WMATA Proposes Eliminating Seven Montgomery Bus Routes

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Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s proposed budget for the fiscal year 2021 completely eliminates seven Metro Bus routes within Montgomery County. 

Montgomery County officials, including Sidney Katz, President of the County Council, as well as state senators and delegates, have signed a letter calling for WMATA to reconsider its budget plan. 

The proposal eliminates lines Q1, Q2, Q5, and Q6, which run between the Rockville and Shady Grove Metrorail Stations. Routes between the Rockville station and the Silver Spring Metrorail station will continue to be in operation. 

Lines Z2 (Ashton-Colesville), Z8 (Fairland), and Z11 (Greencastle-Briggs Chaney Express) will all be eliminated when Montgomery County’s Bus Rapid Transit program begins service. Line Z2 serves Silver Spring to Olney, and lines Z8 and Z11 serve Burtonsville to Silver Spring.

Hours of service on certain lines will be reduced as well, eliminating the first or last early morning and late-night trips. 

Line J2, which serves Bethesda to Silver Spring and Line C4, which serves Twinbrook Station, will be reduced. Line L8, which serves Friendship Heights to Aspen Hill and line Y2, which serves Olney to Silver Spring, will also be reduced under the proposal. 

The Metrobus routes currently recommended for service reductions, including the Q, J, L and Z bus lines, provide transportation for many of our most transit-dependent residents,” county officials wrote in the letter calling for reconsideration. 

“Roughly 65,000 Montgomery riders use Metrobus on a daily basis, and for many these bus routes are their only source of transportation; more than half of Metrobus riders earn less than $30,000 per year and do not have access to a car,” the letter said. 

WMATA is holding hearings on the budget throughout the month. The board will vote to approve or disapprove the budget later this spring, which will go into effect July 1.

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