The county’s Department of Transportation Ride On system will once again collect fares beginning tomorrow, Aug. 1, according to several announcements and social media posts from the DOT.
The new fare will be $1, half of the $2 price before suspension of fare collections more than two years ago due to the pandemic. It will be in effect on all services—Ride On, Ride On extRa, Flex, and Flash.
County Executive Marc Elrich supported the new fee structure, which was approved by the County Council in May as part of the Fiscal 2023 budget.
Elrich originally proposed the $1 fee in September of last year, following the release of a Ride On Fare Equity Study. Council declined to approve it at that time.
After the budget was passed, Councilmember Evan Glass (D-At Large), who has been a vocal proponent of free Ride On for all, told the Source, “$1 is better than $2, and it will provide relief to those who are dependent on our buses. We are making progress and we’re going down the right path towards true transit equity.”
Ride On will remain free for seniors age 65 and older, people with disabilities and students 19 and under (free for those older than 19 if still in high school), with special SmartTrip cards or a “Youth Cruiser” card. The cards are available in several locations, including county libraries and the Silver Spring TRiPS Commuter Store.
“For riders transferring from a Metro train or bus, the Ride On Fare will be free. Ride On passengers transferring to a Metro bus will have to pay the $1 difference in fare,” according to a press release announcing the fare increase in July.
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