VanGO FAQ | www.charlescountymd.gov

www.charlescountymd.gov

Charles County, Maryland

VanGO FAQ

VanGO Frequently Asked Questions

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What is VanGO?

VanGO is Charles County's public transportation service with public bus routes and Specialized Services operating throughout Charles County. MV Transportation, a professional transportation provider, provides VanGO services under a contract with the Charles County Government.

What are your hours?

VanGO operates Monday-Saturday, 6:30am-10:00pm on many of its public transportation routes. VanGO's ADA service has the same operating hours. VanGO’s Demand Response service (ADA door to door service for Passengers beyond ¾ mile from a public bus route) operates 8:00am-5:00pm. The three eligibility days are determined by the Passenger’s zip code.

What is a personalized schedule?

This is a schedule that has been personalized for your needs, showing how to get from specific points that you have designated in your request. To get a personalized schedule, contact the Department of Planning and Growth Management, Transit Division at 301-934-0110.

Who can use VanGO?

VanGO is for County residents and visitors. All vehicles are wheelchair accessible for persons with disabilities.

Where can I get bus schedules?

Schedules can be downloaded from this website or by calling the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management, Transit Division, at 301-934-9305. Schedules are also available at local libraries, Senior Centers, and Community Centers.

Are bus drivers assigned to a specific bus?

No. Driver assignments change regularly, and drivers are normally assigned to more than one route. Therefore, bus assignments are not maintained.

Can the driver wait for me while I run an errand?

No. VanGO drivers are not allowed to wait for customers to adhere to schedules. Passengers must catch the next bus to go to their destination. Specialized Services customers will have to wait for their return ride home.

Can I leave the store shopping cart at the transfer point when I board the bus?

No. Store shopping carts are not allowed to remain at the VanGO transfer points. Customers are required to hold all items on their lap or place them under the seat.

Are pets allowed?

No, but service animals are allowed on VanGO vehicles. The customer must advise VanGO what service the animal is trained to provide them.

Are strollers allowed?

Yes, but strollers are required to be folded and placed in the back of the bus.

How much does it cost to ride VanGo?

On the public routes, the cost is $1.00 one way (each time you board a bus) for the public or $.50 one way for senior citizens (60 and older) and persons with disabilities. All-Day Passes can be purchased for only $2.00, $1.00 for Seniors, and $1.00 for persons with disabilities. All Day Passes must be purchased with exact change and cannot be purchased using a VanGO coupon. Children 6 and under ride for free.

ADA passengers may purchase a $10.00 ticket book for $8.00 for the Specialized Services. Reduce Fare Cards are available for ADA passengers and clients with disabilities meeting the criteria to ride public bus routes.

Can I ride all day if I purchase an All-Day Pass or do I have to be going somewhere?

If a fare is paid at each boarding, or a valid All-Day Pass is shown, passengers can ride all day. They do not have to disembark the bus except for when arriving at the transfer point. At the main transfer points, such as the Route 301 Park and Ride and the La Plata Walmart outer parking lot, passengers may be required to disembark but may then board the bus again when it is time to leave the transfer point to start the next loop.

Can drivers make change, or do I need exact change, or can I pay when I return?

Exact change is required, and fare is required prior to boarding. Drivers can issue change in the format of a fare card. Farebox accepts up to $20.00 bills.

Can I give the driver a check?

No. Only cash or VanGO ticket coupons are accepted.

I purchased Agency tickets, can I get a refund?

No. All sales are final.

Does VanGo go to DC, Prince George County or St. Mary Coutnty?

VanGO does not travel to DC. Although most service is concentrated in Charles County, the VanGO Charlotte Hall route operates into St. Mary’s County and connects in Charlotte Hall with St. Mary’s Transit and the Calvert bus system. Additionally, the VanGO’s Brandywine Connector route operates evenings and Saturdays to the Brandywine Crossing shopping center in Prince George’s County. From early morning to early evening, Prince George’s County “The Bus” route #36 connects with VanGO’s Pinefield and Business A routes at the Pinefield South shopping center. The Bus route #36 provides connections to other Prince George’s County transfer points.

Can VanGo get me to the Metro?

No, but with the connections to the Prince George's Conty The Bus via the VanGO’s Pinefield and Business A routes, you can connect to the Branch Avenue Metrorail station. See examples below:

  1. From the Waldorf Transfer Point take the VanGO Business A or Pinefield route to the Pinefield South Shopping Center. Transfer to The Bus route #36The Bus route #36
  2. Take The Bus route #36 to the Clinton Fringe Parking Lot. Transfer to The Bus route #30.
  3. Take The Bus route #30 and arrive at the Branch Avenue Metrorail station.

How do I get to?

St. Charles Towne Center Mall: 301 Connector bus, St Charles B bus, St Charles C bus, Business B bus

Motor Vehicle Administration: Business A bus

University of Maryland, St. Charles Regional Hospital: La Plata bus

Regency Baseball Stadium: St. Charles D bus

Post Offices: Business A bus for Waldorf, 301 Connector bus for White Plains, Indian Head bus for Indian Head, and La Plata bus for La Plata post office.

Charles County Court and Government building: La Plata bus

I live very close to a VanGo bus route but would rather not walk to the bus stop. Can the bus come down my street and pick me up?

No. VanGO bus routes are fixed routes operating on timed schedules and do not deviate. Customers must reach the bus stop by their own means. If a person is unable to reach the nearest bus stop due to a medical condition, they may apply for VanGO Specialized Servicesby completing a VanGO Specialized Services Application. VanGO Specialized Services do provide door-to-door service for qualified applicants.

How do I get VanGo to come to my neighborhood?

VanGO public routes are established to serve as many populated areas as possible but do not cover all areas of Charles County. Citizens requesting VanGO service to new areas may do so by writing a letter or email to the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management, Transit Division letting us know where you feel service is needed. Customers may also contact us to request a new service area. Requests received will be evaluated and maintained for consideration, but expansion will only occur in accordance with the five-year Transit Development Plan and as additional funding becomes available.

What are Specialized Services and how do I get them?>

VanGO’s Specialized Services are for elderly or disabled persons who do not live on public transportation routes or who do live on the routes but are unable to use the public bus system due to some physical or mental impairment. Applications are required and can be downloaded from this website or received by calling the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management, Transit Division, at 301-645-0642.

What is Subscription Service?

VanGO’s Subscription Service is for elderly or disabled persons who routinely need to travel to a specific location. VanGO has a fleet of buses dedicated for dialysis centers and the Senior Center. Subscription Services are subject to service areas, vehicle capacity, and inclement weather conditions. Applications must be completed and approved.

Who do I call to schedule a Specialized Service trip?

After a customer has been approved for Specialized Service, all appointments are scheduled by contacting VanGo at 301-609-7917.

How do I reschedule a Specialized Service trip if I'm not ready to be picked up or to cancel?

Contact VanGO at 301-609-7917.

How do I get to my doctor’s appointment out of the county because I need special medical assistant?

Contact AAA Medical Transportation at 240-254-2158

Can I make multiple stops with my Specialized Service?

No, trips are scheduled from door to destination and return to door. Charles County has multiple stores and pharmacies that have home delivery service.

If I need assistance, who will go with me on the Specialized Service bus?

A Personal Care Attendant must be provided by the customer. Drivers can aid door-to-door only if a customer needs assistance once arriving at their destination. The customer needs to make plans to have a Personal Care Attendant accompany them.

Call the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management, Transit Division, at 301-645-0642.