Friday, May 11, 2012

Governor Chooses Locally Preferred Alternative for Corridor Cities Transitway

Today Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) will be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. This will make the CCT Maryland’s first BRT system. Following Governor O’Malley’s announcement, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will submit the project to the Federal Transit Administration under its New Starts Program for federal funding.

Earlier this year, the Council recommended BRT for the CCT in light of a study showing a greater economic benefit to the County if the project is built sooner. This marked a change from our earlier decision to support light rail transit (LRT).

Given the huge boost our economy will get from the BRT, I’m glad to see the project moving along. We need the CCT, and we need it sooner rather than later.

Here’s the full text of the Governor’s press release:


New Bus Rapid Transit System to be a First for Maryland

HANOVER, MD (May 11, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) will be Maryland’s first Bus Rapid Transit system operating along a 15-mile north-south corridor from the Shady Grove Metrorail station to the COMSAT facility near Clarksburg in Montgomery County. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will now submit the project to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under its New Starts Program as the MTA prepares for the preliminary engineering phase of the project.

“The CCT Bus Rapid Transit line will provide easy, accessible, cost efficient transportation for Montgomery County’s neighborhoods” said Governor O’Malley. “This north-south transitway line will reduce our dependence on cars as we continue our goal to double public transit use by 2020. The CCT will support nearly 15,000 jobs in the corridor, help facilitate smart growth through mixed used development and it can be built in a timely manner."

The preferred alternative will connect major employment, residential and activity centers in the corridor including Shady Grove, King Farm, Crown Farm, Life Sciences Center (LSC), Kentlands, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, and COMSAT. There will be direct connections to the Red Line at Shady Grove, the MARC Brunswick Line at Metropolitan Grove and local bus service throughout the corridor. The CCT has the support of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, as well as the Montgomery County Council, the Mayors of Gaithersburg and Rockville and many others along the 15-mile corridor.

“The significant economic advantages of implementing Bus Rapid Transit is not lost on Montgomery County,” said County Executive Leggett. “Bus Rapid Transit can be built sooner and at a significantly lower cost while complementing our master plan. The design and construction of the CCT project is vital for the county and state, and we must collectively move forward to bring it into service as soon as possible.”

Under this preferred alternative, the CCT, as proposed, will be a pedestrian friendly system with a total of 16 stations. It is projected to carry 47,700 boardings a day by 2035. The CCT will operate at street level on a fully dedicated right-of-way separate from existing traffic, allowing for fast and reliable operation. CCT stations will be located in or near dense residential communities or commercial and business centers putting the system within walking distance for many and making it easy to access. Parking will be available through existing and/or new Park and Rides at Shady Grove, Crown Farm, LSC West, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, and COMSAT. The transitway is being designed to accommodate a future hiker/biker trail over its entire length.

“Modern, smart and efficient transportation infrastructure is critical to growing our communities, expanding our economy, creating jobs and protecting our environment,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, who earlier this month spoke at the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute Forum in College Park. “The CCT Bus Rapid Transit project will provide fast dependable travel time on a dedicated transitway while offering the flexibility for buses to directly serve surrounding communities. The choice of BRT is a good fit for the needs and resources of the corridor’s communities, and it will help ensure that Montgomery County has a robust and diverse transportation infrastructure.”

The CCT BRT service will feature innovative, stylized vehicles with low floors and multiple doors opening at sidewalk level allowing people to walk on and off as they do on the Metro subway. The vehicles use alternative clean fuels and state-of-the-art technology. Fares will be purchased before boarding, not onboard the vehicle. Concepts showing bus rapid transit can be found at

The CCT will be constructed in two phases. Phase I will involve a 9-mile segment between Shady Grove and Metropolitan Grove. Phase II will be 6-miles long from Metropolitan Grove to COMSAT. The area encompassed by the Phase I segment has seen significant development over the past 20 years and has reserved transitway rights-of-way and will support the ridership to begin this service. Additional information on the CCT can be found at

Planning for this project has included extensive public participation and the MTA has worked with local communities to develop a plan that provides the greatest benefits while minimizing adverse impacts. Public outreach and agency coordination will continue to be an integral part of the development of the final environmental impact statement, providing opportunities for local residents and stakeholders to contribute to the planning and design of the project.

CCT Bus Rapid Transit Key Facts

• Mode: Bus Rapid Transit

• Overall Length: 15 miles

• Stations: 16 proposed

• Average Daily Ridership: 47,700

• Maintenance Facility: Near Metropolitan Grove

• Bus Rapid Transit Vehicles: 68

Projected Capital Cost

• Total Project: $828 million

• Phase I: $545 million

• Phase II: $283 million

One-way Travel Time

• COMSAT to Shady Grove: 49 minutes

• Metropolitan Grove to Shady Grove: 33 minutes

• Frequency of service: 6 minutes during peak periods and 10 minutes off peak


• Summer 2012 – begin New Starts process

• Spring 2013 – FTA Approval to Enter Preliminary Engineering

Dependent on Funding

• Winter 2014/2015: Initiate Final Design Activities

• Summer 2017: Receive Full Funding Grant Agreement from FTA

• Summer 2017: Begin Right-of-Way Acquisitions/Permitting/Agreements

• Fall 2018: Begin Construction

• 2020: Service begins

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