We wanted to compile a list of free/discounted programs & resources that pertain to our senior members. Did you know that seniors and people with disabilities can ride the Ride On & Metrobus for free? There are dozens of programs that you could be taking advantage of-- learn more today!
Transportation for Seniors
Montgomery County has multiple programs that seniors should be taking advantage of. We'll be discussing these programs in further detail below:
Seniors Ride Free Program (Free & discounted bus transportation)
Senior Connection- Free Transportation (Free car transportation)
Metro-Riders Call-and-Ride program (Discounted taxi transportation)
Connect-A-Ride (CAR) Program (Referral service for additional transportation)
Seniors Ride Free Program
As of the publishing date of this blog post (03/25/19), seniors & people with disabilities are able to ride both the Ride On & Metrobus buses for FREE! Free fare is available during the following dates/times:
Outside of these hours, fares are half-priced for seniors and people with disabilities. Here are the discounted fare prices (which can also be found here):
Senior/Disabled SmarTrip or Cash: $1.00
Senior/Disabled SmarTrip Transfer from Metrorail: $.50
Senior/Disabled SmarTrip or Cash (Express Fares- Route 70): $2.10
Senior/Disabled SmarTrip Transfer from Metrorail (Express Fares- Route 70): $1.60
Senior/Disabled SmarTrip Transfer from local bus (Express Fares- Route 70): $1.10
Senior/Disabled Boarding with Weekly Pass - Additional Paid with cash (Express Fares- Route 70): $1.10
To qualify, the seniors must be 65 years or older, and must have either a) A valid Senior SmarTrip Card* or b) a Medicare card along with a photo ID. For people with disabilities to qualify, they must have a valid Metro Disability ID card. When you arrive, present your card to the driver. Do not tap the Senior SmarTrip card* because a fare will be deducted. For more information about this program, click here.
*Individuals who are 65 + can purchase a Senior SmarTrip card to travel for free or at a discount on Metrorail, Metrobus, and Ride On.
Senior Connection- Free Transportation
"Senior Connection" provides free escorted transportation services to seniors 60 and over who reside in Montgomery County, MD. They provide up to 4 escorted round trips per month & appointments are pre-scheduled. Some acceptable appointments include medical appointments, pharmacy visits, senior social activities, religious observations, bank trips, grocery/shopping trips, etc.
They may also be able to provide friendly home-visits to clients. All transportation is provided by volunteers, and rides are subject to the availability of drivers. Contact Senior Connection for more information, and find details of the program here.
Metro-Riders Call-and-Ride Program
Call-n-Ride (CNR) is a local program that provides discounted taxicab service to eligible low-income seniors (65+) & adults with disabilities. This program can be used for any purpose, i.e. transportation to the doctors, social events, etc. as is only available to eligible Montgomery County, MD residents. Applications for the program can be found here.
A variety of other transportation programs can be found here. These programs/services include:
Connect-A-Ride (CAR) Program: Free referral service that helps Montgomery County residents find transportation for medical services, errands, social activities & more. Specifically, CAR helps adults over the age of 50, as well as adults with disabilities. CAR refers callers to public, private & volunteer transportation services (such as escorted transportation, which ) and CAR can also provide callers with information/applications for local senior programs including Call-n-Ride and Metro Access. Learn more about the transportation programs here.
Transportation Network Directory for People with Disabilities and Adults age 50+: This directory lists a variety of transportation options for seniors living in Montgomery County, MD. This list includes ridesharing options, services that provide transportation specifically to airports/grocery stores/other destinations, & more! Read more here.
VillageRides: This program helps Montgomery County, MD residents who live in local “villages” to coordinate free transportation. Transportation is fulfilled by volunteer drivers and is subject to availability. Learn more here.
Montgomery County Escorted Transportation Pilot program: Escorted transportation (which provides assistance for disabled persons) is available to eligible adults based on income and disability. Customers contribute to the cost of the service based on income. Learn more here.
Medicaid Free Transportation: Some Montgomery County Medicaid recipients may be able to access free transportation for their medical appointments. Recipients must meet the screening requirements to be eligible, and they must that indicate there are no other means of transportation available (or their medical needs prevent them from using available transportation). This transportation is available for Medicaid-covered, medically necessary appointments. Learn more here.
Montgomery County Recreation Transportation: Some Montgomery County Senior Centers provide free transportation (door-to-door) for members. This transportation is available to Montgomery County residents who are 55+, and provides transportation to/from the senior centers (and sometimes, to community centers). Learn more here.
Montgomery County Senior Center Assistance
Montgomery County, Maryland operates 6 senior centers located around Damascus, Silver Spring and Rockville. These senior centers are open to Montgomery County residents over the age of 55.
