Most commuter bus service on ICC to continue


Most Maryland commuter bus service will continue on the ICC. (Robert Thomson)

Most commuter bus service will continue on the Intercounty Connector, but a route between College Park and the Germantown Transit Center will be scrapped Aug. 1, due to low ridership, Maryland transit officials said Thursday.

In May, the state had proposed cutting some of its ICC bus routes, including Route 202 (between Gaithersburg and Fort Meade) and Route 203 (between Columbia and Bethesda) because of low ridership. However, in response to more than 100 passengers and elected officials who opposed the move, the state has decided to keep routes 202 and 203, officials said.

The service that will be cut between College Park and Germantown is route 205. That line averaged two riders per trip, officials said.

Service will remain unchanged on Route 201 (between Gaithersburg and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport) and Route 204 (from Frederick to College Park).

But some changes are on the way for Routes 202 and 203. Mid-day runs on those routes will be cut to make the lines more efficient, and Route 203 will have a new afternoon run based on requests from passengers with later work schedules, the MTA said.

State officials said they also will work with Fort Meade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health to encourage more of their employees to use the buses.

Using the ICC for improved east-west bus service was a major selling point for state officials who supported building the $2.56-billion toll highway. The road, which opened in 2011, sparked controversy because of its environmental impact, construction costs and toll rates. State highway officials say a recent study found that the highway has saved drive time, both for those who use it and  motorists on local east-west roads.

 

Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.
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