To read previous editions of Better Ways To Work visit the newsletter page.
Better Ways to Work
Issue: Volume 2, Number 7September 2012 



We hope you find this monthly Montgomery County Commuter Services e-newsletter helpful and informative. Please email your comments and suggestions to: Visit us online at:



Car Free Day Coming 9/22


Car Free Day falls on a Saturday this year - September 22. So this message is for everyone - not just commuters.


While many people do work on Saturday, lots of other folks take to the roads for other purposes. Please join with the thousands of other participants around the region who are pledging to get around on Car Free Day without driving their car.


Transportation Alternatives: Try Ride On bus, Metrobus, Metrorail, bicycling, walking, and carpooling. Need to go shopping? Make it a game to figure out how to visit your favorite Montgomery County stores using Ride On plus bike (all buses have bike racks on the front).  Many County stores also have online ordering available as well.


Make It a Holiday: Try close-to-home activities for a change of pace. Bike to a nearby park. Invite neighbors over for a barbeque. Take your kids out for a local hike. Ride Metro downtown to museums.


Take the Pledge: Visit and click on the Car Free Day Metro DC logo to access online registration. Pledging enters you into the Car Free Day prize drawing. You could win an Apple iPad or other great giveaways. can only win if you pledge.


Join Us for Fun: Celebrate Car Free Day with Montgomery County Commuter Services at the FreshFarm Farmer's Market on Ellsworth Drive in Downtown Silver Spring.  Stop by to receive information about alternative commute options and enter into prize drawings to win a Kindle, a SmarTrip card with $200 value and other great prizes.


Chances to Win: You could win a $200 SmarTrip Card, a Kindle 3G with Wi-Fi, and giveaways like coupons to local retailers - if you take the Car Free Day pledge. Plus, get information about the best transportation options for your lifestyle.

                                   CFD logo                

SmarTrip« Card Changes


Rebate: Beginning Sept. 1, you can get a $3 rebate for new SmarTrip« card purchases when you register your card online. Cards will still cost $5, but a $3 credit will be refunded to the card five days after first use. SmarTrip« online registration also protects your balance if the card is lost or stolen and allows you to add value to the card via the Web.


Minimum Value Required: Also beginning Sept. 1, you'll need at least $1.20 on your SmarTrip« card to enter the Metrorail system (35 cents for the senior/disabled SmarTrip« card).


Vending: SmarTrip« card vending machines will be available in all Metrorail stations.


Fast Pass: The Metrorail Fast Pass, which provides seven days of unlimited Metrorail travel, will be available only on SmarTrip« and can be purchased online or at station vending machines. Paper Fast Pass cards will no longer be sold after Aug. 31, and will be accepted only through Dec. 31.


                         ST Card

Employers: 2012 Commuter Survey Will Help Us Anticipate Future Transportation Needs


Montgomery County's annual commuter survey begins October 1, 2012 - and your participation as an employer is important. The information collected from employees through the survey helps Montgomery County and other jurisdictions plan ahead for future transportation projects.


Employers Benefit: Participating employers receive an analysis of the data collected from their own employees. The resulting commuting profile offers insights into how specific mobility strategies can be tailored to benefit your workforce.


Employees Benefit: Employees who complete the survey - and include their name and phone number on the form - are entered into drawings for great prizes. Survey answers are completely confidential (name & phone are for prize drawings only), so your employees can respond candidly and thoroughly.


What's in the Survey: The survey questions focus on employees' commute hours and distance, travel modes, vehicle occupancy, parking, access to various types of assistance, and the likely impact of services and programs on their commuting choices.


How You Can Help: If your business is selected to participate, representatives from Montgomery County Commuter Services will contact your company within the next week to discuss survey details - along with examples of what employers have done in past years to increase employees' participation.  If you are not selected but are interested in participating, contact Montgomery County Commuter Services.


Thank You: Your assistance and participation are much appreciated - and very important!

Montgomery County Receiving Grant for BRAC-Related Transportation Improvements


Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently announced a $40 million grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to Montgomery County for transportation access improvements at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda.


The grant is meant to facilitate a safer and easier commute for patients, service members, and civilian employees of WRNMMC as well as the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda campus. The 2005 BRAC round increased personnel WRNMMC by almost one-third to 10,200, and doubled its visitor load to 1,000,000 per year.


