The effort to stop the creation of a school bus depot at the Carver Center in Rockville continues to grow with community meetings, presentations at City Council meetings, collecting more than 1,700 signatures on petitions, and hiring an attorney. Montgomery County Public Schools wants to consolidate several bus depots around the county that provide parking, equipment storage, and maintenance for school busses to one central location in Rockville. It doesn’t make sense considering the size of the county—should 100+ busses come and go from Rockville to transport students in Poolesville and Silver Spring?
If you’d like to learn more:
- Visit the Carver Coalition web site at CarverCoalition.org
- Attend the Community Meeting on the plans for the depot hosted by Montgomery County Public Schools on Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30 pm at College Gardens Elementary School
- Attend the Carver Coalition meeting on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:00 pm at the Rockville Unitarian Universalist Church at 100 Welsh Park Drive.
- Read the latest flyer from the Carver Coalition.
There’s a bigger issue that continues to gnaw at me, however. MCPS is one of the largest school districts in the country with a billion-dollar budget. It’s considered one of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, but does that mean it’s also well governed? The school board seems to be continually tone-deaf when it comes to local issues, such as the bus depot, and the County Council seems to be unable to have any influence, despite being the major funder. Is it time to split the school district into manageable parts and have more local control?
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?