After 28 months of temporarily suspending fare collection due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation's (MCDOTs) Ride On bus system will resume fare collection on Monday, Aug. 1, on all services, including Ride On, Ride On extRa, Flex, and Flash. Fares will continue to be free throughout July. The new fare will be set at $1.
The one-way pre-pandemic fare was $2 per ride. Monthly passes, which were $45 per rider prior to the health crisis, will be $22.50 starting Aug. 1. The new fares were supported by County Executive Marc Elrich and approved by the County Council in May.
County bus fares will be free for seniors (age 65 and older), persons with disabilities and youth under 19 (older if still in high school). Specialized SmartTrip cards are needed and can be obtained through the MCDOT Mobile Commuter Store, Silver Spring TRiPS Commuter Store, any County library or the Montgomery County Division of Treasury in Rockville. Students can also obtain their specialized ‘Youth Cruiser’ card through their school.
For riders transferring from a Metro train or bus, the Ride On Fare will be free. Ride On passengers transferring to a Metro bus will have to pay the $1 difference in fare.
The new rates were recommended in a “Fare Equity Study” conducted by MCDOT and released in October. The study recommended the balance of benefits and costs, with benefits primarily accruing to the populations the County is hoping to support.
To decrease boarding time and reduce long lines, riders are encouraged to use SmarTrip cards or the SmarTrip mobile app (available for Apple and Android). Riders without pre-paid fares are asked to have exact fare readily accessible.
Riders using Montgomery County's Ride On buses are encouraged to wear a mask but are no longer required to wear them. Masks are available on all buses for riders who need them.
Bus interiors will continue to be cleaned by the County's Department of General Services with hospital-grade disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems are also treated with a disinfectant.
Riders can plan Ride On bus trips online with Ride On Real Time.