Ride On Bus Fleet Out of Service for Fire Concerns

No injuries reported.


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. “

Ben Schumin July 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Good to see these little fireballs on wheels finally get pulled out of service. I think I was calling for that about two or three fires ago.
Tamika Smith July 18, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Hey Ben, do you take the Ride On Bus?
Ben Schumin July 19, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Yes. I ride the 51 between my house and Glenmont Metro most weekdays. Since October 24 of last year, the 51 has been running with the 30' buses, and so a majority of my bus rides in the last eight months have been the Navistar Champion buses. So this issue definitely affects me personally. Since around Christmas or so (whenever two Champion fires ago was), I would make a point to take the seat right next to the door on the Champions if it was available, just in case I needed to get off the bus in a hurry.
Chris Alleyne July 20, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Atleast WMATA is sending about 30 retired 1999 Orion V buses to ride and the timing couldn't be better!
Ben Schumin July 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM
These are former WMATA 30-foot Orion Vs, if not mistaken. So these are high-floor buses, but they are real buses - not more cutaway vans.


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