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Office of Energy and SustainabilitySuperior government service with the smallest possible environmental footprint

Transportation

Goal:
Reduce petroleum fuel consumption by 20% by 2020.
Progress:
From 2014 to 2018, reduced petroleum consumption by 3.5%.

About

Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the County after buildings. The Division of Fleet Management Services has a comprehensive Green Fleet Strategy that combines sound management, fleet rightsizing, alternative fuels, and innovative technology to achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2014 levels by 2030 and a 20% reduction in petroleum consumption by 2020. Between FY2014 and FY2018, Green Fleet efforts have reduced petroleum consumption by 190,160 gallons, an 3.5% reduction.

Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT) is committed to designing roads, parking garages, and public transit to support a sustainable and resilient County. Learn more by reading DOT’s Sustainability Policy.

Innovation

Technology and driver training improves performance, reduces miles traveled and minimizes idling time. The County analyzes vehicle operating data using telematics – a combination of GPS devices, mapping software, real-time vehicle data, and connected mobile devices to optimize routes in response to road conditions, minimize idling, and empower drivers to see important connections between driving choices and environmental impact.

Matching the best type of vehicle for each job maximizes fuel efficiency. DGS maintains an SUV inventory which includes the type of work currently performed with the vehicles and makes recommendations for a more fuel-efficient replacement where appropriate. Fleet currently has 39 battery electric vehicles and 193 hybrid vehicles and has installed idle reduction technology on 57 vehicles.

Telework and Employee Engagement

The County encourages employees to use public transit, ride-sharing, bike commuting, and telework to reduce vehicle miles traveled and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Commuter benefits to employees include free Ride On bus use, reduced cost of membership for bikesharing, and subsidized public transit and van-pooling for eligible employees. There are more than 300 employees currently participating in a telework program that keeps cars off the road. Flexible work schedules also allow employees to work full time while eliminating several commuting days each month.

Electric Vehicles

The County currently has 39 electric vehicles and 193 hybrid vehicles. Fleet operates charging stations at 12 facilities throughout the County with 4 stations open for public use. The Department of Transportation has made electric vehicle charging available at County-owned public parking facilities in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton. Currently, there are a total of 16 charging stations at 14 County-operated public parking facilities each with 2 charging ports. Maps are available to help you locate public EV charging stations.

Public Transportation

Nearly a third of the County’s more than 300 Ride On buses are fueled by clean compressed natural gas. An additional 17.5% of the County’s buses are diesel hybrid electric. In September 2017, the County secured a $1.75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase 4 electric buses and charging stations. The all-electric, zero-emission buses will run all day on a single charge. The County is pursuing additional grants for electric buses and charges. In addition, DOT encourages a combination of biking and public transit by installing bike racks on all Ride On buses.

Starting in October 2017, the County began offering Ride On extRa service on Rte. 355, which provides a faster option for bus riders during rush hours. The fare is the same as normal service routes. Initial ridership has exceeded the projected figure of 1,600 riders per day. The County is also planning for a Bus Rapid Transit System that will operate along U.S. 29 as a high quality, environmentally- friendly transit alternative to commuters.

Bicycle Commuting

Montgomery County is committed to bikeable, walkable, and transit-oriented communities. In 2017, The DOT constructed separated bike lanes on both sides of Nebel Street between Randolph Road and Marinelli Road. Bike lanes were also constructed in downtown Silver Spring from Spring Street and 2nd Avenue to Cedar Street and Wayne Avenue. DOT is planning the addition of several more bike lanes in Bethesda and Silver Spring in 2019 and 2020.

The County has partnered with Capital Bike Share to install more than 83 bikeshare stations near major facilities and urban areas, benefiting both employees and the public. The County is also piloting dockless bikeshare options in Silver Spring. Dockless bikeshare allows customers to use a mobile phone app to locate a bike and does not rely on fixed bike stations. Additionally, 80% of Montgomery County parking garages have bike racks with a total of 85 bike racks and capacity to secure 170 bikes.

Bike Paths and Trails

DOT was awarded a grant for the ongoing Needwood Road Bike Path project in 2017, providing pedestrian and bicycle access from the Intercounty Connector trail to the Rock Creek Regional Trail. The completed section includes an 8-foot-wide shared use path approximately 3,400 feet long. Phase 2 of the project will extend to Colonel Zadok Magruder High School and provide a shared use path of 9,000 feet providing bicycle access to Shady Grove metro.

A 6-mile bike trail connecting South Germantown Recreation Park and Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park known as Pepco Trail was made possible by a partnership with Montgomery County and Exelon Corporation. As part of Pepco’s merger with Exelon, the company was required to allow trails to be built along utility lines in the County. The trail opened in October 2018.

Smart Parking

Montgomery County is using new technology in some of our most popular public parking garages to guide drivers to available spaces, saving driving time and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, nearly 2,360 solar powered smart meters for on-street parking have been installed in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton. The County is further reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by replacing lighting in public garages and lots with energy efficient LED lights.

What You Can Do

Did you know that you can get a guaranteed ride home if you commute by public transit, carpooling, or bicycle at least twice a week? Also, eligible low-income County residents and employees can get a free Capital Bikeshare membership. Employers can encourage employees to participate in the Walk and Ride Challenge each fall, earning prizes while they start new healthy habits Learn more about other options and incentives for public transit, ridesharing, bikesharing, and electric vehicles by visiting www.mygreenmontgomery.org.

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