Ride On Reimagined

A comprehensive review of the Montgomery County Bus Network

Draft Network Concept

The Draft Network Concept is displayed on an interactive map that shows Ride On services as they exist now and how these services could shift in the future to meet the county’s transportation needs. It also includes routes under Metro’s Better Bus initiative to demonstrate how Ride On could operate as WMATA services evolve in the future.

Select language to view map:

Existing Route Proposed for Replacement

Proposed Replacement Service


905 Flex


913 Flex


1a, 916 Flex


Purple Line Light Rail, 17a,  912 Flex, 915 Flex


912 Flex


906 Flex


904 Flex


906 Flex


903 Flex


123 Great Seneca Transit Network (Cobalt)


122 Great Seneca Transit Network (Lime); 301a


905 Flex


902 Flex


Ride On Reimagined

The Ride On Reimagined Study is a comprehensive, forward-looking assessment of the bus network that will result in significant recommended changes to how transit operates in Montgomery County based on current and future needs. This study will take an in-depth look at Montgomery County's existing and planned transit systems, including Metrobus services that operate within the County limits and the future Purple Line. The study will also provide an opportunity to guide the future direction of Ride On through data analysis and community engagement. The study will have the primary goal of recommending system-wide changes that address the current and future needs of the community it serves for both Ride On and Metrobus services.

The study will examine the current conditions and the anticipated future of Ride On's service area. The study will engage community leaders, activists, transit riders, and support organizations to gather feedback. An evaluation will be conducted to assess route structure, connectivity, span, and frequency of service through market research analysis, review of land use development, and anticipated technology advancements. The study will also address the County's priorities to improve racial equity and prevent climate change. The image of transit services is important to attract riders. Therefore, an evaluation of Ride On's branding will be examined. In conclusion, the study will set the framework for a plan with recommendations and implementation strategies that best align with the transportation goals of Montgomery County.


The MCDOT Project Coordination Team, with input from key stakeholders, has determined final goals, set objective outcomes, and defined measures to evaluate success. The intent of these goals, outcomes, and measures is to help guide the project principles, and are in alignment with the three priority areas of Moving Forward Together: The Vision for Transportation in Montgomery County, MD:

Goal, outcome, measure

Developing the Goals, Outcomes, and Measures

MCDOT conducted two MURAL whiteboarding sessions with the Project Coordination Team. The first session developed suggested goals under each of the three priority areas, and the second session reviewed and refined the draft goals, outcomes, and measures. From this process, the project team aggregated the suggested goals and associated outcomes, and proposed a measure for each outcome.

We then met with approximately 30 key stakeholders to present a study overview and provide feedback on the goals, outcomes, and measures on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Final Goals, Outcomes, and Measures include:


Study Timeline: Part 1 (2022)

2022 Study Timeline

Study Timeline: Part 2 (2023 - 2024)
2023-2024 Study Timeline

Stakeholder and Public Engagement: Ongoing Throughout the Study

Various local agencies, businesses, government officials, and transit providers and municipalities constitute the stakeholders that will help shape the structure of the study and provide guidance at various stages throughout the process.

A comprehensive public engagement plan that emphasizes transparency and open communication will be drafted and implemented. Project team members will share information and engage the public using the MCDOT website, social media platforms, pop-up events, at open houses, and in small group discussions.

Bus Network Assessment: February 2022-December 2022

A market and infrastructure analysis and peer transit system analysis serves as the foundation for this assessment. Peer transit systems include those that largely meet the goals identified for the Montgomery County bus network and are comparable in terms of the size of the operation and geographic service area.

Service Concepts and Recommendations: December 2022-September 2023

Service concept development is the planning of the reimagined Montgomery County bus network. Work done to this point will serve as the foundation for new service designs and concepts. These concepts will detail how they meet study goals, impact riders, improve the system's performance, and impact the County financially, culminating in a detailed list of recommendations of preferred concepts based on an overall evaluation of the network's strengths and weaknesses.

Service and Implementation Plan: October 2023-January 2024

The service concepts and (resulting) recommendations will guide the Service and Implementation Plan. The implementation proposal will consider making network changes simultaneously, or in phases. The plan will emphasize key components of the previously recommended concepts and include a marketing plan to launch the service.

Next Steps

Completed focus groups

From December to March, the Ride On Reimagined Project Team met with five focus groups for two sessions each to receive input to help shape the project’s goals, set objective outcomes, and define measures to evaluate success. The input received from both rider and non-rider focus group participants was instrumental in organizing the network concept, developing service characteristics, prioritizing service levels, and determining resource allocation.

Developing concepts based on feedback

The feedback received from facilitated conversations with various stakeholders has served as the foundation for service concept development and the resulting project team recommendations which include better Downcounty-Upcounty direct service between hubs; more connections to recreational/cultural spaces; additional rapid/express service and expansion of the Flex on-demand service. 

Analyzing standard operating procedures and draft service and stop guidelines

This analysis will help MCDOT to standardize its internal, systemic processes by ensuring adherence to best practices, and determining consistent directions and instructions on the measures required to complete a specific task or process across the entire Montgomery County Bus Network. These standard operating procedures and guidelines will establish appropriate service and stop operations and quality control measures, ensure legal compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, enable efficient staff onboarding and training, and provide for the institutionalized maintenance of organizational knowledge.

Conducting workshops with stakeholder groups and elected officials

The Ride On Reimagined Project Team has met with Montgomery County staff, WMATA staff, and local elected officials, to review and receive feedback on the various opportunities and challenges associated with the countywide transit network. These conversations with members of the Ride On Reimagined advisory group are ongoing and will continue through the Summer of 2023.