Pump Pain: What We See and What We Don’t

If you get a lump in your throat and a pit in your stomach every time you visit a gas station these days, you’re in good company.

The eyeball-popping ka-ching of the pump as we fill our tanks and empty our wallets has made those stops both very expensive and very stressful.

The practical remedy: drive less. Do anything you can to leave your vehicle parked each day. Use a combination of alternatives to fight back.

Transit: Thanks to Montgomery County Ride On bus service, MetroRail and MetroBus, plus hyperlocal systems like the Bethesda Circulator, going car-less in this region is easy and affordable.

Sharing the ride with one other person enables both of you to cut your gas bill in half. Share it with three or four — well, you can do the math. And if your commute is 20 miles or more, consider vanpooling. Bethesda carpoolers also benefit from reduced parking fees in Montgomery County parking garages. With free computerized ridematching assistance from Commuter Connections, BTS can help you find or form a carpool or vanpool. If interested, please call BTS Customer Service Representative Allison Kemp at 301-656-0868 ext. 121, or email AKemp@bethesda.org.

Bike/Walk: Our last couple of newsletters included a lot of cycling info (thanks to Bike to Work Day in May), but please reach out with specific questions. And this is a great time to pull on a pair of walking shoes, pick up that pedometer, and get in step for our annual Walk & Ride Challenge. It’s not for a couple more months, but starting now will help you immediately save gas money — while paying health dividends.

Telework: The pandemic turned many people into masters of remote work. If your employer still makes telework an option, the financial advantages of having no commute are obvious. (And if your employer doesn’t have a telework program, we’d be happy to assist in setting one up.)

Invisible Costs

There’s another good reason to consider commute alternatives: reducing health risks from poor air quality. Ground level ozone reaches a maximum in this region from June through August, because summer’s heat interacts with certain air pollutants to form invisible-but-harmful ground-level ozone. It’s bad for your lungs, and has other nasty effects.

Driving less reduces air pollution. It’s a benefit that’s a lot harder to see than the dollars on a gas pump. But pollution can be even more damaging to our well-being.

Stay Aware of Your Air: You can get free daily email alerts from
EnviroFlash, a service of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with state agencies. And you can see real-time air quality conditions via the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Parking Garage Changes on MCDOT website

Woodmont Garage Change On Aug. 1

On August 1, the Woodmont Corner Garage (also known as Garage 11) will not be available for public parking Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. These parking changes take effect August 1, 2022.

Garage 11 will be open to the public after 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus all day on Saturdays, Sundays, and County holidays. Payment will be required 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday at the established hourly rate. Overnight parking will be permitted with exit before 7 a.m. Pay by Plate meter stations and Pay by Cell services in Garage 11 will be limited to these hours.

Nearby Alternatives: The County determined that downtown Bethesda’s 8,000 spaces in nine garages, nine surface lots, and on-street spots, offer sufficient parking supply to accommodate everyone. The public facilities nearest Garage 11 include:

Metropolitan Garage 49

Cheltenham Garage 42

Auburn – Del Ray Garage 36

BTS Advisory Committee Update

Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS) is truly a team effort. Our staff works hard, but we couldn’t accomplish all that we do without the help of our Advisory Committee members. They volunteer their time to attend meetings and lend a hand with events.

The Advisory Committee represents all the key constituencies that comprise downtown Bethesda, including small businesses, employers and residents.

Please join us in thanking all our Advisory Committee members for their service:

The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, represented by:

Meagan Sexton (Edward Jones Investments)
Michael Catudal (Capital Business Collective)
Carla Young (Greater Bethesda Chamber Staff)


Steven Teitelbaum
Kathleen F. Krause

Employers, represented by:

Sal Attanasio (Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell)
Deirdre Robinson (The Donohoe Companies)
Amanda Smith (Bainum Family Foundation)

Kudos & Farewell: A special thank you to outgoing members Matthew Keadle and Danielle Tenney, who have both served for three years. Matt is moving out of Bethesda. His outstanding leadership and dedication to the BTS mission will be missed. Danielle is also moving and we appreciate her service as a downtown Bethesda condo owner.

Interested? If you’d like to explore serving on the Advisory Committee, please call BTS Director Kristen Blackmon at 301-656-0868 ext. 119, or email KBlackmon@bethesda.org.

Ride On News
Fares will be $1 Starting August 1. Details are here.
Take Ride On to early voting centers. Details are here.

Metro News
Metro announces more affordable unlimited passes. Details are here.

Commuter Connections Employer Awards Winners Announced
Details are here.

www.bethesdatransit.org |  (301) 656-0868
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