Tuesday, July 14, 2009

east county BRT lines get cut from stimulus proposal

A map from the TPB in April shows several proposed bus rapid transit lines in East County and throughout the region.

Greater Greater Washington reported yesterday that the Transportation Planning Board, which covers seven counties in Maryland and Virginia along with the District, has finished compiling a package of transportation improvements to submit for stimulus funding. The proposals - which if funded could be completed by 2012 - include nine new bus rapid transit corridors, additions to several Metro stations, and a regional bike-sharing network that would include the downtowns of Silver Spring and Bethesda.

East County will get new rapid bus lines along Georgia Avenue between Wheaton and Shaw in the District, along the current Metrobus J routes between Montgomery Mall, Bethesda and College Park, and another between Shady Grove and Silver Spring via Veirs Mill Road. Missing, however, are lines along the ICC, Route 29, and New Hampshire Avenue, serving areas that are furthest from existing Metro stations. They'd all appeared in earlier versions of the proposal from this spring but were cut in favor of lines that presumably carry more riders or have a lower cost.

It's disappointing to see Route 29 sit on the rapid-transit bench once again - though the corridor could see improved bus service via new MetroExtra lines or Councilmember Marc Elrich's countywide BRT plan. Hopefully, if the TPB's proposal gets funded, the success of the lines that get built first will encourage the expansion of the system to new areas shortly after.

1 comment:

meichler said...

The lines weren't cut at the expense of other lines. Instead, they were cut because SHA/MDOT said that nothing could be done within the timeframe specified by the stimulus grant criteria.