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Dignitaries Break Ground for Maryland's First BRT Line

In ceremonies Oct. 25, dignitaries including Montgomery County (MD) Executive Ike Leggett, Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) broke ground for the 14-mile FLASH limited-stop bus line, the first BRT service in Maryland.

When it enters service, the route will operate on U.S. 29, the busiest transportation corridor in the county, serving 11 stations between downtown Silver Spring and Burtonsville. Construction will cost approximately $31 million, of which $10 million will come from a federal TIGER grant.

Leggett said, “The future economic vitality of our county depends on increased transportation investments to accommodate more residents and to encourage job growth. The U.S. 29 BRT will unlock this economic potential for our eastern county—and it’s already begun.” He cited the recent ground breaking for a large mixed-use development along the route.
Dignitaries kick off construction of the FLASH BRT line.

Rahn noted the role of FLASH in a balanced regional transportation network that also includes the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line light rail, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus and rail, MARC commuter rail, local bus networks and road improvements.

FLASH will operate on existing roads with buses that can transport up to 90 passengers. Stations will feature weather protection, pre-payment kiosks and real-time transit information, with additional design elements such as improved pedestrian walkways, bike facilities, bikeshare stations and ADA sidewalk upgrades. Amenities will include all-door boarding, Wi-Fi and USB ports on board, exclusive use of the shoulders along the northern section of U.S. 29 and traffic signal priority—all for the same fare as the county’s regular Ride On buses.
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