Montgomery to Launch ‘Flash’ Bus Transit Service

Montgomery County will launch the County Department of Transportation’s “Flash” buses this week that will run on a 14-mile service along Route 29 that spans from Burtonsville to Silver Spring.

The Flash buses are “specially designed, 80-passenger capacity buses [that] will bypass other vehicles in certain locations and provide high quality and reliable transit service and amenities at the same price to ride as any other local bus.” The Flash buses will have frequent service with fewer stops, shorter waits at bus stations, and will run every day of the week. It is estimated that Flash could reduce travel times by up to 30 percent compared to current bus routes. The buses will be the first in the region to employ a fully automated wheelchair securement system, allowing passengers in wheelchairs to secure themselves onboard.

From the press release:

More than a decade ago, County Executive Elrich, who was then an at-large County Councilmember, was the first to propose Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines to address the County’s long history of traffic congestion.
“I’m most excited about bringing high quality transit service to the east side of the County,” said County Executive Elrich. “We have a huge population that has a very difficult time getting to work if they don’t drive. I wanted to make sure that residents have a transit network that is efficient and gets them where they want to go. I also know that if we are going to support economic development in this corridor, we must have quality transportation that serves it. I wanted to start making these kinds of investments to open up economic opportunities for people and businesses, but also to help the people that commute have an easier time.”
“Flash is an innovative transit system that will open the County up to greater investment and economic development,” said Council President Katz. “This is exactly what we need right now.  It will bring new jobs and businesses to US Route 29/Colesville Road in Silver Spring. I applaud this outstanding first step for a more transit and business friendly Montgomery County.”
Flash will link a continuous corridor of neighborhoods, retail operations, job centers and regional Park and Ride Lots. It is intended to be the first step in creating a network of BRT lines in the County.