The Purple Line may dominate recent headlines, but Montgomery County’s 81-mile, 115-station Bus Rapid Transit proposal also has tremendous potential. Here’s what the future network might look like.
The BRT network would create a vast web of ten major corridors stretching across the county. That may be a bit harder to wrap your head around than simple one-line proposals like the Purple Line, so we’ve put together this map based on Communities for Transit’s diagram of the network.
The map also shows the the Corridor Cities Transitway, a BRT line which has been in planning longer than the larger countywide BRT network; the Purple Line light rail; and existing rail transit in the form of the Metro Red Line and MARC Brunswick line.
Combined together into one map, you can get a glimpse of just how great Montgomery County’s transit future could be, extending the reach of the Metro with a connection at every Red Line station, including two long-desired links between the eastern and western halves of the line, connecting Wheaton to Rockville and Glenmont to White Flint.
To make this work, Montgomery County has to avoid “BRT creep” and stick by its plans to give routes dedicated lanes. There will be tremendous pressure to cut corners, and already some segments of the plan don’t have dedicated lanes. On the map, those appear with a hollow line instead of a solid one.
The maps shows the lines continuing into DC. The current plans don’t include the District, but officials have started talking about ways to make the lines reach Metro stations in DC or go all the way downtown. The county also cut back the line on Wisconsin Avenue to end at Bethesda following resident objections, but it could span that section again if and when the line can continue farther, such as to Georgetown.