Transit in the 270 Corridor
February 7, 2022
Last summer the majority of the Council and the Governor reached an agreement to fund a major new transit project as part of the Governor’s plans to add capacity on the American Legion Bridge and 270 in his Opportunity Lanes project.
You may have been asking yourself, “what transit project are we going to build?” Well, the Council is going to answer that question in the next couple months. But first, we want public engagement on the question.
The process begins with a public hearing on February 15, 2022 for the Corridor Forward: I-270 Transit Plan. That plan addresses future transit investments in the area.
Because the Corridor Forward plan is so closely related to the objectives of funding transit through the Opportunity Lanes funds, we are asking residents to provide testimony on the Corridor Forward plan generally and how to prioritize immediate investments in a new transit system paid for by the Opportunity Lanes project.
Now the County Executive has proposed that we use funding from Opportunity Lanes to pay for Bus Rapid Transit on 355 and Veirs Mill. His recommended transportation construction budget shows $170 million. That’s just a downpayment towards the full cost of construction and operations.
You can sign up for the public hearing here. You may also submit written comments to the Council anytime by emailing County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov. You may also email me directly at Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov with your thoughts.
At the Council’s request, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) convened a work group of representatives from the State, MCDOT, and the Cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg. That group will meet soon to identify costs, a timeline, and financing for the project, and prepare a draft agreement to be signed by the County and State.
The Council transportation committee will have worksessions in late February/early March to develop a recommendation on the locally preferred transit project, based on the public testimony and the analysis of the working group. The full Council will then consider the committee recommendation in late March and ultimately choose a project, formalizing the decision with the State.
At the same time, the Council will also be considering the County Executive’s recommended capital budget. The agreement with the State and the capital budget will converge.
I look forward to getting your feedback on what project you would like to see in the corridor.