ATMS Control — Transit System

Ride On busMontgomery County operates a mass transit system known as Ride On that consists of 218 buses. The Ride On fleet provides over 17 million trips per year and it connects to the Washington D.C area Metrobus and Metrorail system.  

Transit Work stationIn September 1996, the Montgomery County Transportation Management Center (TMC) began integrated traffic and transit operations. The Ride On transit dispatchers and supervisors were relocated to the TMC and joined traffic technicians and engineers to manage the County's transportation system. This integration of traffic and transit operations was made to improve coordination between traffic engineering and transit services, and ultimately, to ensure the efficient utilization of transportation capacity in the County. Through one system, the Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS), transit and traffic operations are performed.

In spring of 1997, Ride On buses were equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) equipment. The system will provide real-time accurate information about the location of the buses and their average speeds along the routes. It will also detect bus delays  and automatically request signal priority treatment. The ATMS traffic signal system is being upgraded with a computerized transit algorithm that will determine whether or not to grant the bus priority treatment. Testing and implementation of the priority treatment was completed in the Spring 1997. The traffic signals will be automatically adjusted to allow the Ride On buses to clear the approaching intersections only if the automobile traffic flow conditions will not be adversely effected.

As part of the integrated traffic and transit operations, the ATMS Internet website provides traveler information that includes the Ride On routes and schedules, transit delay and detour information, fare and transfer information, and information on buying transit tickets and passes. The ATMS information is available at  ATMS HOME


  • Transit management systems yield 12-28 % improvements in on-time performance
  • Transit signal priority systems may yield a 5-8% decrease in the transit run times
  • Provides prompt driver and passenger assistance in case of emergency
  •  Provides opportunities for demand responsive paratransit services to match rider needs with vehicle operations
  • Improved transit information