In response to public outcry, the Maryland Transit Administration has decided to continue two of three commuter bus routes along the Intercounty Connector that it had considered cancelling.
Route 202, which runs from Gaithersburg to Fort Meade, and Route 203, which runs from Columbia to Bethesda, will continue. Route 205, which runs from College Park to the Germantown Transit Center, will be discontinued starting Aug. 1, according to a press release from the Maryland Transit Administration.
Route 205 had “extremely low ridership numbers and not enough demand to justify the service,” the release said. “The average trip on this service only had two riders.”
The administration held forums for in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for members of the public to testify about the routes.
The administration considered terminating the routes because of low ridership, The Gazette previously reported. Each route traverses the Intercounty Connector and is mostly used by daily commuters.
Several Montgomery County residents said they moved to the area to take advantage of the commuter bus. Montgomery County Base Realignment and Closure Coordinator Phil Alperson and Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Dist. 17) of Rockville also testified in favor of the routes at a June 6 hearing in Gaithersburg.
Forehand said she’s glad the administration decided to keep the two routes.
“I hope that all the people who wrote in are the people who ride it!” she said.
Forehand said she hopes the riders who once used Route 205 will be able to carpool and continue to use the Intercounty Connector after the route is cancelled.
In response to public testimonials, the administration will eliminate lunchtime runs on Routes 202 and 203, but add an afternoon run on Route 203 for those with longer workdays.
The administration plans to work with major employers like Walter Reed Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health to increase ridership on Routes 202 and 203.
“The [Maryland Transit Administration] will continue to closely monitor both routes to ensure growth in ridership,” the release said.
Riders and drivers of Montgomery County: stuck in congestion on your morning commute? Seeing major delays on the Red Line? Send me a note at email@example.com.