February 24, 2021

County Ride On Bus Schedule Changes Beginning Sunday, Feb. 28, Will Increase Overall Service and Improve Efficiency 

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will adjust Ride On bus service schedules starting Sunday, Feb. 28, to increase service in areas with growing passenger demand. The changes reflect the continuing shift of resources toward schedule patterns prior to the COVID-19 health crisis. The revisions will increase Ride On and Ride On extRa service to nearly 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels.  

Flash, the unique service which since October has been operating on Colesville Road/ Columbia Pike (US 29) and Lockwood Drive with destinations including Downtown Silver Spring, Four Corners, White Oak, Fairland and Burtonsville, continues to be fully operational. 

The pilot on-demand Flex service in the Rockville and Wheaton/Glenmont areas remains suspended. 

Ride On planners have monitored ridership data and user feedback to identify routes that could achieve more efficiencies with schedule updates. That information led to the 22 routes that will have schedule changes starting Feb. 28.  

Extra buses continue to be stationed at all Metro stations in the County and are ready to deploy to nearby service routes experiencing levels of demand that cannot be met by buses under the standard schedule. In addition, based on new housing developments and community inputs, there are route design changes on five routes. 

The affected routes are:  
  • Route 58 will end at the Lakeforest Transit Center every trip. See Route 61 for service along Watkins Mill Road/Frederick Road. Riders on Route 58 going to the Kaiser Permanente Center will require transfer to Route 61 at Lakeforest Transit Center. 
  • Route 61 will now serve Watkins Mill Road, including the Kaiser Permanente Center, and will continue to the Lakeforest Transit Center along MD355. Riders going to MARC and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office would transfer to Route 78 along Clopper Road. Riders going to locations along Firstfield and Quince Orchard roads would transfer to Route 56 on Clopper Road and Firstfield. 
  • Route 78 will serve the Metropolitan Grove MARC and Maryland MVA with the service change to Route 61 operating along Watkins Mill Road. Mid-day service has been added.  
  • Route 83 will serve the new Black Hill development. The route will serve Crystal Rock Drive and Century Boulevard in a one-way loop travelling to and from the Germantown Transit Center. 
  • Route 36 will no longer serve the stop at the Connelly School of the Holy Child, per the request of the school.  
Routes that will have schedule changes and some improved frequencies include 1, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 20, 26, 34, 36, 43, 46, 48, 49, 54, 55, 58, 59, 61, 74, 78 and 83. 

The new schedule webpage with detailed information can be viewed at montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-transit/routesandschedules/rideonroutes.html.  

All Ride On routes are in operation, but ridership capacity remains limited to support safe distancing between riders where possible. Operational changes implemented by MCDOT during the health crisis 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 on the bus. All buses have a supply of face coverings for riders who cannot provide their own.  

Riders are asked 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. Divider partitions are currently being installed to facilitate front door entry and increased passenger capacity. 

Ride On services remain free to all passengers—a temporary change made during the health crisis. 

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