A Maryland Transit Administration bus will have a slightly new route beginning Friday to extend service to a new parking lot on the north side of Frederick.
The MTA’s 515 bus to the Shady Grove Metro station in Montgomery County will start half of its routes from the park and ride near U.S. 15 and Monocacy Boulevard, with the other routes beginning at the MARC station in downtown Frederick, before continuing on to the Monocacy MARC station on Genstar Drive, the Urbana park and ride, and on to Montgomery County.
The new park and ride stop will give commuters more options and flexibility when riding commuter buses, MTA spokeswoman Brittany Marshall said in an email Tuesday.
The new interchange at U.S. 15 and Monocacy Boulevard opened in July 2018, and the park and ride opened in June.
The 515 bus will begin a new contract with Atlantic Coast Charters on Friday, and Marshall said the MTA coordinated the start of the new stop with the new contract to provide a smooth transition for riders.
Atlantic, based in Linthicum, took over the $7.9 million contract from Eyre Bus Services, based in Glenelg. The company was also awarded the contract to operate the MTA’s Route 505 bus, which runs between Washington County and Montgomery County.
Along with those two routes, Frederick County also has a bus, the Route 204 line, that runs from Frederick to the College Park Metro station.
TransIT Services of Frederick County will host an outreach event for commuters at the new park and ride between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Tuesday and provide information on vanpooling incentives and the system’s guaranteed ride home program.
The county has a lot of vanpools that go down to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda or into Washington, D.C., or to Baltimore, said TransIT spokeswoman Kendall Tiffany.
The new lot may be more convenient for people who live on the north side of the city, and their event will hopefully make people aware that the lot is available, she said.
Tiffany said she’s heard from several commuters at events and through email who live on the north side of the city and have been driving across town to the Monocacy Station so that they have a place to park.