Friday, January 27, 2023

MCDOT's Go Montgomery! SNOW EDITION Newsletter


County Storm Response Based on Forecast

County snowstorm responders begin their job well before snow is predicted to fall. Highway Services staff track weather reports days in advance to determine if and when the MCDOT Storm Operations Center should be activated. Snow plow crews and truck mechanics at each depot are called to report in advance of a storm and if conditions are right, they may begin pretreating major roads with salt brine, a solution of salt and water.

Salt brine prevents ice and frost from forming on pavement and makes snow removal easier. The use of salt brine also reduces the amount of salt needed to treat pavement following a snowfall.

The laying of salt and salt brine is only done in specific conditions to ensure that excessive salt does not end up in local waterways. Often when rain is predicted, threatening to wash away treatment, salt will be withheld.

At the start of a storm, crews patrol to monitor road conditions. Pavement temperatures are measured around the County so that treatments are used only where needed.

When snow or freezing precipitation begins to cover the roads, and conditions are right, crews will spread salt on emergency and primary routes.

Plows are ineffective until snowfall accumulations reach three inches. At that point, Highway Services starts plowing operations and continues salting, focusing on main roads and transit routes. During the snowfall, about 1,000 lane miles of main roads are kept in “bare pavement” condition. This ensures that every County resident is within one-half mile of a cleared road and can be reached by emergency services. It also means that when residents leave their neighborhoods, the main roads are ready to handle traffic.

Once the snow stops falling and major roads are clear, crews turn their attention to removing snow from more than 4,300 miles of neighborhood streets. Their goal is to make these streets passable – not clear them to bare pavement. Crews eat and sleep at the depots and do not go home until snow removal operations are completed.

MCDOT has 280 Highway Services employees and 175 pieces of equipment to handle snow operations. If more resources are needed, contractors can be called upon immediately to provide hundreds of additional plows and operators. 

During a snowstorm, residents can get the latest updates by visiting the County's Snow Portal website.


Montgomery County Will Be Increasing Frequency on 31 Ride On Bus Routes Starting Sunday, Jan. 29

MCDOT will increase service on 31 Ride On bus routes starting Sunday, Jan. 29. The increases are part of the adjustments to 44 routes overall to improve efficiency based on ridership. 


Ride On Bus Service During Winter Storms

Need to go out during a storm? Ride On buses run during most weather events and are on primary routes that are given priority by plows. Ride On bus drivers are well trained and take the hassle out of driving in a storm.

Buses generally run regular service if snow is under 4 inches.

At 4 inches, the MCDOT Director, Chris Conklin, together with the County Executive, decide if buses will operate on an S (Special) Service Plan. This is a reduced schedule in terms of the number of routes, span and frequency of service. If the snow is over 8 inches, the service may be reduced further.

During a snow event, Ride On contractors clear nearly 800 bus stops and work to keep transit centers clear of snow and ice. 

Follow Ride On @RideOnMCT on Twitter or Facebook for service announcements related to the weather.


Look out for MCDOT's Painted Snowplows

MCDOT held its first Paint the Plow Middle School Snowplow Naming Contest this past May, in honor of “Public Works Week.” There were 14 entries from local middle school students.

The contest is free for schools and is a unique and fun way to introduce middle school students to some of the work done by MCDOT. The decorated plows are a part of MCDOT’s snow-clearing fleet and are used in neighborhoods the following winter.

The contest will run again this spring. Community members can visit MCDOT’s family-friendly “Truck Day” on Saturday, May 20 at the County Salt Barn, on Crabbs Branch Way in Gaithersburg, to cast their vote on the most creative painted plow. Last year’s winners and all entries can be seen online here.



MCDOT Snow Removal Operations

The MCDOT Storm Operations Center activates for all major winter storms to track the storm and deploy an emergency response.

Information from 311 and 911 is passed onto the depot staff and makes its way to the plow operators. Staff also tracks the storm and provides updated reports to other County agencies. 

MCDOT Highway staff start tracking forecasted storms several days ahead of the event and develops a plan.

