Skip to main content

Press Releases

Updates on Available Transportation Resources for Adults Over 50 and People with Disabilities During Health Crisis

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has partnered with the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to compile information about transportation resources for adults over 50 and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 health crisis.

MCDOT and DHHS have established a central website with this information and it will be continually updated. It can be found at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/seniors.html

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich supports Governor Larry Hogan’s directive of March 23 asking residents to use transit and travel only for essential purposes. Priority passengers on transit include emergency personnel, front-line health care workers and people whose jobs are critical to the supply chain.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging residents who have symptoms that may indicate possible COVID-19 illness to not take a bus, taxi or ride-sharing service (i.e. Uber, Lyft). Individuals showing symptoms should call their healthcare providers for instructions. Information also is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

Like other regional transportation networks, Montgomery County’s Ride On bus service may continue to have schedule changes as the health crisis evolves. Transit users are urged to confirm in advance that services are operating at desired times.

A summary of County transportation options for adults over 50 and people with disabilities:

Ride On bus service is operating on special weekday and weekend schedules

Ride On bus service is operating on significantly reduced weekday and weekends schedules. Riders should give themselves extra time to get to destinations and should expect delays. Rides are temporarily free during the crisis, but riders must board in the rear of the bus—unless a ramp is needed to board.  

  • Bus interiors are cleaned every night with hospital grade disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems are treated each night with a disinfectant.
  • Some routes are not operating, including the Ride On Flex, Ride On extRa (Route 101) and Routes 11, 28, and 129. For details go to https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/special-plan.html
  • Ride On real time information shows bus locations in real time, but not estimated arrival times or which routes the buses are serving. The maps can be used to see when a bus is approaching a stop. Information is available at https://rideon.app/busmap
  • Call 311 if you have questions about trips that are available.
  • For the most up-to-date service information, riders should follow @RideOnMCTon Twitter, visit Ride On MCT on Facebook, go to com or subscribe to MCDOT news releases.

Metrobus and Metrorail

Metro is limiting service to essential trips through at least March 27. Routes have been scaled back and eliminated in some cases. Go to Metro’s website at www.wmata.com for details. Service is temporarily free during the crisis. Bus riders must board through the rear doors unless a ramp is needed to board.

MetroAccess

MetroAccess is generally a shared ride, door-to-door service for people who cannot typically use public transportation due to a disability. MetroAccess is offering its regular weekday schedule to Metro Access certified customers who have no signs of illness, but is asking riders to only book essential trips.

  • Details on MetroAccess is available by calling 301-562-5360 or going to its website at https://www.wmata.com/service/accessibility/metro-access/
  • Subscription trips are still being placed on the schedule, but through the end of March, riders with subscription trips are asked to call MetroAccess to confirm their need for the trip.
  • Applications for new customers are being reviewed. Some customers may be presumed eligible while others may be given temporary eligibility until it is possible to resume functional assessments.
  • Customers in need of recertification will be given automatic extensions until the end of May.
  • Some MetroAccess trips may be provided by taxi services through the Abilities Ride program. Trips provided through the Abilities-Ride program are free.

Call-n-Ride Discounted Taxi

This program is for low-income adults 65 and over and adults with disabilities. Taxi companies have been instructed to follow Montgomery County DHHS and CDC guidance to lower risk of contamination. Travel can be for any purpose within Montgomery County and certain other areas for medical purposes.

  • Participating companies include Action, Orange and Regency/Barwood.
  • Program participants can schedule trips by calling 301-948-5409.
  • For additional information, including how to apply for program particiaption, call from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Taxi

Taxi services available in the County are:

Escorted Transportation

Escorted transportation is available for essential medical appointments. Eligible individuals are those who require an escort for their entire trip due to a disability. Customers contribute to charges based on individual income levels.

  • Call Connect-A-Ride at 301-738-3252 for information and to apply.

Volunteer transportation

Some organizations supported by volunteers continue to provide rides for vital purposes such as medical appointments and to get groceries.

Medicaid Transportation

Transportation is available for some Medicaid-covered, medically essential appointments when where is no other means of transportation available. Trips continue for dialysis, radiation, chemotherapy, physical therapy, substance use disorder, counseling and other recurring appointments. Trips to non-urgent/essential services will be postponed. The program will only schedule and provide those trips if a clinician calls to request its patient be transported for services. 

  • For information or service, call 240-777-5890.

Connect-A-Ride

Connect-A-Ride provides free information and support about transportation for adults over 50 and adults with disabilities. Connect-A-Ride links callers to public and private transportation services. In addition, it can help with applications for transportation programs and help residents learn how to use public transportation.

  • Information is available at 301-738-3252.

Additional information on transportation options for adults over 50 and people with disabilities is available from the Transportation Network Directory for People with Disabilities and Adults age 50 and over. The information can be found at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/ADS/Transportation/Directory.html

For ongoing updates, follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter or go to the department website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot

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

# # #

Release ID: 20-122
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389