Budget Year / Version:
Budget Trends
Program Contacts

Contact Darlene Flynn of the Division of Transit Services at 240.777.5807 or Brady Goldsmith of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2793 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links

Mission Statement

The mission of the Division of Transit Services is to provide an effective mix of public transportation services in Montgomery County.

Budget Overview

The total approved FY18 Operating Budget for the Division of Transit Services is $137,292,596, an increase of $8,965,447 or 6.99 percent from the FY17 Approved Budget of $128,327,149. Personnel Costs comprise 55.22 percent of the budget for 857 full-time position(s) and no part-time position(s), and a total of 874.37 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 44.78 percent of the FY18 budget.

The general obligation bond Debt Service for the Mass Transit Fund is appropriated in the Debt Service Fund and is not displayed in this section. To pay for the Debt Service, a transfer of funds from the Mass Transit Fund to the Debt Service Fund of $20,461,280 is required.

Significant multi-program adjustments in Administration, Taxi Regulation, and Transit Operations Planning are due to corrections in staffing allocation across programs.

In addition, this department's Capital Improvements Program (CIP) requires Current Revenue funding.

Linkage to County Result Areas

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following are emphasized:

  • An Effective and Efficient Transportation Network
  • Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • Vital Living for All of Our Residents

Department Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY17 estimates reflect funding based on the FY17 approved budget. The FY18 and FY19 figures are performance targets based on the FY18 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY19.


  • The Call-n-Ride program reduced the eligibility age for seniors from 67 to 65 years, making the program available to more residents. In FY17, it is anticipated that over 400 residents who are 65 & 66 years old will be added.
  • Implemented a pilot dialysis shuttle for Medicaid patients. The goal is to ensure the clients who require dialysis are consistently dropped off on time for treatments and taken home on time afterwards.
  • Began a new Rock Spring Express service on July 25, 2016, which provides express bus service between Grosvenor Metrorail Station and five bus stops in the Rock Spring Business Park. The route operates every ten minutes between 6:00 am and 9:00 am and between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm. In the first 5 weeks of service, the route averaged 240 riders per day.

  • Began new Route 301 service on October 2, 2016. This service operates from Tobytown Drive to Rockville Metrorail Station via Travilah Road. Key locations along the route include local schools, shopping, the new Nancy Dacek Recreational Center, Shady Grove Hospital, Glenstone museum and the Rockville Town Center.


  • The expansion and enhancement of the Clarksburg Route 75 will allow for longer service hours until 11:00 pm weekdays and Saturday and provide for service from early morning to late evening Sunday until 10 pm. The route will also include service to the Clarksburg outlets.

  • In January 2018, Ride On will begin new service called the Route 102 on Maryland State Route 29 from Burtonsville to Silver Spring. The limited-stop service will operate Monday through Friday during the morning and afternoon peak periods.

  • The new MD 355 Extra Service is a limited-stop service that will operate along MD 355 between the Lakeforest Transit Center and the Medical Center Metrorail Station. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 5:30 am - 9:30 am and 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm with service running every ten minutes. This service will have 13 unique branded buses and 12 designated bus stops in each direction of this route. Service will begin October 2, 2017.

  • Continue progress on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) development on MD 355 and US 29. Facility planning is ongoing for MD 355. The capital budget includes an additional $21.5 million for US 29 that leverages $10 million of Federal TIGER funds.
  • The new Express Service to Clarksburg will operate from the Cabin Branch/Clarksburg community to the Shady Grove Metro Station. This is a limited stop service, that will begin May 2017. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 5:30 am - 9:00 am and 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm with service running every 20 minutes.

Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • Ride On bus service received a 91% on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) review of our bus service security, prevention, security awareness and protection capabilities, an increase of 12% over FY16 and considered excellent by TSA.
  • Upgraded the Call-n-Ride database - the new improved database has greatly enhanced program efficiency including the application and recertification process, document and records' maintenance and also reduced paper use.
  • An extensive audit of Call-n-Ride service providers has been initiated, utilizing database enhancements to ensure there is no fraud, waste or abuse in the program.
  • Incorporated new technology into the Same Day Access and Medicaid Transportation Databases to enhance overall efficiency.

Program Descriptions

  Passenger Facilities

The Passenger Facilities program provides for the safe, comfortable, clean, and accessible entry for transit customers into the transit system. The program is responsible for supervising the construction and maintenance of bus shelters and the collection of the County's share of revenues generated through advertising sales, as provided under a 15-year franchise agreement. It is also responsible for the purchase, installation, maintenance and replacement of all equipment, including but not limited to bus benches, trash receptacles, transit information display units, and other passenger amenities. The program installs and maintains all system signage, including poles and bus stop flags.

