Another Ride On Bus Fire in Montgomery County

Union wants buses off the road

Another Ride On bus fire is under investigation in Montgomery County, Md.

No one was onboard and the driver was not hurt Tuesday morning during the bus fire in the Glenmont area, which started in the engine. That was the sixth fire in about three years on the 29-foot and 30-foot buses, and some drivers fear for their safety.

The Ride On drivers and mechanics union said drivers are anxious and wondering whether they should get behind the wheel. Union President Gino Renne said the county should keep the buses parked. He plans to ask the federal government to intervene.

“Some say they pay more attention now than they normally would when they’re on the bus,” said Nelvin Ransome, a Ride On driver for 20 years. “Any little smell or anything, they check it out.”

The first five fires happened on buses manufactured by a different company that ran on diesel. Tuesday’s bus ran on gas. The county said that makes Tuesday’s fire different, but the union disagrees.

“A bus that catches on fire, regardless of the fuel source, is not different,” Renne said.

The causes have ranged from circuit breaker issues to brake problems.

“The county is vigorously investigating this morning’s bus fire and will take appropriate action once the cause of the fire is determined,” Montgomery County Public Information Officer Esther Bowring said.

The county plans to replace the buses within 18 months.

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