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Ride On Reimagined Study

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.


Final Scope of Work


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  • Establish final goals and outcomes with stakeholder input. These goals align with the MCDOT Priority Areas: Safety and Vision Zero, Environmental and Climate Resiliency, and Economic Development and Equitable Access. They serve to set expectations for the study and have measurable impacts to evaluate once service concepts are developed.
  • Begin analysis of the network and service’s existing conditions. This analysis includes county service areas and levels, route alignments, travel patterns, and route classifications, such as local or limited service. Existing conditions set a baseline for how the system operates, and what this study aims to achieve in service improvements.    
  • Initiate data collection that supports the existing conditions analysis. The data collection effort incorporates ridership data, origin-destination patterns, schedule adherence, previous studies, and trip generators. Data provides a quantitative starting point for the service levels and use of the network. Data gathered will consolidate information from the county’s master plans and transit priority plans, to ensure that this study is in alignment.

 



Goals and Outcomes: February-May 2022
This task establishes the goals of the study with stakeholder input. Goals will be measurable and quantifiable, and based on the MCDOT priority areas: Safety and Vision Zero, Environment and Climate Resiliency, Economic Development, and Equitable Access.
Existing Conditions Analysis: February-June 2022
This task will be a comprehensive analysis of Montgomery County’s bus network (both Ride On and Metrobus) to include: current and pre-pandemic conditions, ridership and travel patterns, performance and scheduling adherence, and a classification of routes.
Service Standards, Policies, and Guidelines: April-July 2022
These tasks set service standards for bus service, that is, what defines high-quality bus service in the County. It will include a classification of routes, and consider how frequently and when service should operate, and establish fare collection policies.
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.
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. 


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