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Montgomery County to Expand Ride On Bus to ‘Essential Plus’ Service on Sunday, June 7, to Support County Executive Elrich’s Phase I Efforts to Reopen County

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will expand Ride On bus service starting Sunday, June 7, to support County Executive Marc Elrich’s Phase I plan to reopen the County as the COVID-19 health crisis eases. In addition, the Bethesda Circulator and Silver Spring Van Go (Route 28) bus services will resume on Monday, June 8, to help economic recovery in the Bethesda and Silver Spring urban districts.

The routes being added back into service were selected to maximize the geographical coverage of Ride On using the resources currently available. Service was reduced during the health crisis as MCDOT implemented an “Essential Services” plan.

The “Essential Plus” plan starting June 7 will have Ride On operating 53 weekday routes, 49 Saturday routes and 42 Sunday routes. The additional services significantly expand upon the 36 routes that operated seven days a week during the Essential Services plan.

Service hours and bus frequency will continue to be provided on a reduced basis, and riders are encouraged to visit the Essential Plus webpage for detailed information at

No bus routes will initiate service runs after midnight.

Reestablishment of Routes 2, 9, 14 and 28 will include a return to service inside the Silver Spring Transit Center for the first time since December. The transit center has reopened after being closed for Purple Line construction disruptions.

“I am pleased to announce that we are increasing bus service to serve more people and reach more areas of the County as we do our best to support reopening efforts during Phase I,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “I also want to acknowledge the commitment of our operators and fleet maintenance workers who are an important part of our essential workforce. Ride On will continue to work to maximize service for our riders and support economic and community recovery.”

Operational changes implemented by MCDOT during the health emergency for riders boarding buses will remain in place. All passengers are required to wear a face covering to board and must continue wearing the covering for the entire time riding on a bus. Riders are asked to make best efforts to maintain maximum physical distance between themselves and other riders who are not from the same household. Passengers generally must board at the rear door of the bus, but can board through the front door if a ramp is needed to accommodate a disability or stroller.

During the Essential Plus plan, all Ride On services will remain free to all passengers—a temporary change made during the health crisis. Flex bus on-demand transit, a pilot program implemented in 2019 in the Rockville and Glenmont-Wheaton areas, remains suspended.

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 also are treated each night with a disinfectant.

MCDOT is seeking feedback from Ride On users about service during the health crisis. To participate, go to:

For the most up-to-date service information, riders should follow @RideOnMCT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, In addition, information is available at or by subscribing 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: 20-289
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389