MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The #transitchallenge has been accepted by five members of the Montgomery County Council. The goal of the challenge is to encourage those in Montgomery County to use alternative forms of transportation other than cars. Those five members are Evan Glass, Andrew Friedson, Hans Riemer, Will Jawando and Gabe Albornoz.
You might see county residents this week take transit for #transitchallenge by hoping on a bus, riding a bike, catching the metro, and even walking.
Phil Demanchick, who prefers transit transportation, says it beats driving. “It’s easier, less congestion,” says Demanchick, “you don’t have to deal with traffic, you can zone out and listen to music and not have to pay attention to anything which is pretty nice.”
Gabe Albornoz, a member of the Montgomery County Council, has been taking transit all week. WDVM followed him as he rode the train to his event. He said since taking public transportation (he did it long ago before he was married) it has opened his eyes. “(It’s) interesting, and also very helpful to see where there are holes in the system,” comments Albornoz, “reliability is so important people rely on it to get to work on time.”
Councilmember Will Jawando said he came from a low economic background, so taking transit wasn’t new to him, but with his new work schedule it really made an impact on him. “Get on the ride on bus, transfer and then walk again another ten minutes,”said Jawando, “it’s showing depending on where you are how less accessible it can be.”
Some people I spoke with shared that the #transitchallenge isn’t a week thing. Taking the transit is the only choice they have so the #transitchallenge is actually what their life looks like. Will, who did not want to give out his full name says he takes the train because he has to. “If I was driving I would pay the cost of gasoline,” discloses Will, “wear and tear on my car, the time on the roads…” He shook his head as he spoke, “The transit is more cost effective.”
No matter where you stand on taking a car or transit, both Jawando and Albornoz agreed that the transit system needs improvement. They believe that more funding needs to go into transit and Albornoz says that can start with growing the economy locally.