February 7, 2024

Department of Transportation Celebrates Valentine’s Day with Decorated Buses and Social Media Contest

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is spreading the love during the month of February with five US 29 Flash buses decorated with pink neon heart-shaped lights in honor of Valentine’s Day. In addition to the decorated buses, MCDOT is offering residents and riders a way to send love to their Valentines, and possibly win a prize package for two.

Through Feb. 14, residents and riders can repost a #LoveFlash Valentine to a friend on social media and tag both a valentine and @MCDOTNow for a chance to win two $50 gift cards—one for the sender and one for their Valentine. Since Feb. 1, #LoveFlash Valentines have been posted on RidetheFlash.com and on the @MCDOTNow X, Facebook, Instagram and Threads social media channels. The winning entry will be drawn at noon on Feb. 14 and announced on the @MCDOTNow social media channels at 5 p.m. The sender and the person they tagged each will win an electronic gift card. Full contest rules can be found on RidetheFlash.com.

“Valentine’s Day is a great day to share your love about the US 29 Flash,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “The US 29 Flash route has consistently been one of our top five most popular bus routes since it debuted in 2020. The Flash Valentine lights are our way of thanking our riders. I hope that by participating in the #LoveFlash Valentine contest, our residents can show their appreciation for Flash. And if you and your Valentine win the $50 gift cards, you can take Flash to visit one of our many local businesses and restaurants for a wonderful night out.”

The five decorated Valentine buses can be seen along the Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (US 29) Flash route that connects the Downtown Silver Spring Transit Center with White Oak and Briggs Chaney.

Flash is Montgomery County’s bus rapid transit (BRT) service. BRT is a limited-stop bus service that is gaining popularity in metropolitan areas across the U.S. and worldwide. BRT systems such as Flash are designed to arrive every few minutes, have upgraded amenities, pre-boarding payment, priority traffic light signaling and dedicated lanes where possible.

The completed Flash network will include nine routes, including an extension of the current US 29 Flash corridor, with more than 100 stops linking to Metro stations, the MARC Train and the future Purple Line. Veirs Mill Road, North Bethesda and Rockville Pike are the furthest along.

Flash fare is only $1 per ride. Seniors 65 or older, persons with disabilities, and youth 18 and under all ride free using specialized SmarTrip cards.

MCDOT outreach teams will be at the Silver Spring Transit Center on Wednesday, Feb. 14, to show rider and driver appreciation during morning and evening rush hours and pass out #LoveFlash chocolate bars.

“The Flash buses are a convenient and affordable way to reach some of Montgomery County’s most popular destinations on Valentine’s Day or anytime,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We hope the decorated buses and engagement, online or in person, will encourage our community to try a Flash bus for their next trip along US 29 and learn more about our plans for future Flash corridors. We’re building a Flash network that will better connect riders throughout the County with faster, more convenient service."

For more information on how to ride the Flash bus, and to learn about future corridors, visit RideTheFlash.com.

Pictures of the decorated Flash bus for media use, are available on Flickr.