The Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) will be a high-quality Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line operating along a 9-mile corridor from the Metropolitan Grove MARC station to the Shady Grove Metrorail station in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The CCT will be located entirely within Montgomery County, Maryland, and will provide efficient travel, serving both local and long distance commuters. The project will provide transit service to new and existing centers of commerce and residential development, including King Farm, Crown Farm, Life Sciences Center, Kentlands, and Metropolitan Grove. These developments have been planned and constructed as transit-oriented mixed use developments with the anticipation of the future CCT. Furthermore, the CCT will provide direct connections with transit services into the District of Columbia and other regional destinations by way of the MARC Brunswick Line at Metropolitan Grove and the Metrorail Red Line at Shady Grove.
The transitway would primarily be surface running with grade-separated (tunneled or elevated) crossings of selected roadways at busy intersections as well as over the CSX railroad near Metropolitan Grove. It will operate on an exclusive, dedicated transitway allowing for fast reliable transit operations. The estimated cost to construct the CCT is $545 Million (in 2012 dollars).
The proposed route of the CCT is as follows:
- Beginning at the Shady Grove Metro Station with a terminal point adjacent to the Metro entrance
- Median of Metro Access Road continuing across MD 355 onto the median of King Farm Boulevard
- Aerial over Shady Grove Road and I-270
- Median of Fields Road
- Median of Decoverly Drive
- South side of Diamondback Drive with a tunnel under Key West Avenue to the east side of Broschart Road
- Median of Medical Center Drive
- East side of Johns Hopkins Drive (Future extension from Medical Center Drive to Key West Avenue)
- Tunnel under Key West Avenue
- Median of Belward Campus Drive (Future extension to Muddy Branch Road)
- East side of Muddy Branch Road
- West side of Great Seneca Highway
- Aerial crossing of Great Seneca Highway to the east side of Quince Orchard Road
- Aerial structure at the intersection of Clopper Road and Quince Orchard Road to the north side of Quince Orchard Road
- Aerial on north side of Quince Orchard Road from Clopper Road intersection to the east side of CSX Railroad right-of-way
- At-grade and parallel to CSX right-of-way along the east side to Metropolitan Grove Station
The twelve stations for the CCT will be specially designed with CCT branding for easy recognition by transit users. Stations will include shelters, seating, fare machines, and both fixed and variable signage to provide customers with information on the CCT route and services as well as current operations. Safe access for pedestrians and parking for bikes will be provided at all CCT stations. The stations for the CCT will be at the following locations:
- Shady Grove
- East Gaither
- West Gaither
- Crown Farm
- LSC Central
- LSC West
- LSC Belward
- Metropolitan Grove
The CCT would include parking at five stations: Shady Grove, Crown Farm, LSC West, Kentlands, and Metropolitan Grove.
The CCT will feature Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a premium bus service operating on an exclusive transitway (separate from vehicular traffic), featuring 30 – 35 articulated, high capacity, rubber-tire modern vehicles equipped with multiple entry ways, off board fare payment and collection, and other amenities. To maintain the CCT vehicles, an operations and maintenance facility will be located near the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station. Service will be scheduled at regular intervals for predictability and utilize grade separation, transit signal priority and queue jumping at intersections where appropriate for reliability, much like other premium transit services. Frequency of service will be every 6 minutes during peak periods and every 10 minutes during off-peak times. One way travel time on the CCT from Shady Grove to Metropolitan Grove would be 31 minutes. BRT systems are “branded” to distinguish themselves as a premium transit system similar in scope and quality to light rail.
Bus Rapid Transit was selected for the CCT given its comparable performance and operations and maintenance costs combined with substantially reduced capital costs compared with light rail. The BRT on the CCT will provide the quality of transit performance needed to support the substantial growth in travel demand projected for the I-270 corridor. The projected ridership on the CCT is 35,900 trips per day in 2035. Given the close coordination of land use with transportation planning and development, the selection of BRT is expected to fully support the development planned along the corridor. BRT offers service flexibility for local bus service operations that can result in improved transit quality of service throughout the transit network. BRT on the CCT also complements Montgomery County plans to develop a countywide network of BRT services as a sustainable strategy for meeting the county’s travel needs into the future.
A hiker biker trail is to be planned and designed in conjunction with development of the project. This trail would not be constructed by the MTA as part of the project, but would be developed by Montgomery County and/or others as needs warrant and funding is available.
The selection of the CCT alignment and mode was largely based on its superior performance as well as MTA’s current understanding of issues raised during the public involvement process, including the public hearings held in conjunction with the completion of the I-270/US 15 Multimodal Corridor Study Draft Environmental Impacts Study (May 2002), the I-270/US 15 Multimodal Corridor Study Alternatives Analysis/ Environmental Assessment (May 2009), and the Corridor Cities Transitway Supplemental Environmental Assessment (November 2010).