MCDOT is responsible for clearing snow from 5,200 lane miles of County-maintained roads, 60 miles of sidewalks along County right-of-ways and three miles of bike paths and trails. 


MCDOT asks e-scooter companies to remove scooters before the snow begins to fall and return them once it is safe to do so.


Winter Storm Reminders


  • Avoid driving during storms if possible. If you have to travel, ride the bus. Ride On buses operate during most storms and are supported by emergency snowplows when needed.
  • If you have to drive, drive slowly. Stopping distances increase in poor weather conditions.
  • Equip your vehicle with snow tires or chains to reduce the risk of getting stuck, damaging your car, blocking traffic and snow removal equipment.
  • Stay alert for pedestrians walking in the roadways.
  • Be especially alert for pedestrians at intersections where snow mounds may limit sight lines.
  • In advance of a storm, park vehicles in your driveway or as close to the curb as you can.


  • Wear bright, reflective clothing to ensure you will be seen.
  • Watch for icy and slick spots.
  • Wear shoes or boots with non-slip soles.

Keep animals and pets safe:

  • Pets should be kept indoors during periods of cold weather.
  • Provide livestock animals with a place to get out of the wind and dry bedding to protect them from frostbite.
  • The law prohibits endangering animals during unusually cold, windy or snowy weather. If an animal is outdoors and appears to be in danger, call 911 for emergency situations or the Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 for other animal-related issues.


Clearing Sidewalks of Snow and Ice - If You Own Property, It's Your Responsibility

County residents are required by law to clear sidewalks in front of and alongside their properties within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. 

Follow these tips:

  • Dress appropriately for winter weather. Ears, hands and feet need extra protection in frigid temperatures.
  • If you can, shovel as the snow falls. It is easier to remove fresh snow that has not hardened or turned to ice.
  • Put less pressure on your back. Lift with legs bent to avoid injury and try pushing the snow instead of lifting it.
  • Pace yourself and take it slow. Shoveling can raise blood pressure and heart rate dramatically.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion. Take breaks. If you run out of breath or feel tightness in your chest, stop immediately.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you are able-bodied, offer to assist your neighbors who are not able to, or would have difficulty, shoveling.

For more information on shoveling click here.


Who Plows Where?

MCDOT plows County-maintained roadways, public parking garages and lots located in downtown BethesdaSilver Spring and Wheaton.

Other agencies that handle snow removal and laying salt include:

  • Montgomery County Department of General Services clears and salts County building lots, such as libraries.
  • Maryland State Highway Administration is responsible for all state roads. These are typically numbered such as Rockville Pike (MD 355) and Georgia Ave. (MD 97), New Hampshire Ave. (MD 650) and River Road (MD 190).
    Report issues on state roads online or call 800-543-2515 or 410-582-5650.
  • Montgomery Parks clears snow on roads, bridges and trails within local parks.
  • Montgomery County Public Schools clears and salts sidewalks and parking lots on school property.
  • WMATA clears and salts Metro stations and parking lots. 

For any plowing requests or to report excess salt for cleanup, residents can call Montgomery County’s Customer Service Center by dialing 311 (or calling 240-777-0311 if outside the County). Residents can also visit the website at 311 Operators will route requests to the responsible agency.


Information on Snow Emergency Routes

Both the State of Maryland and Montgomery County have designated certain roads as Snow Emergency Routes prominently marked with red and white signs. When the State and/or County initiates its snow emergency plan, it is illegal to park on these designated roads.

Vehicles found blocking snow routes during an emergency may be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense. State and County snow emergency plans may not be put into effect simultaneously.


During Snowstorms, When is Parking Free in County Garages?

During a County Executive-declared snow emergency in Montgomery County, the MCDOT Director may announce that parking is free in County-owned garages and lots for the duration of the snow emergency. This helps get cars off the roads to aid plowing operations and overall safety.

For on-street meters along non-snow emergency roadways, regular parking rates will continue to be charged. For any parking-related questions email





Follow snow removal progress by visiting MCDOT’s Snow Portal or follow @MCDOTNow on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Tag @MCDOTNow in your snowstorm-related photos.  