  Medicaid and Senior Programs

Medicaid and Senior Programs Special Transportation Programs provide: Medicaid transportation to and from medical appointments for eligible participants; a user-side subsidy program (Call-n-Ride) that provides travel options for low-income elderly and disabled; and information on public private transportation programs available to seniors and persons with disabilities

  Ride On

Fixed-route bus service is provided by the Ride On system throughout the County. Ride On operates primarily in neighborhoods and provides a collector and distributor service to the major transfer points and transit centers in the County. Ride On supplements and coordinates the County's mass transit services with Metrobus and Metrorail service which is provided by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The Ride On transit system operates and manages more than 78 routes; maintains a strategic plan for replacement of the bus fleet; trains new bus operators and provides continuing safety, remedial and refresher instruction for existing operators; and coordinates activities with a state of the art Central Communications Center, which also operates Ride On's computer-aided dispatch/automatic vehicle location system.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
Hours of service1,133,5481,133,0641,140,2981,167,4121,173,249
Number of reported collisions between Ride On buses and a person or object, per 100,000 miles driven4.
On time performance for Ride On buses87.9%87.5%88.0%88.4%88.9%
Passengers per hour of service22.921.620.620.420.7
Passengers transported (millions)25.97224.51223.43823.83124.232
Ride On passengers transported per capita (Ratio of the number of passengers boarding a Ride On bus within a fiscal year and Montgomery County's population) 126.224.623.423.723.4
Percent of Ride On customers who report a satisfactory customer service experience80%N/AN/A80%N/A
Ride On complaints per 100,000 bus riders23.723.523.723.723.7
1  Definition: This measure is calculated annually comparing the number of Ride On passengers to the Montgomery County Population. It indicates whether Ride On is maintaining a constant share of Montgomery County residents.

  Commuter Services

The Commuter Services Section promotes alternatives to the single occupant vehicle -- including transit, car/vanpooling, biking, walking and telework-- to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Programs and services are concentrated in the County's five Transportation Management Districts: Silver Spring, Friendship Heights, Bethesda, North Bethesda and Greater Shady Grove, and in the Wheaton Transportation Planning & Policy area. Commuting information and assistance is also provided to businesses, employees, and residents throughout the County. Programs are developed to support use of transportation options and the section coordinates with other local, state and regional agencies on efforts to improve effectiveness of those options.

  Taxi Regulation

The Taxi Regulation program is responsible for issuance, enforcement, renewal, and management of passenger vehicle licenses and taxicab driver IDs. This program administers the taxicab regulation, licensing, and permit activities of chapter 53 of the Montgomery County Code.

  Customer Service

The Customer Service program is the interface between Ride On's service delivery and customer information. In addition to managing the distribution of paper transit timetables, web sites are maintained and updated, and real time information is provided through various media (phone, web, mobile apps and signs). System information is provided by way of electronic system maps and informational displays inside and outside of buses and bus stop shelters. As needed, public forums are arranged for proposed service changes.

  Transit Operations Planning

The Transit Operations Planning program provides comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated services to assure the County's transit needs are met. To accomplish this objective, the program plans and schedules Ride On service; evaluates and develops Ride On routes; adjusts schedules 3 times a year; and coordinates bus service with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

  Transit Parking Facility Maintenance

The Transit Parking Facility Maintenance program funds the operation and maintenance of the Park & Ride Lots as well as Transit Centers. The Division of Parking Management Operations section provides and manages the maintenance services.

  Fixed Costs

The Fixed Costs program contains certain cost items that involve long-term funding commitments independent of the annual scope of program costs. Fixed costs included in this category are utility payments and insurance. Casualty insurance for Ride On is provided through the Division of Risk Management. The costs are required or "fixed" based on the existence of the programs, but the actual amount is based on anticipated rates and the proposed size and scope of the related unit or program.


The Administration program provides general management, planning, supervision, and support for the Division. It performs financial management tasks, administers contracts, manages grants, provides personnel management functions, and provides Montgomery County's financial support to the Washington Suburban Transit Commission.

