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This project will design and construct a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line on MD 355 between Rockville and Germantown. The project includes dedicated BRT lanes, new BRT stations with level boarding and off-board payment, Transit Signal Priority (TSP), purchase of new zero-emission BRT buses, and other associated pedestrian and bicycle improvements along the corridor. In addition, the project includes the planning and design of a new transit center near Montgomery College-Rockville and a relocated and expanded Lakeforest Transit Center to support the project. Planning conducted by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) resulted in several alternatives retained for detailed study in 2017 for BRT along MD 355 from Bethesda to Clarksburg. In 2019, MCDOT completed the planning phase. MCDOT has been working on preliminary engineering and project phasing of the median busway alternative since 2020. Preliminary engineering of the full corridor from Bethesda to Clarksburg is being completed and then final design and construction for the Central segment will occur. Final design and construction of the North and South segments will occur as a separate project.


Final Design Stage


Budget Snapshot
$429.58M Total
$413.84M 6 Year Total


  • ADDRESS: The MD 355 BRT corridor spans Clarksburg to Bethesda. The Central phase of this project will include the master plan areas of Shady Grove and Germantown, as well as the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg. A subsequent phase will provide service to the master plan areas of Bethesda, North Bethesda, Garrett Park, White Flint and Clarksburg.
  • PLANNING AREA: Countywide

Estimated Schedule

Project planning was completed in FY19. Preliminary engineering began in FY20 and will be completed in FY23. Final design will follow and will be completed in FY26. Construction activities, including right of way acquisition and utility relocations, may begin as early as FY25. Construction of the BRT will be completed in FY28. Transit center construction will extend beyond six years pending available funding.

Cost Change

Cost increase is due to updated project cost estimates from the 30% design stage. These costs include updates for unit cost increases to reflect inflation, year of expenditure, increased vehicle costs, and additional coordination with the Federal Transit Administration as part of the Federal Capital Investment Grant program.


MD 355 FLASH will transform mobility options with the implementation of a 22-mile, premium, branded, limited-stop BRT service along MD 355 between Clarksburg and Bethesda. This new service will improve transit travel time and increase opportunity for a broad range of users along a highly congested corridor. MD 355 FLASH will improve passenger transit mobility by connecting riders to high density housing and employment centers. MD 355 FLASH is being phased to accelerate delivery. This phase will implement BRT between Rockville and Germantown. Extensions to Bethesda and Clarksburg will follow.

A new transit center near Montgomery College-Rockville will provide increased space to accommodate both the MD 355 BRT and Veirs Mill Road BRT operations as well as improve overall transit access and operations at this location. The Lakeforest Transit Center is currently undersized for existing operations. Relocation of the transit center closer to MD 355 will allow the critical connection between MD 355 BRT and the numerous local bus routes that stop there, while reducing the diversion for MD 355 BRT and saving passengers travel time. Redevelopment of the former Lakeforest Mall creates an opportunity for joint development considerations that should be explored in the near-term.


Fiscal Note

Programming of funds through final design and construction improves the project's eligibility for earlier entry into the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant program. This project will utilize Op Lanes Maryland revenue proceeds, which have been pledged by the Maryland Department of Transportation to fund high priority public transit projects in Montgomery County. The amended FY21-26 CIP added $6 M in State grants. Additional State aid in FY23-25 includes State grants for capital projects in Montgomery County programmed and/or preauthorized during the 2022 and 2023 State General Assembly sessions, including $150,000 in the 2023 session specifically identified to support planning and design of a new transit center near Montgomery College in Rockville. Op Lanes Maryland funding was deferred in FY23 to allow the new State administration time to move the project forward.


A pedestrian impact analysis will be performed during design or is in progress. The County Executive asserts that this project conforms to the requirement of relevant local plans, as required by the Maryland Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act.


Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Maryland DOT State Highway Administration & Maryland Transit Administration, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Permitting Services, Washington Gas, Pepco, Verizon, Comcast, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Federal Transit Administration, City of Gaithersburg, City of Rockville, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Commission on People with Disabilities, Transit Advisory Group, Neighborhood and Civic Associations, MD 355 BRT Corridor Advisory Committee

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Budget Snapshot
$429.58M Total
$413.84M 6 Year Total
Project Details
Project NumberP502005
Date Last Modified04/17/23
Administering AgencyTransportation
SubCategoryMass Transit (MCG)
Planning AreaCountywide
Total Expenditures by Cost Element (000s)
Total Funding by Source (000s)
Cost ElementsTotalThru FY22Rem FY22Total 6 YearsFY 23FY 24FY 25FY 26FY 27FY 28Beyond 6 Years
Planning, Design and Supervision59135598355174763534501033395858089808980890
Site Improvements and Utilities508710050871046252312318498462500
Total Expenditures4295805983551741383839502190842165128109136233814734242
FUNDING (000s)
Funding SourceTotalThru FY22Rem FY22Total 6 YearsFY 23FY 24FY 25FY 26FY 27FY 28Beyond 6 Years
Current Revenue: Mass Transit2550075018000000018000
Federal Aid204427002044270007449268117618180
G.O. Bonds00000000000
Impact Tax30641297176700000000
Op Lanes Maryland Transit Funding1676790016343700238495361768116178554242
Recordation Tax Premium (MCG)41861186300000000000
State Aid476743500044174395021908183160000
Total Funding Sources4295805983551741383839502190842165128109136233814734242
Appropriation FY 23 Request0
Year First AppropriationFY20
Appropriation FY 24 Request17746
Last FY's Cost Estimate358570
Cumulative Appropriation37928
Expenditure / Encumbrances10910
Unencumbered Balance27018