Each of the 6 county senior centers provide a variety of weekday activities & groups. Some leisure & social activities include knitting/crochet groups, painting & art workshops, photography clubs, board game meetings, puzzle clubs & more. Are you looking for something to do? Meet new friends in the community & try out new activities--you can even schedule free transportation to the centers; call 240-777-4925 for more information. The centers also offer educational health seminars, support groups & other programs which are detailed below. The combined daily-calendar for all of the centers can be found here.
Travel Programs & Special Events
In addition to their usual weekday events, some of the centers also host special events & weekend activities, like senior proms, talent shows & more. The senior centers also offer travel opportunities to visit places near & far, throughout the mid-Atlantic region. For local travel, the Senior Programs team offers "mini-trips" for 55+ members. The trips are generally 4-6 hours in duration; each trip offers transportation via a 20-passenger bus, so space is limited. You are encouraged to call the center nearest you (list found here) or call 240-777-4925 for more information.
The 6 senior centers offer health screenings ranging from blood pressure checks to one-on-one counseling sessions. They also offer a regular series of lectures related to your personal health. A sampling of these may include programs on proper nutrition, heart health, fall prevention, Diabetes, proper exercises to maintain bone strength and muscle tone & more. These lectures can be helpful for learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Finally, each center provides health classes which vary from 4-12 weeks in duration. Some classes focus on strength & balance, fall prevention and chronic disease management.
Montgomery County offers "hot meal" lunch programs at 8 senior-program locations around the County. These locations include:
For seniors who are aged 60+, a donation is requested. For those under the age of 60, the full price of the meal is required. You are asked the reserve a meal at least 1 week in advance, so that the center can order the correct number of meals. Some centers offer a "wait-list" for last-minute requests, which is subject to the availability of extra-meals.
Active Adult Programs
In addition to the health classes offered at the senior centers, there are also 55+ sports classes, which are held at local Recreation Centers. There are 13 Community Recreation Center for Seniors in the Montgomery County area & each center provides unique activities such as fitness classes, games, lectures, parties, entertainment, sports & more. The combined-calendar can be found here.
Senior sports programs currently include: billiards, badminton, basketball, pickleball, softball, table tennis, and volleyball. Other activities include yoga classes, zumba & more. Many of these programs are "open-gym, drop-in" programs. You must purchase a $30 annual Gym Pass to access these events. This pass gives you access to all "open-gym" programs at any of the Montgomery County Recreation community centers. All skill levels are welcome. Formal leagues are also available-- contact your local community center for more information.
The centers offer referrals/information, volunteer opportunities, free transportation (55+) & more. To find out how your local center can benefit you, contact them (phone numbers & addresses found below).
Damascus Senior Center 9701 Main Street, Damascus 240-777-6995
Holiday Park Senior Center 3950 Ferrara Drive, Silver Spring 240-777-4999
Long Branch Senior Center 8700 Piney Branch, Silver Spring 240-777-6975
Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center 1000 Forest Glen, Silver Spring 240-777-8085
North Potomac Senior Center 13850 Travilah Road, Rockville 240-773-4805
White Oak Senior Center 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring 240-777-6944
Rockville Senior Center
In addition to the county-run senior centers, the Rockville Senior Center has a variety of free programs and resources that residents can take advantage of--learn more by reading below.
Snow Shoveling Assistance
Ah, snow... it's breathtakingly beautiful, but it can be a pain to clear the driveway. Did you know that the city of Rockville pairs senior residents with volunteers who are able to help shovel sidewalks and driveways? It might be a bit late to use the service this year (although Maryland weather is very unpredictable...), but this is great to know about for next winter. You may fill out an application form here to request support. You may also call call 240-314-8800 to sign-up.
Local senior centers provides 60+ members with hot/cold lunches every day at noon, as well as weekly Chinese lunches. These lunches are offered at no cost, but the City of Rockville website states that donations are welcomed and recommended. Reservations are required. Learn more here. For more information, call 240-314-8810.
Community Resource Referrals & Services
The City of Rockville offers personalized services to Montgomery County residents. Some of these services include:
Resource referrals & recommendations for home maintenance services, contractors, snow removal and more.
Information & education, including emergency financial information, which may be helpful for those who have recently lost a spouse.
Home/Hospital visits to senior residents
Financial aid to help residents pay for recreational classes and memberships (available to qualified candidates).
Bus-shuttle services to provide free transportation to all City of Rockville residents 60 + or older. Bus and taxi subsidies are available to seniors living within Rockville city limits.
Village facilitators to help you start your own village. Villages foster social connections through neighborhood activities and events, and can also coordinate volunteer assistance through a neighbor-helping-neighbor model.
For more information, call 240-314-8816 (for English) or 240-314-8817 (for Spanish).
Health & Wellness
Rockville Senior Center staff are caring & supportive; they're available to help you with any counseling needs. Additionally, the staff "wellness experts" can help connect you with immunizations, health screenings, education, wellness counseling & much more. They provide both individual support & support groups. For Health & Wellness, call 240-314-8803. For counseling services, call 240-314-8810.