June 10, 2021
Ride On Flex Service to Return to Operations on July 19
Ride On Flex, a unique on-demand transit service that was piloted in 2019 into early 2020, will be returned to operation by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) on Monday, July 19. The service has been suspended due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Flex operates in defined zones in Rockville and Glenmont/Wheaton.
Flex offers transit on demand. The service without a fixed route and without a fixed schedule was the first of its kind in the Washington Metropolitan Region. The Flex fleet of 11 passenger buses provides service within the defined geographical zones at specific times of the day. Riders can request trips from a designated pickup location to a drop off location within the same service zone using the app or the call center.
Curb-to-curb service also is available for those with disabilities. Riders will be given an estimated time for pick up and drop off and will be directed to a nearby point of pickup.
MCDOT’s free fare policy remains in effect at least through September 2021.
“MCDOT innovative transit-on-demand program, Ride On Flex, was very popular during its pilot stage and I am pleased to see it return after being put on hiatus due to the pandemic,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “In Montgomery County, we are ensuring that our public transportation system is efficient, equitable and easy. As we continue to reopen and recover from the pandemic, we are encouraging our residents to continue to keep their cars at home and utilize more sustainable forms of transportation. Ride On Flex helps us better serve our current users and attract new customers.”
Flex will operate in the Rockville zone from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and in the Glenmont/Wheaton zone during peak periods (6-9 a.m. and 3:30-7 p.m.). The zones offer connections between households, transit hubs, commercial centers and public services.
Details about the service zones can be viewed at RideOnFlex.com. While residents cannot book rides until service resumes on July 19, they can download the app from the Apple or Google app stores to familiarize themselves with the interface.
A new feature of the Ride On Flex service this year is the addition of a call center option for booking rides. Riders who choose to use the call center to schedule rides rather than mobile apps can call 240-301-3842.
“Ride On Flex is reshaping the way residents use bus services and was gaining popularity while in operation before March 2020,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. We are happy to be able to restore this innovative service that provides a direct connection between residential neighborhoods, transit centers and other destinations.”
For the safety of Ride On customers and employees, all riders using MCDOT’s public transportation system—including all Ride On buses, the Flash, and Flex—must wear face coverings for the duration of their trips. To further MCDOT’s safety commitments, all buses are equipped with free masks for the use of riders. This supports the Federal masking mandate and MCDOT’s commitment to keep riders and employees safe.
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.