Columnist: Bus Rapid Transit is Unrealistic, ‘Feel-Good Aspiration’

Do you think the BRT will help resolve Montgomery County's traffic problems? This Washington Post writers thinks it is it a pie-in-the-sky proposition.

Credit: Montgomery County Planning Department
Credit: Montgomery County Planning Department

Touted by county leaders as a plan to dissolve traffic gridlock in Montgomery County, the Bus Rapid Transit proposal was described as a “feel-good aspiration” in a Washington Post column on Saturday.

Writer Robert McCartney criticized Montgomery County Council for its unanimous vote in favor of it. His column states:

“The unanimous vote, despite the obvious doubts, underlines that the project for now is mostly a feel-good aspiration rather than a realistic blueprint for easing some of the worst traffic congestion in the region (and nation).”

McCartney’s column points out that the plans for the transit network the County Council adopted Tuesday did not comprise the 160 miles originally envisioned. He also took issue with the idea of taking away lanes of traffic used by cars in order to accommodate the bus system in parts of some routes.

Read his full column at WashingtonPost.com.

Known as Bus Rapid Transit or BRT, the proposed network of bus routes would cover about 82 miles and 110 stations throughout the county, in an attempt to ease traffic congestion. The council vote established guidelines for routes and possible station locations for the BRT, but nothing is set in stone.

There is no funding for the project.

Half of the 10 proposed routes—referred to as corridors—would affect Rockville. The Rockville Pike North corridor (corridor 3) would be centered in Gaithersburg.

>>> Speak out: Do you agree with this Washington Post writer? Do you think the BRT is a realistic solution to Montgomery County’s traffic problems? Or is it “a feel-good aspiration rather than a realistic blueprint”?



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