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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee hold Metro Town Hall meeting March 2 at 7 p.m.

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

From the Office of Council Vice President Tom Hucker

Meeting at Park and Planning Headquarters in Silver Spring will provide residents the opportunity to discuss impact of proposed WMATA operating budget

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 26, 2020—The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee will host a town hall on Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. focusing on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2021. The town hall will be held in the Montgomery County Planning Commission Building (8787 Spring Street in Silver Spring). The T&E Committee consists of Councilmembers Tom Hucker (chair), Evan Glass and Hans Riemer.

Included in the proposed budget are cuts to four Metrobus routes affecting more than 65,000 Montgomery County residents. WMATA is holding several opportunities for public feedback on the budget but none of the other meetings are being held in Montgomery County. Metro’s Board of Directors will make their final decisions on the proposed budget in April 2020.

“The Metrobus system is essential for mobility and economic development in Montgomery County, providing a lifeline to jobs and daily activities for tens of thousands of County residents,” said Council Vice President Tom Hucker, who also represents District 5, where several Metrobus route eliminations are proposed. “The WMATA General Manager's proposed bus cuts would have a severe negative impact on riders, and we want to make sure residents have their voice heard before the board makes their decision on the proposal.”

Dozens of community members are expected to attend the town hall. Metro board members and representatives of the Maryland Department of Transportation have been invited to attend.

“Cutting Metrobus routes and service hours at a time when we are trying to encourage more people to ride transit is a backward approach” said Hucker. “More than 40,000 Metrobus trips are taken daily in Montgomery County alone; nearly equal to those taken by county residents on Metrorail. With service cuts or elimination proposed for more than half of our county's Metrobus routes, it is critical that WMATA understand the impacts that this ill-conceived proposal will have on real people's lives.”

“As a frequent Metrobus rider, I know the importance of a safe, efficient and reliable public transportation system,” said Councilmember Evan Glass, who is also the Council’s lead member for the Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities on the Health and Human Services Committee. “That is why I sent a letter asking WMATA to reverse these destructive cuts, which was signed by all of my council colleagues and a majority of our state senators and delegates. Hundreds of residents have signed my petition asking WMATA to increase –– not decrease –– Metrobus service. WMATA needs to hear from the 65,000 Montgomery County residents who rely on the Metrobus to get to work, school and conduct their daily chores.”

“I am totally opposed to cutting bus service in Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Hans Riemer, who also serves as chair of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. “In fact I worked hard to block bus cuts proposed by the County Executive in the County’s budget this past year. I am similarly opposed to Metrobus cuts. We need to expand bus service and implement bus transformation strategies. We need WMATA and the state to step up and protect this important service.”

This event is open to the public. RSVPing is encouraged but not required. Residents who wish to attend can RSVP here.

The town hall meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon.

The Council meeting also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html and on Facebook Live.



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Release ID: 20-066
Media Contact: Dave Kunes 240-777-7960