Beginning on Sunday, January 4, Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system will join Metro in making changes, which for the first time, provide discounts to bus passengers transferring to Metrorail. The changes will also benefit passengers by increasing the amount of time they are eligible for a discounted or free transfer – increasing the current two hour window to three hours. The changes make it even easier and more convenient for passengers using SmarTrip cards to transfer to any of the transit systems in the region.
The changes will:
1) Provide a discounted fare when transferring from bus to Metrorail. Currently passengers transferring from a Ride On or Metro bus to Metrorail receive no discount on their rail trip. Next month, when the change goes into effect, Ride On passengers using SmarTrip cards who transfer to rail within three hours of initiating their bus trip will receive a 50 cent discount on their Metrorail trip.
2) Eliminate paper transfers, but continue free bus transfers for Ride On SmarTrip card users. Ride On will follow Metro’s lead in eliminating paper transfers, which were available to patrons transferring from one bus to another. However, SmarTrip card users will continue to receive a free transfer within three hours of boarding the first bus, an improvement over the current two hours.
Two additional changes for Ride On users are still pending until the Montgomery County Council votes on January 13. The first issue they will decide is whether or not to approve a 50 cent discount on bus transfers from Metrorail to Ride On or Metrobus within three hours of boarding Metrorail. If the Council approves this action, the new discount will go into effect Sunday, January 25.
The second decision is whether to eliminate the 20-Trip Ride On punch ticket, which is no longer needed. Since the price for each ride on the 20-Trip Ticket is $1.25, the same discounted fare as paid by a SmarTrip card user, these paper tickets are no longer needed to provide regular riders who use SmarTrip a reduced rate for bus rides.
For more information on Ride On rates, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon or call the Transit Information Center at
240-777-RIDE (7433). Information about using SmarTrip cards is available in both English and Spanish on the Montgomery County You Tube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/montgomerycountymd.
Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system continues to break records for increases in ridership. This fiscal year, the system is on-track to carry well over 30 million passengers and continue increases in ridership that for the past four years have averaged more than six percent. With a fleet of 375 buses, Ride On is the largest suburban transit system in the Washington region.
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Media Contact: Esther Bowring, 240-777-6507
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