrorail. He would have fought for the Bus Rapid Transit system and he would have been appalled at the Hogan administration's stalling on the Purple Line.

Anonymous said...

Correction to previous comment - Mathias was of course a Senator at the time, not a Congressman.

The Congressman from MD-8 at the time was Gilbert Gude, also a Republican, also one who would have no place in today's GOP.

Anonymous said...

I find it rather funny hwo you can bash ride on and not provide a source of the operation needing more attention. Do you have or have you ever seen the data about ridership? # of issues? or were you just passed up one day while standing at the bus stop and figured the entire system must be bad.

Maybe you should have included in your campaign ways to improve it but not many people knew of your campaign.

Gleason was much more liberal than you think and I really don't think you are a republican seeing you support the arts as much as you do.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@7:33 He's not bashing Ride-On. You obviously didn't read the post. He said it's a fine system and that they should put money into upgrading the buses. In fact, Leggett did not even buy the buses he was given money for last year to buy.
As far as other improvements, if they put in less than 10% of what they have spent on studies for BRT, they could have significant improvements in headways, additional shelters and real time bus info apps that work better. We need to build on our existing systems before spending $5 billion on boondoggle. That's not a Republican thing or Democratic thing, it's the smart thing and will help existing riders.

Robert Dyer said...

7:12: Who is "the GOP"? Is it one guy? A secret star chamber? You're saying there's one font that speaks for all Republicans? There's no such elected office. Maybe just some self-appointed folks who get more attention from the press than the more common sense ones.

I agree with Jim Gleason on Metro and Ride On. But you can't claim to speak for Jim Gleason on projects that didn't exist when he was involved. We don't know what he would think of BRT or the Purple Line of 2015. Or for that matter, of MoCo's failure to extend Metro to Germantown.

Robert Dyer said...

7:16: I think you have to ask *whose* GOP Gude would have no place in today.

Robert Dyer said...

7:33: As 8:00 said, I did not bash the Ride On system - I praised it. What I criticized was the lack of maintenance and replacement of the outmoded fleet. That's where $ should be spent, not BRT.

What's not in dispute is that Gleason was a Republican, and remains a highly-respected official in county history.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican, use RideOn, Metro and support a Purple Line and a rail CCT up county. I don't see transit as a partisan issue either.

Anyone riding Metro from Wheaton, Silver Spring, etc. to Bethesda knows we need a more direct rail connection.

Let's tone down the religious fervor for particular transit options and take a pragmatic approach.

Anonymous said...

In other news, the "other Bethesda news site", which merged with another Bethesda news site this week, seems to be doing poorly. Readers don't like the new layout that's too ad-laden; advertisers don't like the much higher ad rates; and comments on each article are down a lot since they don't allow anon comments.

Looks like Dyer won this round. Long live Dyer!

Anonymous said...

10:56 AM
I read the glossy magazine, but the site is a mess. No one knows what's an ad and what's an article.

Anonymous said...

What... folks don't want read about Hull's latest shindig?

Anonymous said...

10:56 AM says that Bethesda Magazine has too many ads. At the same time, he says that advertisers don't like the higher ad rates.

"No one goes there any more, it's too crowded."

Anonymous said...

@ 10:55 AM:

This is Kraut's second day "full-time" at BethesdaMag, and there have been plenty of comments during that time, more than on Dyer's blog yesterday and today. Most of the regular commenters already had Disqus accounts.

Anonymous said...

BethesdaMag content leaves me puzzled. 2 articles and dozens of photos about Hull's party, advertorial on Toll townhomes and finally reporting on the BRT/Douglas Development issues. Dyer broke that story on Monday...with video.
Come on guys, when is the dream team suiting up?

Anonymous said...

9:02 PM it appears the difference is BethesdaMag actually talked to the lawyer involved and got community reaction rather than just taking random things off the internet. To each their own

Ellis said...

7:33 Did you grow up with the 8-crayon set? You actually purport that Republicans can't support the Arts?

Are you the same sheltered (being nice here) commenter that said Republicans can't care about the environment back at the Earth Day article?

I am Republican. I love the Arts. I care about the environment. If all you've got are cookie-cutters to circumscribe the entire Republican party, I feel sorry for you.

Try reading what Bob actually writes and supports, rather than insisting that he fit your "Republican" cookie cutter limitations.

Anonymous said...

4:49am that's nice, but apparently nothing new was gleaned talking to lawyers. I read both articles. You had less information and were days late. Not a winning formula.

Robert Dyer said...

4:49: "It appears" you don't know what you're talking about. The whole angle of my story about the impossibility of taking that right-of-way down Wisconsin was nowhere in the memo or application documents. That was my own contribution, which was picked up in the article. In addition, they even used my "monkey wrench" headline terminology. For you to claim my piece was just "scraped off the internet" or somehow inferior is complete nonsense.

Anonymous said...

The County should spend its money on improving Ride On Service instead of trinkets, which are NOT free. The trinkets are paid for by County taxpayers. One improvement would be consolidating bus service with WMATA Metro Bus which offers much more comfortable, on time service than Ride On.