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Garth Burleyson Wins Prize,
Guessed Opening Date of Transit Center

Press release issued September 20, 2015

Garth Burleyson of Colesville, MD is the winner of the 2013 contest to guess of the opening date of the Silver Spring Transit Center. In a ceremony at 11:30 this morning at 8407 Kitchen Bar overlooking the transit center, Action Committee for Transit president Nick Brand presents him with a certificate for dinner for two at the critically acclaimed restaurant.

The 88-year-old Burleyson remembers seeing interurban streetcars arriving from Baltimore at 11th St and New York Avenue NW in the District, and he has been waiting since 1986 for the Purple Line to bring light rail back to the region. “At least one wait is over,” he said, “but we need to get cracking on the Purple Line and keep going after that.”

“At least now,” he added, “we'll be able to transfer quickly from the bus to Metro in Silver Spring. And the buses won't have to make long loops through downtown streets.”

Burleyson's guess of October 26, 2015 came closer than any other contest entrant. He picked the date of October 26 because that is the day he was drafted into the army in 1945.

The contest was sponsored by the Action Committee for Transit because the group had been pushing for better bus and train connections in Silver Spring since 1996. By the time construction finally began in 2008, initial plans for a building that would “honor transit” with stores and waiting rooms were scaled back to the bare concrete structure we see today.

“The unconscionable delays on this project should be a wake-up call to Montgomery County,” commented Ronit Dancis, ACT vice president. “The county government needs to give transit the priority it deserves and make clear that mismanagement will not be tolerated.”