Be in the Know During Storms

Residents can stay updated during storms by:

  • Visiting MCDOT's Snow Portal website.                
  • Signing up for Alert Montgomery for updates by email and text.
  • Following MCDOT on Twitter.
  • Watching County Cable Montgomery, Channel 6 for RCN Comcast subscribers and Channel 30 for Verizon subscribers, provide continuous updates on roadway conditions and transit services.


View These One-Minute Videos to Answer the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Snow Removal

These informative videos contain key information about what to expect during snowstorms.  

winter weathertips

Winter Storm Season Preparation Tips

Montgomery County's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security offers many tips as winter storm season arrives.


Please Use Caution Around Snowplows

  • Don’t crowd the plow. The front plow extends several feet in front and may cross the centerline and shoulders.
  • Don't tailgate or follow too close behind a snowplow.
  • Don’t travel next to a plow, if possible. The packed snow or snowdrift can move the truck sideways.
  • Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room.


Montgomery County and WSSC Water Urges Everyone to be ‘Salt Wise’ and Use Less Salt During Winter Storms

Residents are asked to limit salt use during winter storms to reduce impact on the environment and drinking water.

MCDOT continues to monitor salt use and use only what is needed for public safety. The department has also committed to cleaning up access salt. Learn more here


Learn More About How to Prevent Hypothermia

The County’s updated Hypothermia Alert webpage has more information on steps to take before and during extreme temperature conditions. 


Do You Know the Difference Between a Winter Weather Advisory, Watch or Warning?

The National Weather Service issues winter alerts. Know the difference between a warning, a watch and an advisory.  

  • WARNINGTake Action.
    A Winter Storm Warning is issued when a significant combination of hazardous winter weather is occurring or imminent.
  • WATCHBe Prepared.
    A Winter Storm Watch is issued when there is the potential for significant and hazardous winter weather within 48 hours. It signifies that significant and hazardous winter weather is possible.
  • ADVISORYBe Aware.
    A Winter Weather Advisory will be issued for any amount of freezing rain, or when 2 to 4 inches of snow (alone or in combination with sleet and freezing rain), is expected to cause a significant inconvenience, but not serious enough to warrant a warning.


Emergency Numbers

The power utilities serving Montgomery County are Pepco, BG&E and Potomac Edison/First Energy. Each has a downloadable mobile app for reporting power outages. They also can be contacted by phone.


In case of water main breaks or other issues, contact the  Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission at 301-206-4002 or email EmergencyCallCenter@

Recycling and Trash Collection 

For updated information about the collection schedule during snow storms, sign up for email or text updates, or follow Solid Waste on Twitter.

Down Trees

Report downed trees on the public right-of-way by contacting the County's Call Center by calling 311 or online.  If downed wires are sparking, call 911.


Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 301-279-8000

Residents are asked to call 911 only in a true emergency, such as downed live power lines. 

MCPS Schools

Call: 240-740-3000
Spanish Hotline: 240-740-2845 (Línea Informativa en Español) or email askmcps@

WMATA (Metro Services)

Call 202-637-7000, visit or follow on Twitter for Metrobus and Metrorail service.

MDOT MTA (Maryland Transit Administration)

Call 410-539-5000, visit or follow on Twitter.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

MCDOT's Latest Go Montgomery! Newsletter - Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022



Montgomery County and WSSC Water to Detail ‘Salt Wise’ Campaign, Using Less Salt and Keeping People Safe During Winter Storms

Montgomery County could experience the first winter weather mix of the season this week. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), MCDOT and WSSC Water are emphasizing the impact excessive salt use can have on the environment. 

Salt runs off into storm drains, local streams and eventually, to the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. Those waterways are drinking water sources for 1.9 million residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Salt can corrode concrete and masonry, harm pets, damage surrounding plants and lawns and adversely impact the water supply. Learn more here.



MCDOT Hosts Virtual Meeting on New Hampshire Flash Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study Today, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Join MCDOT’s online meeting to learn about and provide input to the New Hampshire BRT study.

Register online here.


