Montgomery County Council Press Releases & Statements

Duncan Announces Ride On to Offer Free Rides to Seniors and Persons With Disabilities
 
  • Release ID: 06-227
  • Release Date: 6/30/2006
  • Contact: Ester Bowring 240-777-6530
  • From:

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan announced that the County’s Ride On bus service will begin offering a free transportation option to seniors, ages 65 and older, and persons with disabilities next week. Starting July 3, Ride On will offer free rides to seniors and persons with disabilities Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I am pleased to announce the new Ride On free ride program that expands transportation options for seniors and persons with disabilities at this time of skyrocketing gasoline prices,” said Duncan. “I’m proud to have initiated the free ride programs for kids, university students, and County employees, and now, Ride On will be even more accessible to more people. As an outspoken advocate for increased public transportation, I’m proud to have overseen significant growth in the Ride On bus system, which has been setting new ridership records for the last two years.”

Although the free ride service is not currently available on Metro buses that operate in the County, Metro is expected to also add the new service by this fall.

“Maintaining social interaction is very important but sometimes difficult for seniors and people with disabilities,” said County Councilmember Phil Andrews, who proposed the measure. “This targeted initiative will provide seniors and people with disabilities with free transportation to many services that will help keep them healthy in body and spirit.” Councilmember Floreen also stated, "This program hits a home run. It reflects our commitment to disabled community members, and it signals our recognition of the growing needs of our aging residents. It will get more cars off the road, save these folks some money, and make the county more accessible to residents who need a hand.”

Seniors may ride free by showing either a Metro Senior Reduced Fare Identification Card or a Medicare Card and valid photo identification (driver’s license, passport, or state issued identification card). People with disabilities and, if applicable, their attendant, may ride free by presenting a Metro Disabled Identification (ID) Card or Metro Disabled “Attendant Eligible” ID card.

Most current Ride On customers who are seniors or persons with disabilities already have the Metro ID cards, as these allow them to qualify for reduced fares on transit throughout the region. Seniors who wish to obtain the Senior Reduced Fare ID Card must fill out the Metro Senior Citizen Reduced Fare Program application. Persons with disabilities who need an ID card must fill out the Metro Reduced Fare Program for People With Disabilities application.

ID card applications are available at County senior centers, libraries, The Commuter Express store in Silver Spring, and regional service centers. Seniors must fill out their application on site and present a valid picture ID that has the birth date at the time of application. Persons with disabilities may mail their application to Metro.

It may take Metro several weeks to process the applications and mail back the ID card for the senior ID. Once the persons with disabilities application is approved, Metro will provide the location to come to take a picture and pick up the Metro Disabled ID card. MetroAccess card holders are unaffected by this new program, as they will continue to ride free on Ride On anytime.

Ride On has been setting new ridership records for the past two years. For 25 consecutive months, ridership has increased over the same month the previous year. Ride On’s overall ridership is now almost 20 percent higher than it was just two years ago, with the system projected to carry more than 27 million passenger trips in 2006. For more information about Ride On, visit the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon.




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