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Press Releases - Department of Transportation

Montgomery County Details Plans to Reduce Weekday Ride On Bus Service During COVID-19 Emergency Starting on Thursday, March 19

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Ride On bus service will be reduced and Ride On extRa bus service will be temporarily suspended beginning Thursday, March 19, due to the COVID-19 emergency. Plans to change weekday service are currently available. Plans for reduced Saturday-Sunday service are still being finalized.

Beginning on March 19, the Ride On bus system will operate on a Special Service plan. The plan was newly created in response to COVID-19 conditions. Overall, service will be reduced by about half from a regular weekday schedule. MCDOT will make adjustments to service frequency based on individual route demand, availability of staff and equipment and efforts required to maintain appropriate social distancing on buses.

The details MCDOT is currently releasing apply to weekdays only. MCDOT is developing a Saturday and Sunday plan that may differ from Special Service weekdays. A summary description of the Special Service plan by route can be viewed at

During the emergency, all Ride On services will be temporarily free to all passengers.

Because of the reduced service, MCDOT asks residents to limit travel on buses when possible to enable priority for people with essential travel needs. It also advises those who need to use buses during the emergency to allow for extra travel time if you must.

Important aspects of the Weekday Special Service plan include:

  • Routes 11, 28, 101 (Ride On extRa), 129 and Flex will not operate. Each of the coverage areas of these routes have alternate coverage by other routes that will continue to be provided by Ride On or Metrobus.
  • Daily start and end of service times will closely match a regular weekday schedule.
  • Buses will arrive at scheduled stops significantly less often than on a regular weekday schedule.
  • Real time bus information will not be available. Mobile app information will not be a reliable source of information. MCDOT is working on developing alternative ways to provide reliable real time information.
  • Ride On will be operating the L8 and T2 normally operated by Metrobus on weekdays.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Shopping and Recreation Program transportation trips will not be provided. DHHS staff is reaching out to users of this service to assist in finding alternative resources.
  • The Purple Line detour is still in effect.

During the emergency, MCDOT has implemented a procedural change for riders. Passengers are now required to board at the rear door of the bus. Passengers can board through the front doors if a ramp is needed to accommodate a disability or stroller.

Bus interiors will continue to be cleaned by the County’s Department of General Services on a nightly basis with hospital grade disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems are also treated each night with a disinfectant.

For the most up-to-date service information, riders should follow @RideOnMCT on Twitter, visit Ride On MCT on Facebook, go to or subscribe to MCDOT news releases.

For the latest updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD

Release ID: 20-058
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389

All MCDOT News Releases