Montgomery County DOT reports higher ridership; increases service and trip times beginning Sunday

Drive less, walk, bike and ride more.

That’s part of an even bigger idea behind Montgomery County’s efforts to increase its Ride-On bus service and improve efficiency.

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The schedules of 64 bus routes will be changing beginning today -- and 25 will have added more trip times.

"Back in the beginning of the pandemic in order to keep greater separation of bus operators and the customers, we went fare free and we have kept that in place and will stay in place until January of 2022," said, Montgomery County Department of Transportation director, Chris Conklin.

Conklin said, the goal is to reduce wait times and make sure there is an expansion of services in place to better service communities as ridership returns.

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The fleet includes four electric busses and 10 more are coming in the spring.

"We are looking to get up to 70 electric vehicles in Silver Spring over the next couple of years," Conklin said, "that’s out of a total of 400 busses we operate in the county.

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Ridership is up to about 60% of pre-pandemic numbers and county officials expect that trend, to continue to rise.

"One of the smartest things we can do to reduce our impact on carbon emissions and climate change is to make smarter choices when you are choosing to travel so we are trying to encourage people to use the transit system we to make those trips," said Conklin.