Montgomery County

Montgomery Co. to Reduce Ride On Bus Service Due to Driver Shortage

The department said the service changes will be revisited in about six to eight weeks, or once more bus drivers become available. 

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Ride On will be reducing its bus service on half its routes beginning Sunday due to driver shortages caused by COVID-19, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) said Thursday. 

The agency said a growing number of employees have gotten sick or have been exposed to the virus. The reduction will allow them to maintain reliable service, they said.

About half of Ride On’s routes will have fewer trips than usual, but the system will keep the same reach of service. Ride On Flex and extRa services will also be suspended starting Monday, and The Flash weekday service will operate on a weekend schedule.

The department estimates that, overall, service will be reduced by roughly 9 percent from the current schedule.

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You can find a list of the affected routes here.

“We have not yet fully returned to pre-pandemic bus service levels and hate to pull back,” Dan Hibbert, MCDOT chief of transit, said. “These temporary changes will be fairly minimal from where we currently are, but riders need to be able to plan.” 

“We just don’t have the drivers available to maintain our current schedule and be dependable," he said. 

The department said the service changes will be revisited in about six to eight weeks, or once more bus drivers become available. 

MCDOT said they are actively recruiting bus drivers. Those interested can find more information here.

The surge in COVID-19 infections in the county is also causing a shortage of school bus drivers, leading Montgomery County leaders to ask for help from the National Guard. 

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