Congressman David Trone Tours Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Gaithersburg Bus Depot and Electric Buses

Congressman David Trone Tours Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Gaithersburg Bus Depot and Electric Buses

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) today hosted a tour for Congressman David Trone of the Gaithersburg Bus Depot, the cutting-edge facility that supports about 40 percent of the County’s transit operation. MCDOT currently operates four zero-emission buses. MCDOT has an additional 10 buses on order.

The four electric buses operate on Ride On Routes 18 and 25, generally serving Langley Park, Silver Spring and Takoma Park. Details on current schedules and safety measures can be viewed in the MCDOT website.

In support of the County’s Climate Action Plan, the recently approved Fiscal Year 2022 County operating budget will accelerate MCDOT’s transition of its bus fleet from diesel to zero emission buses. It calls for 20 new electric Ride On buses, which in addition to the buses currently on order, will bring the total electric fleet to 34 buses. The existing and forthcoming electric bus fleet is a result of grants from the Federal Transit Administration. Today’s event was in response to the County’s recent applications to its Federal representatives to secure additional funding to purchase vehicles with a reduced carbon footprint.

“Our future depends on our commitment to tackling climate change,” said Congressman Trone, who represents Maryland’s 6th District. “I’m proud to see Montgomery County is on track to meet its goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. The transition to electric buses is an excellent example of the power of local government working with the Federal government to bring Maryland one step closer to a cleaner, healthier environment. I hope other local communities can learn from Montgomery County’s model of direct action.”

Currently the electric bus fleet is based in the Silver Spring Depot, where a solar array and microgrid project are underway. In the coming years, and with potential Federal support, the County plans to expand the zero-emissions fleet to the Gaithersburg Depot, the County’s largest facility.

As part of the expansion, the County is planning for installation of a solar-generating array and microgrid to provide the electricity needed to charge battery electric buses and to produce hydrogen fuel for fuel cell-powered vehicles.  Hydrogen fuel is generated by using electricity to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.  Hydrogen is then used to power the vehicle with longer vehicle ranges, short refueling times and carbon-free emissions since water is the byproduct from hydrogen fuel.  It is contemplated that hydrogen fueling will replace the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a vehicle fuel at this facility.

“Montgomery County is leading the way in reducing greenhouse emissions by aiming to have an emissions free bus fleet by 2035.” said County Executive Elrich.  “These investments support our Climate Action Plan and will provide our bus commuters a healthier ride and reduce engine and noise pollution throughout our communities. I appreciate Representative Trone’s visit to the Gaithersburg Bus Depot today, and his, along with all of our Congressional Delegation members, support for our aggressive goals to combat climate change.”

The initial four 35-foot electric buses, manufactured by Proterra, are approximately four to five times more efficient than diesel buses. The four buses combined will provide an estimated annual operating savings of nearly $150,000. The cost of each bus is approximately $793,500. A $1.75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Competitive Program helped to fund purchase of the electric buses.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions states that the transportation sector is the largest direct source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, even surpassing the power sector in 2015. Cars and light-duty trucks (including SUVs) are responsible for about 59 percent of transportation emissions. Medium to larger vehicles, which include tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks, produce about 23 percent of transportation emissions.

“It’s going to take all of us working together to make the changes we need to see to reach our climate goals,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We welcome the interest and thank Congressman Trone for taking time to learn about this important County initiative and hope that Federal support will accelerate our adoption of a zero-emissions transit fleet.”

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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