Ride On Resumes Regular Service And Digs Out of Record Blizzard (PHOTOS)
Things are slowly but surely returning to normal in Montgomery County after a record blizzard last weekend. Ride On, the County’s bus service started normal operations on Thursday, but some commuters have had problems accessing bus stops.
There are nearly 5,300 bus stops across the County and removing snow from all stops is a big task. Esther Bowring is the Community Relations Manager for the Montgomery Department of Transportation (MCDOT). Bowring says its a priority to make sure pedestrians have access to bus stops.
“We’ve added our top ridership stops to the list of regular bus stops that we clear. We do that initially. That addresses about 70% of Ride On passengers. That is not enough, we need to clear all 5,300 bus stops but we can’t do them all at once,” Bowring said.
She also noted that Clear Channel is responsible for snow removal inside 500 bus shelters while the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is responsible for stops at Metro stations.
Under county law, residents and business owners are responsible for snow removal from sidewalks that border their property within 24 hours after snowfall.
“We are committed to pedestrian safety and committed to people using alternative transportation. In this record snowstorm it’s very challenging to do everything at once with the resources we have..We really have a strong commitment to make sure people get around safely. Some of the bus stops may have been cleared but then people are coming out and clearing their own walks and re-piling snow. There are obviously a lot of instances where a snow plow will go down the street and block something that was previously plowed. We are doing the best we can to get these bus stops cleared out,” Bowring added.
Residents took to social media to vent about their commuting experiences.
Welp, since my neighbors in front of the bus stop weren’t going to shovel it out, I took matters into my own hands. pic.twitter.com/Ab5erXCXWC
— Jen Riskus (@jriskus) January 26, 2016
— David Rotenstein (@iVernacular) January 27, 2016