Frederick County set to launch expanded service pilot program

March 3, 2023
The pilot program will start April 1 and include more service options in four municipalities, as well as improved bus stops, accessibility upgrades and signage.

Transit Services of Frederick County will start a pilot program April 1 that will provide residents in Brunswick, Emmitsburg, Jefferson and Thurmont, Md., with additional Saturday service, improved access and other upgrades.

“We asked communities in the northern and southern areas of Frederick County how we could better serve them,” County Executive Jessica Fitzwater said, “and people told us they needed more options to get to medical appointments, shop and even get to work. By expanding access to transit, we are expanding opportunities for people who live in our smaller, more rural communities.”

Brunswick Mayor Nathan Brown added, “We are excited to have great partnerships with Frederick County Government and create new opportunities to expand services that our community members want and need.”

“Expanding connectivity has been a work in progress for some time,” noted Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs. “Mass public transit is the sustainable way and helps our seniors and students.”

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird said, “The residents of Thurmont appreciate the increase in transit services. Our seniors will greatly benefit from this expansion.”

The pilot program includes the following features:

  • Brunswick/Jefferson riders will have two round trips between Frederick and Brunswick every Saturday.
  • The Brunswick/Jefferson route’s first trip will start in Frederick, rather than in Brunswick, ensuring employees can get to early shifts in Brunswick.
  • Emmitsburg/Thurmont riders asked for a late morning option that provides access to medical appointments along Thomas Johnson Drive, so a late morning trip will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Emmitsburg/Thurmont riders will have two round trips between Frederick and those communities every Saturday, supporting Mount St. Mary’s University students, as well as community members throughout northern Frederick County.
  • Riders of both the Brunswick/Jefferson and Emmitsburg/Thurmont shuttles will have improved bus stops, including accessibility upgrades, places to sit, and updated signage.

Frederick is one of the fastest growing counties in Maryland, and Transit Services’ ridership continues to grow. In fiscal year 2022, riders took more than 550,000 trips on Transit’s fixed route and paratransit services, an increase of over 130,000 trips from the year before. Transit is focused on improving the customer experience, regardless of where a rider boards, and is identifying improvements to bus stops and transfer facilities throughout Frederick County.

“This pilot service expansion is a direct result of listening to transit riders and community members,” said Roman Steichen, director. “It is critical to meet people where they are, and we commit to working together across the board to ensure that riders have the opportunity to access every opportunity here in Frederick County.”