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Marylou Berg, Communication Manager, 240-314-8105
Ribbon-Cutting Officially Begins Shuttle Service in Rockville Town Square
Rockville, Md., April 14, 2009 - A ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the 'Round Rockville shuttles that will operate through Rockville's downtown will take place at noon Saturday, April 18, in Town Square. The ceremony will feature the official unveiling of one of the new buses and an address by Mayor Susan R. Hoffmann.
The Town Square shuttles are Montgomery County Ride On buses painted with a City of Rockville design. Although the buses will serve Town Square, with stops on Maryland Avenue and Gibbs Street between E. Middle Lane and Beall Avenue, the shuttle service is part of the existing Ride On Route 45 that serves Twinbrook Metro Station, Twinbrook Parkway, Baltimore Road, Rockville Metro Station, Route 355, College Parkway, Nelson Street, Hurley Avenue, Wootton Parkway, Shady Grove Road and Fallsgrove, including the transit center there. For a map of Route 45, go to www.rockvillemd.gov/towncenter/index.html.
"The shuttles will go through the heart of the Town Center and provide access to residents and visitors from points near the City limits," said Emad Elshafei, chief of Rockville's Traffic and Transportation Division.
City leaders first discussed the idea for shuttle service in spring 2005, less than a year after construction began on Rockville's new downtown. Through a series of meetings and discussions with Montgomery County, an agreement was reached where the county would operate and maintain six buses that would be branded specifically as Town Center shuttles. Five of the buses will operate regularly with stops 20-30 minutes apart in Town Square and one bus will serve as a back up.
A federal grant for $971,779 from the Federal Transit Authority was awarded to Rockville in summer 2007 and issued through the Maryland Transportation Authority. The City of Rockville paid a 20 percent match - $242,945 - to acquire the six buses.
"The project is in line with the Mayor and Council vision in several ways," Elshafei said. "The buses are environmentally-friendly clean diesel shuttles, and with the unique Rockville design of the shuttles, this project contributes to the City branding campaign to attract the public to Rockville."