MCDOT Will Offer Free Bus Rides for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will enact a long-term ‘Ride Free Program’ for seniors and persons with disabilities.

The program will be implemented on all county buses including Ride On, Ride On Extra, Flex and Flash, according to a Montgomery County press release. Select Metrobus routes in the county will also offer the program.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, county buses have been free for all riders but MCDOT says regardless of fare changes, the ‘Ride Free Program’ will stay in effect for seniors and persons with disabilities. Since July 1, Metrobus has already started to offer free fares on several county routes, minus K9 as the service will be restored in September.

“I am pleased that we can extend the benefit of free fare to our seniors and disabled community long term,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “These groups have been especially susceptible to isolation throughout the pandemic. Now that things are reopening, the cost of transit should not be prohibiting these community members from accessing transportation.”

To qualify for the program, eligible bus riders must show the bus operator one of the following:

  • A senior SmarTrip card
  • A reduced fair SmarTrip photo ID card
  • A Medicare card with a current photo ID
  • A MetroAccess card

Riders must show the operator their ID instead of tapping the farebox and continue to wear face coverings for the duration of their trip.

All county buses will have spare face coverings for those who don’t have their own and the buses will continue to be cleaned twice each day with filters in the ventilation systems being treated each night.

To find more information about Ride On buses and their schedules, visit the Ride On Bus website.

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About Sarah Dilworth

Sarah Dilworth is an intern with Montgomery Community Media. She is also a senior at the University of Maryland where she studies journalism and creative writing. She can be contacted at sdilworth@mymcmedia.org.

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