“‘Round Rockville” Bus Returns to Service on Rocky Road

Ride On Bus #45: 'Round Rockville shuttle at Twinbrook Metro

The ‘Round Rockville bus has returned to service, but what does the future hold?

Ride On’s #45 is the major connector for Rockville–it’s the only bus that connects the Twinbrook and Rockville Metro stations with the Civic Center, Town Center, Senior Center, and Fallsgrove.  Despite the county’s agreement to operate the six specially branded buses and nearly $1 million of federal and city funds in 2009, it’s been a troubled route.

Shortly after its launch, the buses were pulled from service due to mechanical problems and replaced with an assortment of large and small busses in varying conditions and ages.  In 2010, County Executive Ike Leggett proposed eliminating the route and although service was preserved, it was significantly reduced.  The “Rockville” busses are now back on the streets, but problems continue.  My ride today (and everyone else’s) was free because the fare box was broken.  What’s going on in the county’s Department of Transportation?  Councilmember Phil Andrews, what are you doing?

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3 responses

  1. Two mornings this week I waited in the freezing wind and snow for the #45 bus going toward Twinbrook station and it simply never came. There ought to be a way to check online and see where the buses actually are. The published timetables are sad approximations.

    1. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for the bus and not knowing when it will arrive (perhaps worse than a doctor’s waiting room since it’s outside on the street). I suspect more people would take the bus if it either ran more frequently or if we knew how long we’ll be waiting. Although the former isn’t likely with the county budget, the latter is possible through a variety of technologies. WMATA allows you to call the number on the bus stop to find out when it’ll arrive (see http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/nextbus/Next_Bus_map.cfm) and supposedly, you can get RideOn “trip information” using a GPS-enabled smartphone and Google Mobile, but I haven’t been able to get it to work (see http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/tsvtmpl.asp?url=/content/DOT/transit/trip_plan.asp). Anyone else have suggestions?

  2. I have also waited for 45 buses that never came which meant thatI had to cancel appointments. And then there was one week that the fare box was broken on every trip. I do think ridership would be higher if the service was reliable.

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