August 13, 2015

Bringing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to Montgomery County

Montgomery County is developing plans for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that can offer a fast, reliable alternative to driving by providing more transit options and shorter commutes. BRT also will connect more people to more jobs, bringing economic growth and expanding the County's tax base.

A similar BRT, called Metroway, recently started running in Alexandria, VA. Soon, it will expand to Arlington.

Take a look at this video about the "public transportation with an exclusive feel," located just across the Potomac River.


  1. There is nothing here that explains the impact on our small suburban communities that are already transportation nightmares for elderly and disabled people. Please explain how people will cross these restricted lanes, and how connections will enable citizens to utilize these BRT innovations to go to shopping or appointments, and how the new BRT will be different for citizens who live, work, and shop adjacent to the middle of these planned routes.

    1. The Department of Transportation thanks you for sharing your concerns about BRT. Montgomery County is in the process of planning a BRT network that would address the needs of automobile drivers, transit passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

      Particularly relevant to transit customers who are elderly or live with a disability, BRT would provide a transportation system in the community that offers level boarding, i.e., no steps.

      For pedestrians, the study teams evaluating design alternatives will be carefully considering access both to the BRT stations and through the system. This may include pedestrian access routes to and from BRT stations connecting to residential areas or other activity centers. It can be assumed BRT would offer well-marked crosswalks and, in segments of the roadway where the BRT might operate down the median, “refuge” islands in the middle of the road to assist pedestrians.

      BRT stations will likely feature a host of amenities, such as benches, barriers to the wind and weather, and well lit waiting areas.

      And, for residents who live, work and shop near the planned routes, BRT would provide a frequent and convenient way to travel easily to stores, appointments, employment and recreational opportunities – making many of your day-to-day destinations more accessible.

  2. This is very nice, except that if you brought this to Route 29 you'd be reducing an already congested 3 lane road to 2 lanes with buses that don't take anyone directly to where they want to go.

    1. Thank you for sharing your concerns about BRT on the US 29 corridor. DOT reports that Montgomery County is in the process of planning a BRT network that would address the needs of automobile drivers, transit passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

      Automobile flow certainly is part of that process as planners identify the best way to accommodate all of the transportation modes. One aspect of the study of this corridor will be the potential ability of various alternatives, including the “no build” alternative, to move people through a given segment. BRT may have the capability to move a greater number of people through a given segment than an existing lane that is relying upon motorists using their own vehicles.

      There may be other options, too, such as adding a lane for the BRT (when called for in the Master Plan), or having the BRT operate within existing traffic.

      This sort of analysis will be presented to elected decision makers who ultimately have the authority to decide how our transportation system develops. They will take into account the many comments of the public over the process. This is why the County appreciates your input at this point.

  3. Against removing car lanes for buses. This will just increase congestion for everyone..


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