As part of the CCT project, an Operations Plan is developed for planning and design purposes. This Operations Plan will evolve over time and be finalized prior to the actual opening of the CCT. Operating characteristics in the Operations Plan include:
The CCT is currently planned to have two bus routes using the transitway. The first, CCT Direct, will operate directly between the Metropolitan Grove station and the Shady Grove station, staying on the CCT transitway, and stop at all stations on the transitway. The second route, CCT via the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), will operate between the Metropolitan Grove station and the Shady Grove station via the CCT guideway, stopping at all CCT stations on the transitway, but with a diversion from the transitway to serve two major activity centers, the Universities of Shady Grove and the Traville Transit Center. At this time, no local bus routes, such as Ride On routes, are planned to use the transitway, although they may connect with the CCT service at various stations.
The chart below provides a summary of the Operations Plan and shows the proposed hours of service and service frequency in minutes. The frequency of service is for the “design” year 2035, as that is the basis for design decisions on the project. Actual frequencies are expected to be somewhat less in the opening year of service.
The operating characteristics in the Operations Plan are important inputs into a number of different project elements. For instance, service frequency, days of service, and hours of service will dictate the projected Annual Operating Costs for the CCT once it is opened. Service frequency will be incorporated into the technical analysis for the noise, vibration and air quality elements. It will also be used to determine the number of vehicles required to satisfy service needs. The vehicle requirements are also a part of the project capital cost estimate and an input in determining the size of the project operations and maintenance facility.
There is also an interrelationship between the Operations Plan and the ridership forecasts for the CCT. The operating characteristics are inputs into the travel demand forecast model runs. The project ridership estimate was calculated utilizing a ridership forecasting model that is a variant of the regional model developed and run by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG). This regional model was adapted specifically for the CCT project. As the ridership forecast model is run and preliminary results emerge, the level of service is adjusted in the Operations Plan and models re-run. This iterative process evolves until there is a reasonable equilibrium between the service to be provided and the ridership forecast.