Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Getting Around Silver Spring - Options Abound!

This 'guest' posting comes from
Sandra L. Brecher
Chief, Commuter Services Section
Div. of Transit Services, MCDOT
101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor
RockvilleMD   20850
(240) 777-8383

GETTING AROUND SILVER SPRING - OPTIONS ABOUND!

1.  Transit:  Downtown Silver Spring is a major transportation hub.  There is a wide variety of transportation options to enable non-driving access.  In addition to Metrorail, nearly 40 different Metrobus and Ride On routes converge downtown, plus two MTA Commuter Bus routes operated by the State. We very actively promote the use of these transit options for people traveling into the downtown area which, in turn, helps to free up parking for those who do not use these options.  An overview and links to more information are available at our website:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/commuter/pubtrans/index.html.  Let us know if you would like further information on any of these services. 

2.  VanGo Circulator:  The free VanGo shuttle offers convenient transportation from 7 am to 7 pm and circulates continuously throughout the downtown area during weekdays. The VanGo augments our outreach efforts by providing a convenient way for residents and employees to get around town for dining, shopping and other errands, and offering an incentive to take transit instead of driving. This too helps to free up parking by providing those who live or work downtown the option of leaving their cars at home.  Here is a copy of the route map and schedule:  http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/DOT/transit/pdffiles/route_028.pdf

3.  Carsharing:  People who usually use transit or other non-auto modes to get around, but want to use an auto if they need one for a trip best served that way, can use carshare – e.g., Zipcar http://www.zipcar.com/dc/find-cars or Hertz on Demand  http://www.hertz247.com/Washington/en-US/Home .  There are several carshare vehicles parked in convenient locations around downtown Silver Spring.  This might be a good option for you to consider for those grocery trips you mentioned in your email.  More information on carsharing is available on our website:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-transit/commuter/carshare/index.html

4.  Bikesharing & Personal bikes:  Capital Bikeshare is a short-term bike rental program available to the public.  Montgomery County has provided a number of CaBi bikeshare stations around downtown Silver Spring, as well as in many other locations around the County.  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bikeshare/
We are also working to improve the biking infrastructure in and around downtown Silver Spring, with a number of bike trails available in that area.  Bikesharing – or a personal bike – can be used for short errands and point to point transportation, and could be a good solution for your transportation needs, especially since bikes are easily parked.  Here is a link to a map of bikeways in downtown Silver Spring:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-transit/resources/files/ssbikemap.pdf.  You can also contact us for paper copies of bike maps.
For more information on biking in the County and many other links please visit our website:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/commuter/bikewalk/index.html

5.  Taxis:  Taxicabs are an integral component of the transportation infrastructure in downtown areas such as Silver Spring.  For trips best made by car when you don’t want to worry about parking, need door-to-door service, or when the weather is inclement, taxis provide a valuable service.  There are a number of taxicab companies operating in downtown Silver Spring.  You can hail a taxi on the street, or go to a taxi stand such as the one located along Ramsey Avenue or at hotels and other locations.  Here is more information on taxis in Montgomery County, including a list of phone numbers:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/taxi_reg/taxi_user.html

6.  Pedestrian Safety Audits & Improvements:  The County, together with the State and other interested parties, has conducted several major safety audits targeted at providing safer conditions for pedestrians in downtown Silver Spring. Among the improvements resulting from these audits are more visible crosswalks, better driver advisory signs, pedestrian crosswalk timing improvements, and better enforcement.  For more information go to:  http://montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-PedSafety/prsa/home.html

7.  Transportation Management District efforts:  Downtown Silver Spring is designated as a Transportation Management District (TMD).  Commuter Services works with the business and residential communities in the TMD, conducting outreach to inform them about transportation alternatives and providing programs and services to promote use of those options.  We also coordinate with a variety of other public and private entities to increase transportation capacity and make transit and other alternatives to solo driving easier and more pleasant to use.  For more information see:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-transit/commuter/tmd/index.html#DSS

8.  TRiPS Commuter Stores:  Personalized assistance for all your transportation needs is available at our TRiPS Commuter Stores, one of which is located in downtown Silver Spring.  Residents, commuters, and visitors to our area find the friendly services available at the store helpful in answering transportation questions.  The store also sells and re-loads value on SmarTrip cards, provides transit timetables, and has many other types of information available about ways to get around, events in downtown Silver Spring, and destinations throughout the County.  Visit us at 8413 Ramsey Avenue (corner of Wayne & Ramsey) or call (240) 773-TRiPS (8747), Option 1.  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-transit/commuter/trips/index.html.

9.  County Parking Facilities:  Finally, for those times when it is necessary to drive and park in downtown Silver Spring, there are over 11,000 parking spaces available in downtown Silver Spring.  The County provides 17 different parking facilities -- here is a link to help you find them:  http://www.silverspringdowntown.com/transportation/parking
In addition to these County-provided parking facilities, there are a number of privately-owned parking facilities open to the public.

We genuinely appreciate hearing from residents and welcome the opportunity to work with them to resolve issues. For further information about non-driving options for your particular needs, or about the Silver Spring TMD and efforts to address traffic congestion, please call our TRiPS store at (240) 773-TRiPS (8747), Option 1, or visit our web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/commute.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No mention of Uber or other ridesharing services?

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