MCDOT’s Ride On Reimagined Study - Call for Focus Group Members

MCDOT is recruiting community members for focus groups. Participants will be asked to attend two, two-hour focus group sessions held from 6 to 8 p.m. on weeknights. 

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, through data analysis and community engagement. Learn more here.


Public Invited to Virtual Forum on Proposed Ride On Bus Route 51 Extension in Olney on Thursday, Jan. 5

MCDOT will hold a virtual public forum on Thursday, Jan. 5, starting at 6:30 p.m., to discuss the proposed extension of the current bus route 51 to provide service to the ICC Park and Ride lot in Olney. The new proposed extended bus route 51 will operate between the ICC Park and Ride lot and Glenmont Metrorail Station with no additional changes to current stops.

Attendees will have an opportunity to provide comments and ask questions. Learn more here.


Public Invited to Virtual Hearing on Proposed Sidewalk Proposal in Silver Spring on Wednesday, Jan. 18

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, starting at 7 p.m., MCDOT will hold a virtual public hearing to discuss the proposed construction of a sidewalk in the Roscoe Nix Elementary School community on Oakview Drive from Dilston Road to New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring.

At the virtual hearing, MCDOT will present the project details, costs, schedules and obtain public testimony. If approved, the completed project will enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and people with disabilities as they travel to nearby schools and facilities. Public input is encouraged and will influence whether MCDOT constructs any, all or a portion of the proposed sidewalks. 

Online registration is required to attend. The public is encouraged to review the proposal files on the project website.


MCDOT Completes Leaf Collection This Week

MCDOT crews finished leaf collection on Wednesday, Dec. 14.  

Year-round options are available for bagged leaf collection with paper lawn bags on your recycling day or by bringing leaves to the Shady Grove Transfer Station. Another option is mowing them into your lawn and leaving them in place to fertilize your yard. Watch this video to learn what we do with the collected leaves.

Learn more at


Update on Gaithersburg Plane Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the small plane that crashed into power lines in Gaithersburg near the Montgomery County Airpark on Sunday, Nov. 27.

The plane struck and severed power lines and dangled about 100 feet in the air before Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service could rescue the two people trapped inside the plane. The crash left 120,000 without power. The power outage affected approximately 125 traffic signal lights, phone lines and Metro's Red Line. Montgomery County schools were closed the following day.

MCDOT’s Gaithersburg East depot managed emergency road closures and detours. While many of the traffic signals were connected to battery backup systems MCDOT’s Transportation Management Center worked to identify and reboot traffic signals that were offline due to the power interruption. MCDOT’s Sign Shop helped set up safe traffic routing around the collision site.


MCDOT's Storm Operation Staff Partners with National Weather Service 

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, MCDOT’s Storm Operations Center (SOC) staff joined other neighboring agencies and jurisdictions that are involved in snow removal operations, including SHA, VDOT, and Prince Georges County, to discuss short and long-range forecasting, snow season preparations and snow removal best practices at the National Weather Service (NWS) Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office in Sterling, VA.

NWS hosts monthly meetings to assist in weather discussions and provide forecasting tools. At this particular meeting, tabletop exercises were conducted to prepare the agencies for various types of winter weather events.

While there, Chris Strong with the NWS gave a tour of the facility. The following photos include the forecast office, regional radar and weather balloon launching station.

MCDOT's SOC activates during snow events and acts as a central hub to monitor weather conditions and the County's response.


MCDOT Welcomes New Ride On Bus Operators

MCDOT is continually hiring and training new bus operators. The latest class of Ride On bus operators graduated on Friday, Dec. 9. The next training class starts on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 

MCDOT’s Bus Operator training is a 6-week course that covers a variety of topics. In order to pass the course, aspiring operators must achieve a passing grade on the "Skills Pad" driving course and master customer service skills.

Congratulations to the recent graduates. MCDOT is appreciative of the work that all our operators do to provide the best transportation service possible.


Montgomery County Launches Maryland’s First ‘EV Purchasing Co-op Dealership Incentive Program’ to Share Information and Reduce Cost of Buying Electric Vehicles

DEP will be helping residents find discounts on electric vehicles (EVs) with the launch of its new “EV Purchasing Co-op Dealership Incentives” web page. The program is the first in Maryland where a local jurisdiction is partnering directly with local automobile dealerships to provide incentives and discounts for EV purchases. 

