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.
If this website had a tagline, it would have to address the fact that I have a never ending photo queue and a whole host of things I’d love to share here on the Travelogue if I had unlimited time to do so. The reality is that while running this website is a labor of love, it is a hobby, and real life has to take priority at times. Among the many reasons I’ve been posting less is that the Oren’s Transit Page has expanded to include “Mrs. Oren’s Transit Page.” While she is quite supportive of my hobby and even enjoys coming with me on my railfan excursions on occasion, I’d like to think that she appreciates the fact that I assisted with wedding planning and then showed up at the (transit accessible) wedding itself. However, over the course of wedding planning, I’ve still had plenty of chances to snap photos of transit and in the past few days, finally had a chance to organize and caption many of those photos. In fact, over 75 photos were added to various sections of the website in this update.
This update includes photos of several things that had not, to date, appeared on my website before now.
It didn’t get its own post aside from the October Photo of the Month, and it took me over 12 months from the time it opened until I actually rode it, but the are now photos of and a page dedicated to the DC Streetcar. If that isn’t new enough for you, my first photos of the WMATA New Flyer XN40s that entered service in 2016 are now online as well. I rode these vehicles for the first time back in July. If you want to feast your eyes on an even more recent addition to the DC area transit scene, Ride On Extra started one month ago and there are new photos of the BRT styled buses dedicated to this service on the Ride On 40 Foot Gillig Advantage Buses page.
As always, I make my perpetual promise to feature some of my favorite photos and the stories behind them in “The Viewfinder” in the near future. I hope to be able to follow through on that promise soon. In the meantime, enjoy the new additions and I hope to share other photos from my queue of uncaptioned photos in the near future.
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.
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…
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!
Over the course of redesigning Oren’s Transit Page, I was also continuing to travel, take photos, and add them in to the queue to be included in the redesigned website once it launched. Now that the redesigned website is here, keep reading to find out what new material was added in conjunction with the redesign. This isn’t an exhaustive list but rather just the “highlights”, there is plenty of new content scattered around the whole site.
NABI 60-BRT 9574 on Main Street at Aliso Street Los Angeles, CA July 11, 2014
Starting off in the United States, I traveled to a number of places for the first time in my life in 2014. I made a Midwest swing in May 2014 that resulted in the creation of sections for Minneapolis-St. Paul (just prior to the Green Line opening) and Kansas City. After that, in July 2014, I did some long distance Amtrak travel (with some flights in between) and visited Los Angeles and San Diego for the first time. Also on this trip were stops in Denver (in time for the soft reopening of Denver’s Union Station), Chicago, and San Francisco. I had passed through Denver before but I had never used or photographed its mass transit prior to that summer. The stops in Chicago and San Francisco were my first in each city since 2007 and were quite brief, but there are new photos in those sections as well, including my first photos of the CTA 5000 Series cars.
I last traveled to Philadelphia in 2012 and was able to get a last round of Silverliner II and Silverliner III photos, in addition to my first Silverliner V photos. I made two trips to Boston, one in 2011 and the other in 2013. On the 2011 trip, I rode the southern end of the Orange Line for the first time, and both trips included a number of trips on the Green Line and Red Line. I also was able to get photos from along the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line right of way and of various MBTA buses, including the trackless trolleys, in Cambridge. Finally, for the first time since Oren’s Transit Page’s initial launch over 15 years ago, there are new photos in the Atlanta section.
There are also new photos from New York City, but due to the immense size of that section, it was decided to leave it “as is” in the old format and add the new photos to the Uncaptioned Photos gallery for now. The New York section will be updated with the new design as soon as possible.
North of the border, there is a new section for photos from Niagara Falls, Ontario. My only trip to South America to date was in 2010 so there isn’t anything new in the Brazil and Argentina sections (while Buenos Aires is on my bucket list, I haven’t found the occasion to get myself down there just yet).
Crossing the ocean to Europe, I visited both Hungary and Portugal for the first time. My stop in Budapest was a layover between flights in 2011 that was measured in hours rather than days, but it was enough time to photograph some of the city’s trams, buses, and trolleybuses and whet my appetite for another trip there that will be longer 13 hours. I spent almost a full week in Lisbon, a city that shares many similarities to San Francisco including the fact that its trams are a tourist attraction in and of themselves, and visited continental Europe’s westernmost bus stop for good measure.
Bombardier Flexity Outlook “Cityrunner” 3069 at Place Royale Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2013
In 2008, I unexpectedly found myself with 90 minutes in Brussels due to a missed train connection, which was just enough time to get some transit photos before the next train to my destination came. In 2013, I was in Brussels yet again, this time for a full 8 hours between flights, so that section has seen some additional expansion including a new gallery for photos of the Belgian National Railway.
Finally, in the Middle East, the Israel section has expanded further and to my knowledge, Oren’s Transit Page’s Israel section is the largest of its kind on any English language website. The Jerusalem Light Rail opened to passengers just after I began the long process of overhauling the website, so many photos of revenue service along the length of the entire line are now included on the site. The Metronit bus rapid transit system in the Haifa region opened in 2014, and there are also photos of that. In addition, there are many new photos of the many bus operators that operate throughout the entire length of the country.
I hope you enjoy exploring the site, whether you choose to browse the new sections, old sections, or a mix of both! And if you have a favorite section, let everyone know what it is in the comment section below!