Per MCPOT: The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) announced a virtual open house to be held via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 to present a first look at the Ride On Reimagined study findings and get community feedback on proposed concept changes to the County transit network. Montgomery County residents are encouraged to register and attend to share their feedback.
The ongoing Ride On Reimagined Study is a full-scale re-assessment of how the Montgomery County public transit network will operate in the County, with the goal of creating a future-focused public transportation system. The study, which began in Feb. 2022, conducted a comprehensive assessment of the current Ride On and Metrobus network, ridership patterns and ongoing projects. To better address community needs, MCDOT sought extensive community feedback through ridership surveys, pop-up events and focus groups comprised of both transit riders and non-riders.
“Ride On Reimagined lets us examine our public transit from every angle to create a transportation system that is a real alternative to cars – fast, reliable and less expensive,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “We have worked closely with WMATA, through the Better Bus initiative, to create a comprehensive plan that integrates a regional network of transportation systems. Ride On Reimagined will bolster the local economy by improving connections for residents and visitors to shopping, recreation, and jobs. Improved public transit helps address inequality by increasing transportation access – and in turn opportunities — to historically marginalized populations. The plans developed from this study will update the County’s transportation network to meet the needs of travelers with efficient, affordable service to regional hubs, shopping, and entertainment and business districts. We want you to see what we’re proposing and provide your comments. Ride On Reimagined will help make car-free transportation a first-choice option in Montgomery County, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.”
The new concepts from the study incorporate the planned Flash bus rapid transit corridors, supplemented by additional frequent high-capacity bus routes and new all-day express service linking Downcounty and Upcounty hubs as well as Tysons in northern Virginia. Local routes will provide connectivity throughout the county with trips operating at a minimum of every 30 minutes, supplemented by new Flex zones to offer on-demand, corner-to-corner service throughout the day.
“We have seen a significant shift in how and when people are using public transit. The pandemic has accelerated trends that were already in motion; with more people teleworking part or all of their workdays, traffic patterns have more variance throughout the day,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We are seeing more demand for buses that connect to entertainment and shopping districts. We are taking a close look at shifting demographics, including an aging population that requires higher levels of accessibility, and shifting trends in housing. Our bus service needs to reflect where and how residents live, work and travel. We will be implementing creative solutions to transit needs on a rolling basis over the next few years. The goal is to improve access to public transit, connect neighborhoods and improve the customer experience.”
MCDOT will also hold a series of eight pop-up eventsthroughout October to share proposed changes to individual routes.
- Monday, Oct. 2. 7–10 a.m. at Germantown Transit Center
- Thursday, Oct. 5. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at Rockville Metro Station
- Tuesday, Oct. 10. 7–10 a.m. at Bethesda Metro Station
- Wednesday, Oct. 11. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at Shady Grove Metro Station
- Tuesday, Oct.17. 7–10 a.m. at Silver Spring Transit Center
- Thursday, Oct. 19. 3–6 p.m. at Wheaton Metro Station
- Monday, Oct. 23. 3–6 p.m. at Lakeforest Transit Center
- Wednesday, Oct. 25. 7–10 a.m. at White Oak Transit Center
The Ride On Reimagined Study will continue through Jan. 2024. Community members are encouraged to offer feedback at the Sept. 28 virtual open house, or the pop-up events. Comments also can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once completed, the Ride On Reimagined study will include both immediate adjustments to bus routes to better serve the community, and long-term plans to implement and expand on-demand, express and bus rapid transit service.
For more information on the Ride On Reimagined study and to register for the virtual open house visit the website.