Residents and businesses can join the EV Purchasing Co-op and pledge to make their next vehicle electric. Since launching the first phase of the Co-op in January 2022, more than 1,000 residents and businesses have made the pledge. Learn more here.

Did you know? 

MCDOT has 22 ChargePoint EV charging stations in County garages that allow motorists to add 10 to 20 miles of range to their vehicle for every hour of charge time. Charging stations are in Garages 11, 31, 35, 40, 47 and 57 in Bethesda; Garages 5, 7, 9, 60, 61 and Lot 29 in Silver Spring; and Garage 13 and 45 in Wheaton.

Pepco EV charging stations are coming soon in Garages 40 and 57 in Bethesda; and Garage 58 in Silver Spring. Learn more here.


Free Sober Rides Offered for the Winter Holidays

Preparing to combat that time of year when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of all U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers (39%, Christmas; 49%, New Year’s Day – NHTSA, 2020), a local nonprofit organization is offering free safe rides to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington Metropolitan area during the winter holidays beginning on Friday, Dec.16.

Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2022 Holiday SoberRide® program will be in operation nightly from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. from Dec. 16 to Jan. 1, as way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday period.

Each evening during this six-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download Lyft to their phones, then enter a SoberRide® code in the app’s ‘Promo’ section to receive their no-cost (up to $15) safe transportation home. A separate Holiday SoberRide® promo code will be posted at 9 p.m. on Dec. 16, 23 and 31 on

Last December, 461 persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used the free safe ride service rather than possibly driving home impaired. The charity also offers its SoberRide® program on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and Halloween. Learn more here.


New HOV 3+ Requirement on I-66

With the final section of the I-66 Express Lanes corridor completed, both inside and outside the beltway, the HOV requirement for toll-free travel now requires three or more travelers to ride in one vehicle to use the express lanes free of charge. Learn more here.  


REAL ID Deadline Extended Again: What It Means for MD Residents

The Homeland Security Department has once again extended the deadline for REAL ID enforcement, moving it from May 2023 to May 2025.

Officials said the extension is needed, in part, because of lingering problems from COVID-19 that caused backlogs in state agencies charged with issuing driver’s licenses. Learn more here.

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005, following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, which established minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards. Now, under a new regulation, people 18 and up will need a REAL ID compliant card for domestic air travel. 



Metrorail Weekend Service for Saturday, Dec. 17 Through Sunday, Dec. 18

Metro crews will be working on the Red Line between Glenmont and Forest Glen to replace the switch in the interlocking that allows trains to transfer from one track to another. Learn more here.

Make Metro Your Safe Trip on New Year’s Eve

Are you planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the region? #YourMetro today announced Metrorail and Metrobus service will be extended until 2 a.m. on Sunday, Jan.1. Additionally, all trips will be free for customers who choose Metro after 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec.31.

WMATA Asks for Public Input on Five-Year Strategic Plan #YourMetro, The Way Forward

This week Metro released an update for customers and stakeholders on the development of a new strategic plan, #YourMetro, The Way Forward. The plan will provide a long-term strategy and direct Metro’s day-to-day decision making over the next five plus years. The update outlines draft goals focused on service excellence, regional opportunity and partnership, sustainability and talented teams.

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the plan development by Thursday, Jan. 5 using an online form here.

Feedback will be incorporated into the initial draft presented to Metro's Board of Directors in January 2023. After that, the final draft will be shared in early 2023 for additional public review and input. Learn more at

WMATA Began Phase 4 of Temporary Bus Stop Relocations at Rockville Metrorail Station on Wednesday, Dec. 7

Due to WMATA performing bus shelter replacements at the Rockville Metrorail Station, the Westside of the station is experiencing temporary bus stop relocations. Closures and relocations take place in phases. Phase 4 of the closures impact Ride On Routes 46 and 55 through Tuesday, Dec. 20.

