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Montgomery County Announces Ride On Bus Weekend Service Changes Starting March 21-22 and Discourages Non-Essential Travel

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 20, 2020

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will implement a reduced schedule, special service plan for Ride On buses on Saturdays and Sundays. The schedule starts March 21-22 and follows a directive of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to reduce public contact during the COVID-19 health crisis. It is part of an overall request by MCDOT for residents to refrain from all types of non-essential travel.

“To maximize transit availability for our medical providers, first responders and workers who are critical to the crisis effort, we continue to ask residents to refrain from all forms of travel,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Ride On bus service is already operating on a reduced weekday schedule—with further reduced ridership capacity—in order to allow for social distancing. Those who need service should know it will be available.”

Ride On bus operators will not be asking for proof of need for travel. However, if buses have high passenger loads, it may become necessary to leave passengers behind in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Those who must rely upon bus trips are reminded that buses are operating on a heavily reduced, special Saturday and Sunday schedules. Depending upon future changes during the health crisis, the Ride On schedules could again change.

Details for each Ride On route for Saturday and Sunday Special Service plans can be viewed at:  https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/special-plan.html

Important aspects of the Saturday and Sunday Special Service plans that differ from standard weekend service:

  • Use the link above to view detailed schedule and route changes for each route.
  • Route 28 does not operate on Saturday, but detailed schedule changes suggest alternate coverage by other routes.
  • All regular Sunday routes will be in service, but check for reduced service levels.
  • Daily start and end of service times will closely match a regular weekend schedule.
  • Buses will arrive at scheduled stops significantly less often than on a regular weekend schedule.
  • Real time bus information will not be available. Mobile app information will not be a reliable source of information. MCDOT is working on a solution to better distribute updated information on services and bus locations.
  • Ride On will be operating the L8 and T2.
  • The Purple Line Detour is still in effect.
  • Route 301 will not serve Glenstone Museum.

MCDOT will continue to 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 best way to keep passengers safe during their essential travel is for residents to limit non-essential trips.

During the health crisis, all Ride On services will be temporarily free to all passengers. In addition, 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 RideOnBus.com 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.

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Release ID: 20-108
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389