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Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan

Amendment to the Master Plan of Highways

Bus Rapid Transit photoPlanners are working on a bus rapid transit (BRT) network to improve accessibility and mobility throughout Montgomery County. BRT is similar to light rail operations, but runs on county roads.

On December 18, 2013, the Maryland- National Capital Park and Planning Commission adopted the Planning Board Draft of the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan, as modified by the County Council on November 25, 2013.


This Plan provides enhanced opportunities for travel by transit to support Montgomery County’s economic development and mobility goals in an environmentally sustainable way, and in a way that preserves our existing communities. As a Functional Master Plan, it makes no changes to current planned land use or zoning, but recommends changes and additions to the transportation network that are needed to serve the County’s most densely developed areas, areas planned for redevelopment, and areas planned for new dense development.


View the project Scope of Work (3.8 MB), which the Planning Board reviewed on September 22, 2011. The starting point for this effort was the 16 corridors recommended in the Countywide Bus Rapid Transit Study performed by MCDOT. The County Executive's Rapid Transit Task Force subsequently recommended (1.4 MB) studying additional corridors in the BRT network.

Transit Corridor Network Map

This map below shows the 11 corridors that are included in the Countywide Transit Corridor Functional Master Plan.

Transit Corridor Network Map Click for larger view.

Recommended Corridors
Corridor Number
Route Length
Number of Stations
Recommended Corridors
1 Georgia Avenue North Montgomery General Hospital Wheaton Metrorail station 9.6 13
2 Georgia Avenue South Wheaton Metrorail Station District of Columbia line 3.9 8
3 MD 355 North Redgrave Place Rockville Metrorail station 15.3 24
4 MD 355 South Rockville Metrorail Station District of Columbia line 7.8 13
5 New Hampshire Avenue Colesville Park & Ride District of Columbia line 8.5 12
6 North Bethesda Transitway White Flint Metrorail Station Montgomery Mall Transit Center 2.7 8
7 Randolph Road White Flint Metrorail Station US 29 10.1 11
8 University Boulevard Wheaton Metrorail Station Takoma/Langley Transit Center 5.5 9
9 US 29 Burtonsville Park & Ride District of Columbia line 12.3 11
10 Veirs Mill Road Rockville Metrorail Station Wheaton Metrorail Station 6.2 11
CCT Corridor City Transitway Shady Grove Metro Station Frederick County Line 20.1 19
  Overall System Total 102 118*

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Transportation Modeling

The travel forecasting effort performed for the Functional Plan provided estimated ridership for various scenarios on up to 17 corridors for the purposes of determining potential transit ridership for the 2040 forecast year. These results were used to identify right-of-way needs along recommended corridor segments.

The Maryland Alternative Analysis II (MDAAII) Model used in the modeling was the same as that used for the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway projects. It uses a transit mode choice routine and a complete four-step model process to develop ridership estimates for those transit modes. In consultation with local bus service providers -WMATA and Ride-On, an updated local bus network was developed to reflect how local bus service would be altered to coordinate with BRT service.

Highway network and demographics data are based on a version of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) model that used the same 2,191-zone structure as the MDAAII model. MWCOG's land use Round 8.1 was used for the forecasts and summarized to the 2,191-zone structure.

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The Countywide Transit Corridor Functional Master Plan’s recommendations include:

  • Transit facilities along eleven corridors to facilitate Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service that will move more people to and from jobs, homes, shopping, and entertainment areas in urbanizing parts of the County, while making more efficient use of our public rights-of-way and existing pavement.
  • Pedestrian facilities that meet ADA Best Practices and provide safe and adequate accommodation along and across the recommended transit corridors, ensuring that transit patrons can safely cross to and from transit stops and that the general public can safely cross these roadways at all intersections.
  • Accommodating all master plan bikeways within the recommended rights-of-way and accommodating additional on-road bike facilities where possible.
  • Designating more than two dozen Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas around major transit stations, several of which are included in the County’s initial round of proposed bikeshare stations.
  • An additional 25 feet of right-of-way for a third track on the MARC Brunswick Line between the Frederick County line and the Metropolitan Grove station to reduce conflicts with freight service and enabling the expansion of commuter service.

