Montgomery County residents are feeling the love from their local transportation department. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has decorated some of its US 29 Flash buses with pink neon heart-shaped lights in honor of Valentine’s Day. The buses will remain decorated throughout February.
Fares on Ride On for most riders has been re-established at $1 per ride. Seniors (age 65 and older), persons with disabilities and youth under 19 ride free with specialized SmartTrip cards. The Flash buses are the first of a series of Bus Rapid Transit corridors planned for the County
The decorated Flash buses are running along Colesville Rd/Columbia Pike (US 29) between the Silver Spring Transit Center, Briggs Chaney and Burtonsville, with stops along the way. The County-operated bus line began in 2020 and offers fast, convenient service running every 15 minutes all day and more frequently during rush hour.
“Our illuminated Flash buses garnered a lot of attention during the holidays and I am glad that MCDOT has brought back these lights to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a great way to say we love our transit riders,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “These lights help showcase our Flash bus service and are great reminders to our residents, motorists and commuters to consider using our Flash buses as a reliable, quick and easy transportation alternative. Using public transit rather than cars is better for our environment and helps alleviates congestion. This is a ‘bright’ way to attract more riders to choose Flash.”
The US 29 Flash has been a popular option, providing more than 750,000 rides in 2022. Transporting an average of 2,200 riders each day, it is one of the County’s most-utilized bus routes. “We hope anyone who is looking to try the Flash service will be drawn to do so with this family-friendly promotion,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Riding the decorated buses is a fun experience for everyone and has been well received by riders. We are working to expand the Flash service to several additional corridors within the County. On the current US 29 Flash route, we are working with Howard County to expand the line north to Columbia and are working on adding more dedicated lanes for even faster service.”
Flash bus corridors are different from the County’s other Ride On buses in that they operate large articulated buses with level boarding, they stop at each station, have free wi-fi, and, where possible, run in their own designated bus lanes to bypass traffic. Riders are encouraged to post pictures on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts using the hashtag #LoveFlash with the reasons they love riding the Flash bus.
For more information on how to ride the Flash bus, and to learn about future corridors, visit RideTheFlash.com.