News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: August 25, 2004 (04-69) 

County Announces Agreement with Montgomery College
to Provide Unlimited Student Access to Transit;
Starting Tuesday, New U-Pass Program Gives Students
Unlimited Use of Ride On Bus System

            Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan today announced an agreement that will make Montgomery College the largest single consumer of Ride On bus services.  Starting August 31, the U-Pass Program will give students unlimited use of the Ride On bus system.  Montgomery College students will simply show a current student identification card to board Ride On.  The new program is designed to reduce the demand for on-campus parking, reduce pollution, and increase transit use. 

“The County’s partnership with Montgomery College is a win-win for everyone,” said Duncan.  “College students will have unlimited access to transit, reducing pollution and demand for limited parking.  Once they use the Ride On bus system, College students will also see how easy it is to use alternative transportation, encouraging them to become lifelong transit users.” 

Councilmember Nancy Floreen stated, “With College tuition rising, every penny we save for our students helps.  As Chair of the County Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, I am a strong supporter of the “Free Ride-On for MC Students” program.  Not only will this assist in the student’s pocketbook, but it will help create new transit riders who, I hope, will continue to think transit when they complete their education and launch into careers.”  

The College will pay the County’s Transit Services Division $550,000 this year to fund the Ride On bus program, which is one of the services provided to students by a $2/credit hour transportation fee. 

“As a community college, Montgomery College is a true ‘commuter college,’ said Dr. Charlene Nunley, president of Montgomery College.  “Each day, thousands of students travel to and from our campuses.  By enabling them to use Ride On buses, without paying a fare, Montgomery College and Montgomery County have provided students with a great transportation alternative, a way to reduce automobile traffic, and, ultimately, access to higher education.”

Last year, Ride On’s Route 127, known as the Campus Connector, began providing express service between the Takoma Park Campus, the Silver Spring Metro, the Rockville Campus and The Universities at Shady Grove. 

“We are delighted that the College has taken this important step to provide even greater access to its campuses and the Ride On system,” said Ride On General Manager Carolyn Biggins.  “This agreement is good for the students, good for the environment, and represents another step forward in addressing congestion in our community.” 

For more information on Ride On and bus schedules, go to the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov and click on Ride On.  Or, call the County’s Transit Information Center at 240-777-RIDE (7433).

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[PHOTO EDITORS:  High-resolution images to accompany this story are available at /news/highresolutionimages/04/rideon1.jpg and /news/highresolutionimages/04/rideon2.jpg

Photo 1: Montgomery College Board of Trustees Chair Gene Counihan (at microphone), Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan, and Montgomery College students Enoch Bevel and Angeta Baker celebrate the announcement of a new program that provides Montgomery College students with unlimited access to the Ride On bus system.

Photo 2: Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan holds up a Montgomery College student i.d. card which provides students with unlimited access to the Ride On bus system.

Credit: Don Rejonis]

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and  Silver Spring. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.