Bus Photo of the Month: November 2017

Gillig Advantage/BRT 4061

Gillig Advantage/BRT 4061

Location: Medical Center Station, Bethesda, MD
Operator of Vehicle: Ride On (Montgomery County Transit)
Date of Photo: October 6, 2017

Exactly one month ago, Ride On, the county operated bus system in Montgomery County, MD, launched its first limited stop service, Route 101 or the Ride On Extra.  This route uses a special fleet of BRT styled Gillig Advantage buses.  I’m not a huge fan of WMATA’s “MetroExtra” branding for several reasons, but I really like how Ride On has taken this brand from another agency in the area and applied it to itself.  The paint scheme and name is clearly derived from WMATA, and to Ride On’s credit, the paint scheme makes it clearer that an approaching bus is a limited stop one than Metro’s scheme.  In its first month of service, I had three occasions to take this service, and found the trip to be extremely speedy, though I was admittedly riding against the peak direction of travel each time.  The buses have WiFi and USB charging ports on board, but I did not use either feature any of the times I have been on these buses.  The buses also still have that new bus smell, so be sure to check it out soon if you want to experience that, too.  The Ride On Extra currently operates between Lakeforest Mall and Medical Center Station during weekday rush hours.

For more photos of the Ride On Extra, please click here

Bus Photo of the Month: May 2016

Orion V 5622

Orion V 5622

Location: Little Falls Parkway and Dorset Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD
Operator of Vehicle: Ride On (Montgomery County Transit)
Date of Photo: June 11, 2014

Ride On is the county owned and operated bus system in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.  It’s hard to believe, but about 15 years ago, the fleet only had a handful of 40 foot buses.  Nowadays, 40 footers dominate.  While the first order of 30 foot buses in a number of years was made in 2014, no new 35 foot buses have been ordered in about 10 years.  As a result, as the 2016 Gillig Phantoms arrive on the property, the Orion Vs, like the one pictured here, will be retired, leaving no diesel 35 footers in the Ride On fleet and even fewer buses remaining in the “traditional” blue and white scheme.  In addition, the arrival of the new Gilligs will mark the retirement of Ride On’s last high floor buses, as Ride On’s fleet will be entirely low floor.

Photos of the new Gilligs, which also feature a new unit numbering scheme, will be plentiful in the months and years to come, so enjoy this oldie but goodie while you can!

For more photos of the Ride On 35 foot Orion Vs, please click here.

Transit Bloopers

Last week, I showed a friend of mine a photo posted to a Facebook group of a Ride On bus that was supposedly going to a place called Glennont.  Here is the photo, courtesy of Dave Galp, who originally posted it online:

Good luck finding Glennont on a map of Montgomery County, MD...

Good luck finding Glennont on a map of Montgomery County, MD…

Photo by Dave Galp, used with permission

Did you find the error?  The sign is supposed to say “Glenmont” but the destination was misspelled in a recent update of all the destination sign readings.

At least that one is hard to notice at first glance, I had to look at the photo more than once to realize what was wrong.  The error on the destination sign of this TCAT bus in Ithaca, NY is probably a bit easier to spot:

I took this photo in the fall of 2006 and have yet to figure out how to pronounce the word on that destination sign.

This post is not meant to discredit the hard work of the transit professionals behind the scenes who make sure the overwhelming majority of the signs and brochures that passengers rely upon each day are correct.  However, we are all human and occasionally make mistakes, and in the case of transit employees, those minor misspellings have potentially wide audiences.  So what is the funniest “transit blooper” you’ve seen on a sign or heard in an announcement?  Feel free to share what you’ve seen or heard in the comments (with our without a photo attachment) below!