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Montgomery County Council Moves Forward On 80-Mile Rapid Bus Network

The Montgomery County Council has laid the groundwork for an 80-mile bus rapid transit system prioritizing the Rt. 29 and Rt. 355 corridors.

How much it will cost, how long it will take to build, how many highway lanes will be dedicated to only buses — all of that will be studied for several years before any construction begins.

But in its final work session on the plan, the Montgomery County Council unanimously agreed to pursue building an 80-mile bus rapid transit system in 10 corridors. Councilman Roger Berliner says nearly 80 percent of the routes will have a dedicated lane for buses. Berliner says bus rapid transit will be the biggest project the county has undertaken in 40 years.

"It's a huge deal because we are trying to transform the conversation about the county from a congested one to where we are talking about the finest transit system in the country," he says.

Berliner and Councilman George Leventhal caution that no big decisions will be made without hearing from the public.

"The language we adopted guarantees there will be community input at every step along the way," says Berliner.

The Council's final vote on the bus rapid transit master plan is expected to pass next Tuesday.

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