Following a July 18 fire on one of the County’s Champion buses, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett directed the Department of General Services to take all remaining Ride On Champion buses out of service -- permanently.
He said, “We are very fortunate that no one was injured [in today’s fire] and there were no passengers on the out-of-service bus. Staff has been working aggressively to find replacement buses for the Champions. A number of the buses have already been replaced.”
With about 30 buses immediately pulled from the bus fleet, Ride On ran a modified holiday schedule for four weekdays. The modified schedule provides about 80 percent of regular weekday service. The Department of General Services expedited preparing replacement buses and were able to put enough back on the road to restore regular weekday service on July 25. Some minor delays continued until July 30, when a full complement of buses was available for service.
Ride On has put in an order to purchase 28 new replacement buses, which should begin arriving in about a year.
Although regretting the disruption to passengers, Leggett said, “The bottom line is -- removing the buses from service was the right thing to do to ensure the safety of the public and our bus drivers.”