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Press Releases - Department of Transportation

MCDOT to Further Expand Ride On Bus ‘Essential Plus’ Service Starting Sunday, July 5, to Support Reopening Activity in the County

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will expand Ride On bus service starting Sunday, July 5, to support County Executive Marc Elrich’s Phase 2 reopening plan as the COVID-19 health crisis eases. Changes beginning this weekend include activating additional buses to provide more trips on about half of the routes in service. Changes are being made in response to increased demand, current traffic conditions and to reincorporate some “diversion” stops that had been temporarily removed from service.

The expanded “Essential Plus” plan starting July 5 will maintain the same 53 weekday routes, 49 Saturday routes and 42 Sunday routes that have been in service since June 7.

Service hours and bus frequency will be changed on weekdays and weekends, and riders are encouraged to visit the Essential Plus webpage for detailed information at

Routes currently in service were selected to maximize the geographical coverage of Ride On using the resources available. Service had been reduced during the health crisis as MCDOT implemented an “Essential Services” plan.

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.

For the most up-to-date service information, riders should follow @RideOnMCT on Twitter, @RideOnMCT on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. In addition, information is available at, by subscribing to receive email alerts or text MONTGOMERY RIDEON to 468311.

For other local transportation information, follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter, visit MCDOT’s transportation resource page for COVID-19subscribe to MCDOT news releases or subscribe to MCDOT’s Go Montgomery! biweekly newsletter.

Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census  #EveryoneCountsMCMD

Release ID: 20-132
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389

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