The Ride On Champion Bus fleet was permanently taken out of service Wednesday.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) directed the General Service Department to pull the remaning buses in the fleet out of service after a Ride On Champion bus caught on fire for unknown reasons.
“We are very fortunate that no one was injured in today’s fire and there were no passengers on the out-of-service bus,” Leggett said.
Within in the past three years, the fleet has had about six incidents prompting an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A grievance filed by the county employees union also points to safety issues with the bus fleet and have pushed to keep the buses out of service until the defects are repaired.
Leggett says numerous buses have been replaced and that by the end of August the remaining replaced buses will be in service.
It’s unclear what options will be available to Ride On commuters, but Leggett says, the “Ride On staff will work closely with the Department of General Services to address issues that may result from pulling the remaining Champions out of service. “