Past events

  • December 18, 2013: Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission Council to approve Plan
  • December 5, 2013: Planning Board to transmit Plan to full Commission
  • November 26, 2013: County Council to approve Plan
  • November 19, 2013: County Council worksession
  • November 18, 2013: Presentation to Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board at Upcounty Regional Services Center
  • November 13, 2013: Presentation to Communities for Transit, White Oak Recreation Center
  • November 12, 2013: County Council worksession
  • October 7, 14, 25 and 29 and November 1 and 5: County Council T&E Committee worksessions
  • October 3, 2013: Presentation to Coalition for Smarter Growth at Executive Office Bldg, Rockville
  • September 24 and 26, 2013: County Council public hearings on the Planning Board Draft of the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan
  • September 11, 2013: Presentation to Burnt Mills Civic Association
  • July 25, 2013 Planning Board Draft of the Plan is transmitted to County Council and Executive
  • July 11, 2013: Planning Board worksession #4. Read the staff memo (pdf, 4MB) View the staff presentation (pdf, 630KB).
  • June 18, 2013: Planning Board worksession #3. Read the staff memo View the staff presentation.
  • June 13, 2013: Planning Board worksession #2. Read the staff memo View the staff presentation.
  • June 6, 2013: Planning Board worksession #1. Read the staff memo View the staff presentation.
  • May 28, 2013: Presentation to Chevy Chase West citizens at Concord Hill School
  • May 16, 2013: Public Hearing
  • May 14, 2013: Lead planner Larry Cole presented "Planning for Bus Rapid Transit and MARC Expansion" to the Action Committee for Transit, Silver Spring Regional Center
  • April 22, 2013: Presentation to Rockville Mayor and Council
  • April 15, 2013: Presentation to the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board
  • April 10, 2013: Presentation to Rockville Planning Commission.
  • April 8, 2013: Presentation to the Montgomery County Civic Federation.
  • April 4, 2013: Planners presented the proposed public hearing draft to the Planning Board, requested public hearing date View the staff memo (398KB) and presentation (153KB)
  • March 19, 2013: Lead planner Larry Cole presented the staff draft to the BRAC Implementation Committee.
  • March 18, 2013: Planners presented the staff draft (9 MB) to the Planning Board
  • February 21, 2013: Planners provided a status report to the Planning Board.
  • February 13, 2013: Presentation at Coalition for Smarter Growth’s “Next Generation of Transit” forum.
  • January 3, 2013: Presentation to Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board
  • December 6, 2012: Open house at M-NCPPC MRO headquarters building, Silver Spring
  • November 13, 14, 15, 2012: Community meetings. Transportation planners discussed their preliminary recommendations and solicited input.
  • November 8, 2012: Planners presented preliminary recommendations to the Planning Board.
  • Preliminary Recommendations on BRT Routes Click for larger view.

    • October 17, 2012: Presentation to Four Corners civic groups
    • June 21, 2012: Planning Board presentation
      Planners presented a concept that incorporates bicycle-pedestrian priority areas around Bus Rapid Transit stations. View the staff report(750 KB). A representative from the county Rapid Transit Task Force presented a summary of the task force's findings and recommendations to the Planning Board.
    • April 24, 2012: Presentation to White Oak Science Gateway Citizens Advisory Committee
    • February 7, 2012: Jarrett Walker, an author and international consultant on public transit planning and policy, participated in the Planning Department's speaker series, making the case for focusing on network design and maximizing the usefulness and reach of quality transit service. View Walker's presentation.
    • February 2, 2012: Planning Board worksession
      Staff and the Board discussed network methodology on Thursday, January 19, 2012: At this worksession, the Planning Board discussed Bus Rapid Transit corridor functions, repurposing travel lanes as bus lanes, and the impacts of various levels of treatment on a sampling of corridors.
    • January 19, 2012: At this worksession, the Board discussed alternative methods for repurposing travel lanes as bus lanes and the impacts of BRT lane construction on two sample corridors.
      • Read the staff memo (pdf, 560 KB)
    • January 12, 2012: At this worksession, the Planning Board discussed the purpose of the Bus Rapid Transit network and the criteria used to select corridors, the link between the BRT network and existing and planned development, and what year should be used for traffic forecasting purposes for the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan.
    • December 15, 2011: The Planning Board considered the study's Network and Methodology Report, which evaluates 16 corridors and recommends changes to the scope of the project
    • November 29, 2011: Upcounty BRT Open House
      Upcounty Regional Services Center, Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown
    • October 24, 2011: Community meeting to introduce where the service is proposed
      Park and Planning Headquarters, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring
    • September 22, 2011: Planning Board approves Scope of Work

    Next Steps

    The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is proceeding with the implementaton of this plan. Click here to access their website.


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    Weigh in

    Let us know what you think using our comment tool. Planners will consider comments as they develop plan recommendations.

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    M-NCPPC Staff Contact

    Larry Cole, Functional Planning & Policy Division

    David Anspacher, Functional Planning & Policy Division

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    Last updated: January 2, 2014