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Bethseda Commuter Solutions

A New Year Means a New Commute!

You know, we at BTS are always telling folks to hit the reset button on their hectic drive-alone commute, but has anyone actually done that? Gotten out of their car to walk from the Metro Station in January?
Yes! Someone has!
Heather Dlhopolsky (pictrured at right in her commuting gear) lives in North Bethesda and works at Linowes and Blocher here in Downtown Bethesda. By the end of last year, she was tired of the traffic, the unexpected delays, the double parkers, and her underutilized Fitbit. So she decided to change all of that. 
Now, Dlhopolsky's door-to-door commute is 30 minutes long. She walks to the Metro, rides two stops, and then walks to her office! Yes, even today when it was 12 degrees. Dlhopolsky says that it's not so bad to walk in the cold, or the rain, or the snow, if you have a plan and commit to it. "You know how long it's going to be, and you get through the walk. Don't overthink it, just get through it." It's not all a game of steeling your nerves against the elements, however. Getting a "good pair of rain boots" helps too!
Since she started taking Metro and walking on her commute, Dlhopolsky reports that she is calmer when she arrives at work and has more "mental space" because she hasn't had to be on high alert for people cutting her off in traffic, for example. Her brain can rest as she walks, and she can increase her step count on her Fitbit too!
The only challenges she has faced were not those thrown down my Mother Nature. "Dealing with vehicular traffic is still an issue because drivers seem surprised to see a pedestrian in the crosswalk!"  

Metro Wants to Hear from You!

Metro wants to hear your thoughts on their proposed budget for next fiscal year. They are considering several initiatives that would being big changes to your commute such as: 
  • Expanding weekday rush hours to provide more frequent service later in the morning and evening from 5:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Extending all Red Line trains to Glenmont during weekday rush hours and weekends instead of ending some trains at Silver Spring.
  • Running all eight-car trains.
Customers may provide feedback online via this survey, in person or by mail through 9 a.m., Monday, February 11, 2019.

Ride On Schedule Changes

Earlier this month, Ride On announced schedule and route changes to several bus lines around Montgomery County, but only one that serves the Bethesda Metro Station.
Ride On Route 32's timetable has been adjusted to more accurately reflect travel time. You can see the new schedule here, and the others that have changed here.

 Could Your Business Benefit?

Did you know that there could be a tax credit that your company isn't taking advantage of called the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit? 
If your company or organization offered a qualified commuter benefit in 2018, you could claim either 50% of the cost of providing the benefit, or $100 per month for each employee taking the benefit! Please note that "offering a commuter benefit" is defined as the business paying "a portion of the cost of travel between the employee's home and the workplace."
Examples of qualified commuter benefits are:
  • The purchase of transit fare cards
  • The employer-paid portion to provide a “Guaranteed Ride Home” program
  • A parking “Cash-Out” program
  • The employer-paid portion of a vanpool service.
If your business or organization provided one of these benefits to employees in 2018, go ahead and claim the credit by filling out "Part M" of Maryland Form 500CR (Maryland Business Income Tax Credits).  Non-Profits can attach a Maryland Form 508CR to their Annual Employer Withholding Reconciliation Return (MW508).
If you have other questions, please contact Susanna Parker at (301) 656-0868 ext. 126.
Bethesda Transportation Solutions
7700 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814
Telephone: 301.656.0868 |

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