Thursday, December 12, 2013

see what montgomery BRT could look like

Now that Montgomery County's approved a plan for an 81-mile Bus Rapid Transit network, we can begin looking at how it will work in detail. A new map and video show what BRT might be like.

Map of a potential Montgomery BRT network.
The county's plan calls for dedicated bus lanes on major roads like Rockville Pike, Georgia Avenue, Columbia Pike and Veirs Mill Road, whether by repurposing existing car lanes or, where there's room, widening the road. Communities for Transit commissioned A county consultant made this subway-style map of the proposed system, showing potential routes and stops.

The map takes some liberties with the plan. Montgomery County has only decided what corridors can should have BRT service and where stops made sense, but not what routes would look like, and whether they'd be named for colors, letters, numbers, or something else. But it can help people take the leap and see how the system could benefit them.

Communities for Transit, a Silver Spring-based nonprofit, made this video about how this might look, using examples of existing and proposed BRT systems from around the country.

There are still lots of questions about BRT. We still need to figure out how exactly dedicated lanes would work on the county's streets, particularly in close-in areas where there's no room to widen the road.

We also don't know whether the county would even run the BRT system, which would affects the branding of the routes and system. Metrobus already serves many of the corridors in the proposed BRT network and recently introduced a limited-stop bus on New Hampshire Avenue, a precursor to full Bus Rapid Transit. If Metro ran Montgomery County's BRT network, it could use the same "Metro Way" branding as the new Crystal City-Potomac Yard BRT line in Northern Virginia, which will open next year.

In any case, having visualizations like these are a great way to help people understand how BRT could work for Montgomery County. Hopefully, this will help allay the concerns some residents have and build support for better transit.

1 comment:

jjj said...


How about a rubber tired tram. BRT is a failure across this country when sitting next to LRT. Current BRTs are glorified buses and in most cases are simply buses. LA's Orange Line and Boston's Silver Line are pathetic. If it were to come to that I'd rather stick with Metro Bus and Ride On. I do not own a car and use public transportation. I say build for the future otherwise forget it.

Please let me know what you think about these rubberized trams. Here's a link to one manufacturer who's cars have been installed around the world.