Rapid Transit System (P501318)

  • Category: Transportation

  • Sub Category: Mass Transit

  • Administering Agency: Transportation (AAGE30)

  • Planning Area: Countywide

  • Date Last Modified: 4/21/14

  • Required Adequate Public Facility: No

  • Relocation Impact: None

  • Status: Planning Stage




This project provides for the initial steps and detailed studies related to a bus rapid transit system in the County, supplementing the Metrorail Red Line and master-planned Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT). The County Council approved the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan, an amendment to the Master Plan of Highways and Transportation, on November 26, 2013. The amendment authorizes the Department of Transportation to study enhanced transit options and Bus Rapid Transit for 10 transit corridors, including: Georgia Avenue North, Georgia Avenue South, MD 355 North, MD 355 South, New Hampshire Avenue, North Bethesda Transitway, Randolph Road, University Boulevard, US 29 and Veirs Mill Road.

Estimated Schedule

Facility planning for the MD 355 and US 29 corridors will begin in FY15.

Cost Change

The Maryland Department of Transportation draft Consolidated Transportation Program for 2014-2019 provides $10M for County Rapid Transit System planning; $4.2M in FY15 and $5.8M in FY16. The Department intends to use these funds to begin facility planning for the MD 355 and US 29 corridors in FY15.


The proposed RTS will reduce congestion on County and State roadways, increase transit ridership, and improve air quality. The RTS will enhance the County's ability to meet transportation demands for existing and future land uses. Plans & Studies: MCDOT Countywide Bus Rapid Transit Study, Final Report (July 2011); County Executive's Transit Task Force (May 2012); and, Countywide Transit corridors Functional Master Plan (November 2013).


The County has programmed funds for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to conduct preliminary engineering for masterplanned RTS lines on Veirs Mill Road between the Rockville and Wheaton Metro Stations ($6 million) and for Georgia Avenue between Montgomery General Hospital and the Wheaton Metrorail Station ($5 million). These two studies are funded in the State Transportation Participation project, PDF #500722 and are underway. The FY13 and FY14 appropriation provided funds for staffing and for studies of service planning and integration and of transit signal priority for the Purple Line, CCT, and the following RTS lines: MD 355 between Redgrave Place and the Bethesda Metro Station; US 29 between Burtonsville and Silver Spring Metro Station; Randolph Road between Rockville Pike and FDA Boulevard.

Fiscal Note 

MDOT will manage facility planning for the MD 355 and US 29 corridors and has agreed to provide $500,000 per year in FY15 and FY16 for County oversight. The County and MDOT are currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize this arrangement. The Executive asserts that this project conforms to the requirements of relevant local plans, as required by the Maryland Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act.


Maryland Department of Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, M-NCPPC, City of Rockville, City of Gaithersburg, Montgomery County Rapid Transit Steering Committee, State Transportation Participation project (#500722)