The funding will be used to:

  • Design and construct a shallow pedestrian and bicycle passageway under Maryland Route 355 (Rockville Pike) connecting the WRNMMC and NSA Bethesda side to the Medical Center Metrorail Station and transit center on the opposite side.
  •  Install three high-speed elevators to connect the WRNMMC and NSA Bethesda side at street level to the Metrorail mezzanine level 120 feet below.
  •  Make improvements at the main entrance to the NSA Bethesda campus.


The grant will supplement over $28 million in previously received Defense Department funding to enable full implementation of the $68 million-plus project.  Montgomery County will complete the project in coordination with the Maryland State Highway Administration, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Highway Administration's DelMar Division and the Command at NSA Bethesda.


"These programs will greatly improve access to these important and growing facilities, and they are a tangible sign of our commitment to working with communities impacted by BRAC," said Secretary Panetta.

Public Forum to Discuss Proposed Ride On Service Changes


You're Invited: Your feedback is invited on proposed changes to six Ride On routes (plus one Metrobus route operated on Saturday by Ride On). Those routes are 38, 47, 52, 53, 58, 98 and the Z2. Montgomery County will hold a public forum on Thursday, September 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level, located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville. (In the event of inclement weather, the public forum will be held on Tuesday, October 2.)


Sign-up: Anyone who would like to speak at the public forum should provide in writing their name, home address, telephone number, e-mail address and organization to Division of Transit Services, Ride On Public Forum, 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850, on or before September 22.


Bring Testimony: Individuals who have signed up to speak must bring two printed copies of their testimony for the record. (Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible but not less than three (3) business days prior to the date of the forum. Large print format is available upon request.)


Reason for Changes: Some of the route changes were proposed in order to serve areas that have been recently developed, while eliminating sections of routes that are under performing. 
Public comment on the proposed changes will be accepted through 5:00 pm October 1, 2012.  All comments will be considered before any Ride On changes are finalized.

Click here for more information  En Espa˝ol 

Of Note


SmarTrip Card Pilot Program: Ride On is looking for individuals to participate in a fare payment pilot program by having their September and October Ride On Monthly Passes loaded onto their SmarTrip Card. The registration forms for the pilot program are available at any of these three locations: TRiPs Silver Spring Store, TRiPs Friendship Heights Store, and Montgomery County Treasury at 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15. The Ride On Monthly Pass becomes active September 1. The Ride On Monthly Pass is accepted only on Ride On buses. Check with your TRiPs Store for other rules and limitations.


Ride On Real Time: Get real-time information on bus arrivals using the Internet, texting, a smart phone or mobile applications (apps) for iPhones or Android phones with, or by texting your bus stop ID number to to quickly receive a text message indicating when the next arriving bus is coming. You can also check online for any service disruptions.


End-of-Summer Schedules: As schools re-open and the summer rhythms of your life - and your commute - give way to a more hectic season, please note that Commuter Services is here as a resource for you. Often, traffic becomes more challenging and commutes take longer. We can help you explore commute alternatives and back-up plans so your end-of-summer transition goes as smoothly as possible. Email us at, or visit us online at:


Metro's Riders' Advisory Council: Metro's Riders' Advisory Council is looking for Montgomery County riders to fill available positions on the volunteer council. The 21-member group is made up of Metro riders from throughout Metro's service area and advises Metro's Board of Directors on issues affecting Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess service. Individuals on the Council represent a cross-section of Metro's riders. Applications are available online and must be received by 5 p.m., Monday, October 8th. Metro is also seeking riders from Prince George's County, D.C., and Fairfax County so if you live in those areas you are also encouraged to apply.



In This Issue
Car Free Day
SmarTrip® Card Changes
Employers: 2012 Commuter Survey Will Help Us Anticipate Future Transportation Needs
Montgomery...County...Receiving Grant for BRAC-Related Transportation Improvements
Of Note

Individuals interested in helping these areas improve transit and other alternative commute modes of travel are needed.


Friendship Heights
Silver Spring

Greater Shady Grove

CSS Programs and Services

Free services are available for commuters, employers and the community. We offer assistance with:


Commuter Information Days


Telework Programs


Alternative Work Schedules


Customized Trip Planning


Biking and Pedestrian Resources


Guaranteed Ride Home  


Transit Benefit Programs


Carpool and Vanpool Matching



TRiPS Commuter Stores


Live Near Your Work


Montgomery County Commuter Services | 101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor | Rockville | MD | 20850