Budget Summary
Salaries and Wages51340461.0051803340.00 53129534.00 54870880.005.9
Employee Benefits16995414.0018611084.00 17679224.00 19079425.002.5
Mass Transit Personnel Costs68335875.0070414424.00 70808758.00 73950305.005.0
Operating Expenses51938835.0052847086.00 52104350.00 58250652.0010.2
Capital Outlay13400.000.00 0.00 26000.000.0
Mass Transit Expenditures120288110.00123261510.00 122913108.00 132226957.007.3
Full-Time810.00808.00 808.00 840.004.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs821.40826.08 826.08 857.983.9
Bus Advertising1173107.00935000.00 935000.00 1035000.0010.7
Insurance Recoveries327541.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Investment Income61101.000.00 120250.00 120250.000.0
Miscellaneous Revenues28162.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Motor Pool Charges/Fees791113.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Other Charges/Fees1415637.00982194.00 982194.00 1162194.0018.3
Other Fines/Forfeitures9115.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Parking Fees718848.00661385.00 661385.00 661385.000.0
Parking Fines586083.00405000.00 405000.00 405000.000.0
Property Tax107623637.0097009830.00 96567417.00 112620948.0016.1
Ride On Fare Revenue22193313.0022769658.00 22769658.00 21559302.00-5.3
State Aid: Call N' Ride379107.00379110.00 379110.00 379110.000.0
State Aid: Damascus Fixed Route394101.00309950.00 309950.00 309950.000.0
State Aid: Ride On39795513.0038264000.00 38264000.00 38764000.001.3
Taxi Licensing Fees647232.00531000.00 531000.00 531000.000.0
Mass Transit Revenues176143610.00162247127.00 161924964.00 177548139.009.4
Salaries and Wages1119571.001462021.00 1462021.00 1471943.000.7
Employee Benefits397037.00397913.00 397913.00 387991.00-2.5
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs1516608.001859934.00 1859934.00 1859934.000.0
Operating Expenses2844638.003205705.00 3205705.00 3205705.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures4361246.005065639.00 5065639.00 5065639.000.0
Full-Time15.0017.00 17.00 17.000.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs14.7916.39 16.39 16.390.0
Federal Grants1600855.001939694.00 1939693.00 1939693.000.0
State Grants2415498.003125945.00 3125946.00 3125946.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues4016353.005065639.00 5065639.00 5065639.000.0
Total Expenditures124649356.00128327149.00 127978747.00 137292596.007.0
Total Full-Time Positions825.00825.00 825.00 857.003.9
Total Part-Time Positions0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Total FTEs836.19842.47 842.47 874.373.8
Total Revenues180159963.00167312766.00 166990603.00 182613778.009.1
FY18 Approved Changes
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: MD 355 Extra Service [Ride On]99516223.00
Add: Limited Stop Ride On Service on US 29 [Ride On]7327489.00
Add: Express Service from Clarksburg to Shady Grove Metro [Ride On]5877920.00
Add: Annualization of Rock Spring Park Express Service [Transit Operations Planning]4430000.00
Add: Enhance Route 75 Service to Clarksburg Outlets and Eliminate Poor Performing Routes 3 and 93 [Ride On]2011891.90
Add: Annualization of Tobytown Service [Transit Operations Planning]1382500.00
Add: Extend Seniors Ride Free on Saturday [Ride On]150000.00
Eliminate: Route 94 "Meet the MARC" due to low ridership [Ride On]-206250-2.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment (includes $1.2M for MD 355 Extra Service)34691790.00
Increase Cost: FY18 Compensation Adjustment16170280.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Compensation Increases6254230.00
Increase Cost: Bethesda Circulator Expansion1660400.00
Increase Cost: Contract Escalations 1634600.00
Increase Cost: Risk Management Adjustment973880.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment650200.00
Increase Cost: Contracts450000.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Personnel Costs312500.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of Seniors Ride Free Service on Saturdays [Customer Service]204170.00
Increase Cost: TMD Biennial reports200000.00
Increase Cost: Bethesda TMD operating increase156500.00
Increase Cost: North Bethesda TMD operating increase149000.00
Decrease Cost: Printing and Mail-390280.00
Decrease Cost: Personnel savings [Ride On]-2531710.00
FY18 APPROVED132226957857.98
FY18 APPROVED506563916.39
Program Summary
Program NameFY17 APPR
Passenger Facilities10944654.0012365724.00
Medicaid and Senior Programs792267112.60794742912.60
Ride On104429786769.80112265373801.69
Commuter Services403965118.19409720618.19
Taxi Regulation6551575.006741765.00
Customer Service17672616.6218541055.63
Transit Operations Planning21002837.0028526917.00
Transit Parking Facility Maintenance3932201.283979741.28
Fixed Costs27853680.0027827560.00
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY17
Health and Human ServicesGeneral Fund2826940.002826940.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
FY18 Approved132227.000000132227.000000132227.000000132227.000000132227.000000132227.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Ride On Route 102 0.000000568.0000000.0000000.0000000.0000000.000000
Provides funds for a full year of service in FY19. The route will operate on Maryland State Route 29 from Burtonsville to Silver Spring. Service to begin January 2018 and operate until FY20 when new Bus Rapid Transit Service is expected to be implemented.
Annualize Route Eliminations0.000000-117.000000-117.000000-117.000000-117.000000-117.000000
Routes 3, 93, and 94 will be eliminated in Fall 2017.
MD 355 Extra Service0.000000442.000000442.000000442.000000442.000000442.000000
Provides funds for a full year of service in FY19. Service to begin in Fall 2017.
Route 75 Enhancement to Clarksburg Outlets0.000000118.000000118.000000118.000000118.000000118.000000
Provides funds for a full year of service in FY19. Service to begin in Fall 2017.
Labor Contracts0.000000673.000000673.000000673.000000673.000000673.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures132227.000000133911.000000133343.000000133343.000000133343.000000133343.000000