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Committee Picks Bus Over Light Rail For CCT

Plan comes to full Montgomery County Council next week

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Council members in Montgomery County are a step closer to a big change to a major transportation project.

The Corridor Cities Transitway is a proposed mass transit line that would run from the Shady Grove Metro station west and then north, ending in Clarksburg. More than two years ago, council members voted to make light rail the preferred transit option for the line.

But after talking with state officials, County Executive Isiah Leggett asked council members to change their minds. Leggett said a bus rapid transit (BRT) system has a better chance of being built because it costs less and the state is already seeking federal money for two other light rail projects considered a higher priority: the Purple Line between Montgomery and Prince George's counties and Baltimore's Red Line.  

Yesterday a council committee voted to change the preferred option to BRT, and the full council will vote next week. Council member Craig Rice was a light rail supporter, but says he understands the need to move forward with an alternative.

"Being a realist and understanding that, unfortunately, without the support from the state, and understanding how important this project is, that we need to go forward with whatever we can at this point," said Rice.

Another change is also likely. Council members began referring to BRT as "RTV" for rapid transit vehicles. The thinking is that buses have a negative connotation, and that RTV systems are different than standard bus lines.

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