Montgomery County Department of Transportation Commits to Long Term ‘Ride Free Program’ for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
Per Montgomery County:
For Immediate Release: Monday, July 19, 2021
Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Ride Free Program will be implemented long-term on all County buses including Ride On, Ride On extRa, Flex, and Flash buses. The ride free program will stay in effect even if fares are resumed on the County bus system. Montgomery County buses have been free for all riders during the COVID-19 health crisis.
The ride free program also will apply to select Metrobus routes operating within Montgomery County. Metrobus, which is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), is one of MCDOT’s regional partners.
“For many in our senior and disability community, mobility can pose compounded challenges,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I remain committed to supporting an inclusive approach to ensure equity for all of our residents. Montgomery County is leading the regional transit response by making transit more accessible for those who need it most.”
Metro buses resumed fare collection earlier this year. Effective July 1, Metro buses began offering free fare for seniors and persons with disabilities on routes C2, C4, C8, F4, J1, J2, K6, K9*, L8, Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6, T2, Y2, Y7, Y8, Z2, Z6, Z7, Z8 (*K9 service will be restored in September 2021.)
Eligible customers must show the bus operator one of the following to qualify for a free ride:
· A Senior SmarTrip card
· A Reduced Fare SmarTrip photo ID card
· A Medicare card with a current photo ID
· A MetroAccess card
Riders should show their identification to the bus operator. They should not tap the farebox.
“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.”
For the safety of customers and employees, all riders using the public transportation system must wear face coverings for the duration of their trips as required by the Federal masking mandate. All County buses have a supply of face coverings for riders who cannot provide their own. Bus interiors will continue to be cleaned by the County’s Department of General Services twice daily with a hospital-grade viral disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems are treated each night with a disinfectant.