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WTOP Report: Ride On Buses Idle Too Much, Pollute Neighborhood

A depot for county buses in Silver Spring is irksome to some neighbors and may be violating the county's own rules.

The constant hum of Ride On buses idling—powered on, but not driving anywhere—is just plain annoying to some of the Silver Spring residents who live near the county's vehicle depot, a special report from WTOP claims.

Furthermore, the buses may be idling too often and for too long, in violation of the county's own rules about minimizing bus idling that may emit noxious fumes. County rules say buses shouldn't be left on for more than three minutes. 

A reporter with WTOP took video and observed the buses routinely being left on for longer than the mandated time limit. 

(Watch the video, here.) 

Montgomery County officials responded to the report Thursday with a statement claiming that the buses have to be turned on for any number of maintenance and rider comfort issues: "to conduct federally mandated safety checks, to heat them or cool them for passengers and to move them around the lot for maintenance," the statement reads. 

An organization that monitors local air quality, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, told the radio station that idling is bad for the environment, potentially releasing "nitrogen oxides and fine particulates" into the air.

The organization has launched a campaign urging owers of truck and bus fleets to limit the practice. 

Read WTOP's report here

What do you think? Is bus idleing an issue for Ride On buses? Have you seen buses sit for more than three minutes? 

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