On February 18, 2021, Planning Staff briefed the Montgomery County Planning Board on the results of its months-long pre-screening of potential transit options for the I-270 Corridor. The work was undertaken as a part of the I-270 Transit Plan known as Corridor Forward.
The 13 options investigated by Staff included enhancements or new Metrorail, light rail, monorail, bus rapid transit, commuter bus, and MARC service intending to improve access along the I-270 corridor and potentially to extend transit service from Frederick through Montgomery County to Northern Virginia. Note that these transit options are distinguished from ongoing efforts related to the widening of I-270 and the potential addition of toll lanes.
After reviewing its pre-screening methodology, which included an evaluation of cost, geography and performance factors, Staff recommended advancing six options for further study:
Here is a concept from the Corridor Forward: The I-270 Transit Plan showing the various alternatives:
Planning Staff was quick to note that implementation of several specific options would require interagency and inter-jurisdictional coordination, including coordination with the Maryland Transit Administration, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Maryland State Highway Administration and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
The Planning Board directed Staff to advance detailed review for each of the six options recommended for further evaluation. At the Planning Board’s direction, Staff will now:
Staff anticipates returning to the Planning Board in late May or early June to present preliminary recommendations, which will include Staff’s recommended prioritization of the six (6) options. Following Planning Board direction at that time, we anticipate Staff will then begin to develop a draft “Implementation Plan” to achieve the highest priority project(s). Staff anticipates including its Implementation Plan with the Corridor Forward Working Draft, scheduled for presentation to the Planning Board in mid-Fall of 2021.
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