    • Bay A (Ride On Route 46) will use T5
    • Bay B (Ride On Route 55) will use T6

Rockville Metro Station Escalator Replacement Began

On Monday, Nov. 28, Metro began replacing the two platform escalators at the Rockville Metro Station. While the escalators are being replaced, access to the platform will only be available using one escalator as a two-way staircase or via elevator. All elevators, as well as the staircases and tunnel used to access the station, will remain open. The replacement of both escalators is expected to take approximately eight months. Learn more here.


DC Council Moves to Make Metrobus Free in the District

D.C. Councilmembers unanimously voted in favor of a bill that would make hopping on a Metrobus in D.C. free. Read the Washington Post article here.


Safety Advocates Release Roadway Safety Recommendations

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) joined Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and other safety leaders to release the 2023 Roadmap to Safety report outlining ways to reduce deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. The advocates hope the report will serve as a guide for state legislatures, Congress, and the U.S. Department of Transportation when reversing the nation’s skyrocketing roadway traffic fatality and injury rate.

According to the group, on average, more than 115 people died on America’s roads every day in 2021. Speeding, impaired driving, and failure to use seat belts are among the causes of those deaths, the group said. Statistics show that traffic fatalities have increased by 19 percent since before the pandemic and that deaths among pedestrians and bicyclists have increased 62 percent in the last decade.

The 20th edition of the report outlines 16 countermeasures to make roads safer, primarily through legislation. Additionally, it rates states for their progress in achieving safer roads through legislation on occupant protection, child passenger safety, teen driving, impaired driving, distracted driving, and automated enforcement to curb speed. Five states – Louisiana, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington – received green ratings. Read the Transportation Today article here.


A Strong Rebound for Shared Bikes and Scooters

The popularity of “micromobility” services – such as shared bikes and scooters – surged after the first year of the pandemic, with 2021 becoming the second-busiest year on record, according to a new report.

Last year’s ridership on scooters and bike shares hit 112 million trips, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. That was nearly double the number of trips in 2020. Read the Route Fifty article here.


Scientists Thought Carbon Emissions Had Peaked. They’ve Never Been Higher

Near the end of 2020, as the covid-19 pandemic continued to rage, a few climate scientists and energy experts made a prediction. They estimated that emissions from fossil fuels — which had just plummeted thanks to the global pandemic — might never again reach the heights of 2019. Perhaps, they speculated, after over a century of ever more carbon dioxide flowing into the atmosphere, the world had finally reached “peak” emissions. Read the Washington Post article here.


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December 15, 2022



We wish you and your families a wonderful winter holiday season!


Sign Up for Alert Montgomery to Stay Current on Changing Weather Conditions

Sign up for Alert Montgomery, the County's emergency warning system that sends alerts to your cell phone, email or via text message. 


SIGN UP to receive the latest MCDOT news and follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter and Facebook for frequent Montgomery County storm operations updates.


Get Snow Updates from MCDOT's Snow Portal

MCDOT's Snow Portal provides information about preparing for the storm, status of plowing operations and other snow-related information, visit:


Away From Home for the Holidays; AAA Expects Nearly 113 Million Americans will Travel to End 2022

’Tis the season to travel, and AAA estimates 112.7 million people will journey 50 miles or more away from home from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, an increase of 3.6 million people over last year.

Other modes of transportation are also rebounding in a big way. AAA estimates that travel by bus, rail and cruise ship will rise to 3.6 million this holiday season. This is a 23% increase from last year and nearly 94% of 2019’s volume. Learn more here.


Transportation Schedule for Sunday, Dec. 25 and Monday, Dec. 26:

  • MCDOT offices - Will be closed. 
  • Ride On bus service - Will operate on a Sunday schedule. Will operate on a Saturday schedule until 10 p.m. on Dec. 24.
  • Flash rapid bus service - Will operate on a Weekend schedule (Orange line only).
  • Ride On extRa and Flex bus service - Not in service.
  • TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center - Will be closed.    
  • TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store - Will be closed. 
  • Public parking, lots and curbside meters - Free on Dec 26. Obey posted rates and restrictions on Dec. 24 and 25.

