Montgomery County Receives $2 Million Grant to Conduct Bus Rapid Transit Study That Will Serve as Blueprint for Washington Metropolitan Region

Per MCDOT: “The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has been awarded a $2 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) program to support the expansion of the Flash Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network in the County through a new research partnership with the University of Maryland. Administered by the USDOT Build America Bureau, RIA provides funding for research of best practices in project planning, studies and analysis, preliminary engineering and design. The project will serve as a blueprint for the region.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems are part of a national movement toward upgraded bus systems focused on faster, more convenient and reliable bus services. BRTs are known to have limited-stop bus service implemented along set routes in metropolitan areas across the U.S. and worldwide. Flash is Montgomery County’s BRT system and includes plans for a network of eight fixed routes.

The high-frequency service is designed to get people to their destination faster, and less expensively, than by car. Flash corridors spur development as businesses and housing tend to spring up along BRT routes creating or fortifying vibrant mixed-use communities. The lines will support a high level of mobility, connecting communities throughout the County.

“This RIA grant will enable the County to speed the delivery of its ambitious bus rapid transit system and establish a regional model for moving projects forward more quickly and efficiently using innovative methods of project delivery and financing,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

Funding from the grant will be used to research and establish best practices in financing and project planning for the expansion of the Flash BRT corridors in Montgomery County. In a new partnership between Montgomery County and University of Maryland, MCDOT will partner with the Build America Center at the University of Maryland to create AccelerateMC, an essential transportation planning research center, to conduct these studies.

Findings from the AccerateMC studies will be used to establish a blueprint for implementing bus rapid transit systems throughout the region.

The Flash BRT network will serve as an innovative and economical way to meet the growing transportation needs of County residents, help reduce reliance on automobiles and move people around the County faster. Plans for the eight-route bus service network will connect Montgomery County transit hubs, commercial centers and public services.

“MCDOT envisions a 102-mile Flash BRT network to serve the transportation needs of its over 1 million residents, provide equitable access to jobs and educational opportunities, and help eliminate transportation-generated carbon emissions by 2035,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “This grant will allow us work to closely with the University of Maryland’s Build America Center to accelerate this important project. I am grateful for the partnership MCDOT has with our state, regional and municipal partners and our labor representatives that helped support this project.”

AccelerateMC will focus on developing strategies to further the development of the BRT projects already in progress along Veirs Mill Road, MD 355 and US 29. The first Flash corridor, on Route 29, is currently in service with advancements such as portions of dedicated bus lanes planned. Flash 355 is in the implementation phase and Flash Veirs Mill is in the final design phase. AccelerateMC also will assist in the buildout of a new bus depot to support the County’s expanded fleet of zero-emission buses. The bus depot will include charging stations for electric buses and on-site hydrogen production.

“I want to thank U.S. Senator Ben Cardin; U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen; the Maryland Congressional Delegation; Paul Wiedefeld and the Maryland Department of Transportation; Randy Clarke and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; Reuben Collins and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board; Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass; D. Wade Yost, the town manager of Poolesville; Qingbin Cui and the University of Maryland Build America Center; Gino Renne and UFCW Local 1994; and Bill Tompkins and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation for their unwavering support of this project,” County Executive Elrich said.

For information on MCDOT programs and services visit montgomerycountymd.gov/mcdot, follow @MCDOTNow on X, Facebook, and Instagram and subscribe to MCDOT’s “Go Montgomery!” newsletter.”

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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