After almost a year in development, Maryland’s Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will launch its “Ride On Flex” pilot program, which will test residents’ receptivity to an innovative, low-cost service that can be requested through a mobile phone app powered by Via, a developer of on-demand, public mobility solutions.
During the pilot program, Flex will provide corner-to-corner service in defined zones in the Rockville and Glenmont/Wheaton areas. Standard Ride On fare policy will apply to the new service, which means riders will pay no more than $2 as they board. The 11-passenger Flex buses are wheelchair accessible and offer free Wi-Fi.
Using the Ride On Flex app, riders can request trips from a designated pick up spot to a drop off location within the same service zone. The zones offer connections between households, transit hubs, commercial centers, and public services.
Over the last several months, MCDOT has sought input from a wide range of community groups about the pilot program. At a public forum in April, MCDOT staff unveiled plans for the pilot program and took questions and comments from residents.
A grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will support a MCDOT performance assessment of the new service. The grant will enable MCDOT to analyze trip data and user feedback.