In response to ‘Fare Equity Study’ Recommendations, Montgomery County Executive announces the Free Fares for Ride On Buses through the rest of 2021.
Montgomery County’s Ride On buses instituted the “fare holiday” as a wider county response to Covid 19. The policy was meant to help low-income families economically impacted by the pandemic. After the release of the “Fare Equity Study”, conducted by the County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), County Executive Elrich proposed extending this holiday through the remainder of the calendar year.
‘”Reducing Ride On fares helps our low- and fixed-income residents who often must travel by transit,’ said County Executive Elrich. ‘It helps address equity gaps and supports public transit, which is good for our environment. This County is too expensive to afford for those who don’t earn a lot. We must keep transportation costs for these residents to a minimum. I support a $1 standard fare while retaining our fare-free programs such as Kids Ride Free and Seniors Ride Free, which also include members of our disabled community. This approach balances benefits and costs, and these benefits primarily accrue for populations we want to support.'”
Post-2021, County Executive Elrich is pushing the County Council to adopt a new $1 fair and maintain free ride programs for kids, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Implementing this new fair change would require a minimum of 60 days, partly due to the time it will take to update certain IT systems. Should the county move forward, January 1 would be the earliest it could take effect.