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Emerald Express (EmX), Eugene, Oregon  (photo credit: www.klcc.org)

 

 
 
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Montgomery County is a vibrant, fast-growing area that is part of a highly congested region. Average commutes are over 35 minutes, and roadway congestion is predicted to increase 70% by 2040. Montgomery County will continue to grow, but mostly through redevelopment, so options for building new roads or expanding existing roads are limited. As a result, the County is striving to increase its transportation connections among communities, including frequent, reliable transit service that can move greater numbers of people to and from jobs, homes, shopping, and entertainment areas.

Montgomery County is studying the development of a Rapid Transit System (RTS), including  Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which would greatly increase high-quality transit service to the County’s most densely developed areas, areas planned for redevelopment, and areas planned for new dense development. BRT offers a cost-effective and versatile way for communities to meet their transit needs. It uses well-planned bus routes and facilities that provide for high speed travel at a lower cost than other forms of transit. Some of its distintictive features are its high frequency all-day service, off-board fare collection, attractive stations, dedicated roadway, and real-time passenger information. Dedicated roadway is critical to the promise of “rapid” in bus rapid transit – without such a facility, buses would be stuck on the congested roadways. BRT buses have features similar to light rail, including level floors, multiple wide doors for easy boarding and departures, and comfortable interiors that include space for wheelchairs and bicycle storage.

As with any system, RTS contains its own set of specialized terms. To help you understand the discussion, refer this glossary of RTS/BRT terminology.

Montgomery County is working with the State of Maryland to study four corridors for possibly BRT implementation. This is a community process and the planning studies are anticipated to be completed in 2016. Please learn about the studies, provide comments, or follow our RTS corridor advisory committees!

As shown in the map below, the following 3 corridors are being studied (some of them have been divided into 2 sections for Corridor Advisory Committee purposes):

  • MD 355 (Wisconsin Ave and Rockville Pike): Study funded by the State of Maryland (corridors 1 and 2 on map)
  • US 29 (Colesville Rd and Columbia Pike): Study funded by State of Maryland (corridors 3 and 4 on map)
  • MD 586 (Veirs Mill Rd): Study funded by Montgomery County (corridor 5 on map)

Note that as of January 16, 2015 the BRT corridor study on MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) was cancelled. Click here to view a letter from County Executive Ike Leggett on this study, or click here for more details. 

All of these studies are being led by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), but are a collaborative effort between SHA, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), and Montgomery County.

 
 

Corridors

 

 

Last update: May 20, 2015, 12:30 pm