For Sunday, Jan. 1 and Monday, Jan. 2:

  • MCDOT offices - Will be closed. 
  • Ride On bus service - Will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • Flash rapid bus service - Will operate on a Weekend schedule (Orange line only).
  • Ride On extRa and Flex bus service - Not in service.
  • TRiPS Commuter Storeat Silver Spring Transit Center - Will be closed.    
  • TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store - Will be closed. 
  • Public parking, lots and curbside meters - Free on Jan. 1. Obey posted rates and restrictions on Dec. 31.


Beware of Slippery Roads – Black Ice

As temperatures continue to lower, black ice becomes a concern for travelers. Due to increased airflow, bridges and overpasses cool much quicker and develop black ice earlier than typical roadways.

  • Slow down and brake gradually. Avoid aggressive braking or steering.
  • Double your following distance. The increased distance between your vehicle and other vehicles allows for safe stops if a vehicle begins to skid or has to make a stop.


Look Out for MCDOT as we Raise Awareness on Pedestrian Safety at Westfield Montgomery Mall This Weekend

MCDOT's Pedestrian Safety Team will be inside the Westfield Montgomery Mall all day this Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18. Stop by the MCDOT table for safety education materials and giveaways and to view the Street Smart’s “Lives Shatter on Impact" wall exhibit and to hear testimonials from those that have been impacted by a pedestrian or bicyclist crash. View photos from our visit to Westfield Wheaton Mall last weekend here.


MCDOT Posts Placards On Ride On Buses Throughout December to Honor Rosa Parks

Learn more here.


Electric Vehicles, County Incentives and Charging Stations - Next ‘What’s Happening MoCo’ Podcast Shares Information for Current and Future EV Owners

Learn more here.


Montgomery County’s Solar-Powered Bus Depot Adds New Energy to Maryland Transit

Montgomery County opened the nation's largest solar-powered microgrid depot, capable of charging up to 70 electric buses at its Brookville Smart Energy Depot in Silver Spring. Read the Mass Transit article here.


MCDOT Welcomes 53 High School Students to be Vision Zero Youth Ambassadors

MCDOT received 140 student Vision Zero Ambassador applications, from 19 high schools. MCDOT will rank and notify 53 students that they were chosen as Vision Zero Ambassadors. These students will help the County achieve its Vision Zero goals as road safety leaders in their communities. Students commit to an 8-week program where they will create and implement a safety campaign.

The County’s Vision Zero initiative aims to eliminate traffic-related severe injuries and deaths.


Free Bus Rides on MCDOT’s Ride On, Most Metrobuses for all Seniors 65+ and Youth

Seniors age 65+ and youth under 19 (older if still in high school) can ride all Ride On buses and most Metrobuses within the county for free at all times by using Senior SmarTrip and Youth Cruiser SmarTrip cards.

MCDOT has updated fareboxes and asks that those riders tap the fare box with their special smart cards when entering the bus, which will provide an accurate count of senior and youth ridership. With that data, Ride On can work to further improve service for senior and youth riders.



MCDOT’s Bike Match Program Seeks Bike Donations 

Are you purchasing a new bike to replace an old one during the holidays? Wondering what to do with the old one? Consider donating it to MCDOT’s Bike Match program and providing a person in need with a reliable transportation option. Learn how to donate your bike here.


Buckle Up, Seatbelts Save Lives

Don’t worry — a seat belt will go just fine with your favorite ugly sweater.


How About Giving the Gift of Capital Bikeshare this Holiday Season?

An Annual Membership is only $95 and includes unlimited 45-minute classic bike rides for a whole year. Plus, you can use any of the Capital Bikeshare stations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. Learn more at

Visit Brookside's Garden of Lights in Wheaton


Watch this video on Brookside's Garden of Lights

View a list of holiday activities around the DC Region here.


Contact 311 to get it Done

Want more information about the status of County programs and services? Want to report unshoveled sidewalks, downed trees or other weather-related issues? Contact Montgomery County’s Customer Service Center by calling 311 (or 240-777-0311 if outside the County) or visiting 311 online at