In another sign that the pandemic is receding, Montgomery County has returned many of it’s bus routes to pre-pandemic levels.
Starting Sunday, Maryland residents taking Montgomery County busses will see sizable service changes to 64 routes
County Executive Marc Elrich added that the change to schedules and service are meant to encourage riders to use a “safe, environmentally friendly and free way to get around the county.”
“Many of our residents rely on public transportation and it is important that we are continually evaluating service needs to ensure coverage,” Elrich said. “Our residents are still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic, and I am pleased that my recommendation of extending free bus service until at least Jan. 1 was approved by Council last week.”
The bus service is also expected to reinstate midnight service for all routes that had the service before the pandemic was declared.
“Adjusting our bus routes allows us to better meet the needs of our residents based on our usage rates,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We aim to reduce wait times and make sure we have the expansion of services in place to better service our communities as ridership returns.”
The county does still require riders to wear face coverings for the duration of their ride as required by federal mask mandates.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation added that 60% of riders have returned to bus usage, and that 25 routes with high ridership will see increased trips and print schedules will be available to riders.