MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD. (WJZ)- The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) announced Tuesday that it would begin to make limited quantities of face coverings available on Ride On buses to those who cannot provide their own in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The program is meant to help passengers comply with Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order requiring all passengers on public transportation to wear face coverings.

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MCDOT encourages passengers to have their own personal face coverings such as a bandana or scarf but, in the case that a Ride On passenger forgets their face covering, buses are being outfitted with a limited supply of individually wrapped face coverings.

Buses will be outfitted with face coverings as supplies are made available starting with select bus services serving the Silver Spring area first.

The pilot program will be evaluated by MCDOT starting with the Silver Spring Depot and make adjustments as needed with the hope that all Ride On buses will be carrying face coverings by early May.

“We are grateful to the Department of General Services’ efforts to provide the supplies needed to help protect our riders,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin in a statement. “That said, I strongly encourage Ride On passengers to provide their own face coverings whenever possible and so we can reserve these spare coverings for those who have no alternative. I also want to reinforce that bus service is being provided for essential travel only.”

Passengers are also reminded that those who do not comply with the face covering requirement will first be advised of the requirement and may be directed not to board or to exit the vehicle.

Ride On services remain temporarily free to all passengers, though all passengers are now required to board at the rear doors of the bus.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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