In the 1970s, Montgomery County officials developed a general alignment for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) and the project was included in various Montgomery County Master Plans and Plan updates over the years. Well over 50 percent of the transitway alignment has been actively preserved or reserved by Montgomery County as the land around it has developed. The alignment identified by the County in their Master Plans was adopted by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) when it initiated study of transit improvements to serve the "corridor cities" in the mid-1990s. The MTA then teamed with the State Highway Administration (SHA) to study different combinations of highway and transit improvements in the I-270/US 15 Multi-Modal Corridor Study. Over the course of the study, engineers and planners analyzed a range of alternatives to determine their environmental and transportation system effects and performance. SHA and MTA published the results of these analyses in several environmental documents, developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. The first of these was a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in May 2002. The second document was an Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Assessment published in May 2009.
The next step for the CCT was to complete a 2010 Supplemental Environmental Assessment which focused on transit alignment modifications near Crown Farm, Life Sciences Center and Kentlands in Gaithersburg, and other new developments. In 2011, the highway and transit elements of the I-270/US 15 Multi-Modal Corridor Study were split into separate projects.
In May 2012, a 15 mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project was announced as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the CCT project. The CCT Project is located within Montgomery County and is primarily defined as operating on an exclusive transitway between the COMSAT facility, just south of Clarksburg, to the Shady Grove Metrorail station. The Phase 1 Project is currently in the Preliminary Engineering (PE)/NEPA phase of Project Development. In the PE/NEPA phase, the team will complete the NEPA documentation as well as refine the design options based on factors including construction costs, community and environmental impacts, and operations planning.
In August 2013, the CCT project was identified as one of several recipients of funding through the Maryland Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013. This Act provides funding to projects around the state that would help to “create jobs, reduce traffic congestion and revitalize communities.” The funding allocated to the CCT will allow for the completion of preliminary engineering, final design, and much of the right-of-way acquisition.