April 13, 2022

Planning Study for County’s Future North Bethesda/Flash Rapid Bus Service Seeks Input from Residents Through Online Survey

Montgomery County's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, branded as “Flash,” will provide upgraded bus service on select corridors. The County is looking to extend the service with a future North Bethesda line. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has started a planning study for the line to assist in determining the street layout, location of stations and the endpoints of the corridor and is seeking input from residents via an online survey.

The survey to help refine goals and recommendations can be accessed at North Bethesda BRT. The survey is available in English and Spanish and will be open until Friday, April 29.

Flash is a limited-stop, branded bus service currently planned for five corridors within the County. Where possible, Flash will run in its own lanes to bypass existing traffic congestion. It also will use queue jumps and transit signal priority to avoid traffic at select intersections to provide faster and more reliable service.

Flash stations are designed to make boarding vehicles easier, improving travel time and increasing transit equity. The unique modern stations will provide weather protection, pre-payment stations and real-time transit information. New, enhanced vehicles for Flash lines are equipped with WiFi and USB ports and accommodate bicycles onboard

The County’s first Flash line began serving US 29 in October 2020. It uses existing bus-on-shoulder lanes on US 29 in the northern section of the corridor. It operates in mixed traffic in the southern section of US 29 and along Lockwood Drive, Stewart Lane, Briggs Chaney Road and Castle Boulevard.

In addition to the Route 29 and North Bethesda lines, Flash lines are planned for New Hampshire Ave, Veirs Mill Road and Maryland Route 355.

The North Bethesda line is one of five Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes in the County’s planned FLASH BRT network. In 1992, it was originally proposed as an offshoot from the Metrorail Red Line to the Rock Spring office park area and to Westfield Montgomery Mall, but since was updated in the 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan with two alternatives. One alternative ends the transitway at the White Flint Metro Station and the other at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station.

To learn more about the BRT/Flash Bus Service, visit the Flash website here.