Sharing What They Like About Montgomery County’s First Rapid Transit Service Can Win Residents Prizes in ‘Love Flash’ Bus Photo Contest

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County:

Montgomery County residents can win a prize this month by sharing what they love about the County’s first rapid transit service— the Flash bus—in the County Department of Transportation’s “Love Flash” photo contest on Twitter.

In the contest, residents are asked to post a photo or comment on Twitter sharing what they love about the Flash, or other Ride On bus service, for a chance to win a prize pack. Entries must be posted to Twitter by Feb. 28 and tag @RideOnMCT or @MCDOTNow. Entries must include the hashtags #LoveFlash and #RideTheFlash to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win.

The first Flash line operated by the County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) serves Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (US 29) and connects the Downtown Silver Spring Transit Center with White Oak and Briggs Chaney with stops along the way.

Flash service—which uses 60-foot-long articulated buses—carries more than 2,100 riders per day. Flash buses feature bike racks inside, free Wi-Fi service and USB ports. At full capacity, the buses can transport up to 80 passengers and are more frequent and time-efficient than traditional buses.

“It did not take very long for Montgomery County residents to ‘Love Flash’ and we hope that they share their thoughts and photos with us through this creative contest,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I am proud that we are investing in our transportation infrastructure, which helps alleviate traffic and improves our environment. I’ve made transit a priority and recently recommended funding for the final design and construction of both the Flash corridors on Veirs Mill Road and the central section of 355. Expansion of our Flash bus corridors is important for residents to have equitable access to jobs, educational facilities and access to essential services.”

The prize pack for the photo contest winner includes a large box of Godiva Chocolate, a $25 Visa gift card and a fresh cut roses-scented Yankee Candle. The winner will be announced on March 1 through direct message and on the @MCDOT Twitter page.

“Thousands of people rely on public transportation daily as it offers a safe, convenient and cost-effective means to get where they need to go,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “This is a fun way to draw attention to our buses and thank our customers. If you don’t normally use the bus, we are encouraging you to try them out. Bus fares are free for everyone at least until July 2022.”

As part of the Love Flash campaign, Flash buses will be decorated with heart window clings. MCDOT outreach teams will be at the White Oak and Silver Spring Transit Centers on Valentine’s Day, Monday, Feb. 14, to greet riders and distribute treats.

The US 29 Flash was the first step in creating a network of Bus Rapid Transit lines (BRT) in the County. The route celebrated its one-year anniversary in October 2021 and already has one of the highest ridership counts in the County.

The County Executive’s proposed Capital Improvements Budget includes advancing additional Flash corridors. These include routes on Veirs Mill Road and the central section of 355. The County Council will host the first public meetings on the recommendations, and hear public feedback, today, Tuesday, Feb. 8, and Wednesday, Feb. 9.

For ongoing updates, follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter, visit the MCDOT website, and subscribeto MCDOT’s “Go Montgomery!” newsletter here.

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