More BRT open houses set, part of $1M+ outreach program

Montgomery County graphic

Another set of open houses covering the proposed Bus Rapid Transit system on U.S. Route 29 will begin March 15, part of a $1 million-plus outreach program.

For the U.S. 29 BRT project, the County Council approved $6.5 million in the Capital Improvement Program budget for planning and design.

“The portion for education and outreach is less than 10 percent [in other words, less than $650,000], which is customary for transportation projects,” wrote Lorraine Driscoll, county public information officer, in an email response to the Source’s inquiry.

In addition, the council approved $250,000 in FY17 and $500,000 in FY18 for BRT outreach and education efforts, Driscoll said. Those funds are used countywide to educate the community about BRT and the projects under study, including a plan for Route 355. The amount used specifically for the U.S. 29 project would be a subset of this amount, she wrote.

Funds go toward graphics, printing costs, posters, mailings and so forth about the project.

Driscoll added in her response to the Source’s questions, “We cannot provide an estimate of staff charges specifically for U.S. 29 BRT outreach, as we do not track our time that way (i.e., time spent on outreach versus on technical project work).”

The BRT will run between Burtonsville and the Silver Spring Transit Center and from the Briggs-Chaney Park-and-Ride to Silver Spring, primarily on Rt. 29.

In addition to reviewing the routes and how the system will operate, staff will explain any updates to station designs and efforts to incorporate art into those designs. Each open house will cover the same material.

The open houses, which will include activities for children who attend, will be held:

  • Thursday, March 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Silver Spring Civic Center
  • Tuesday, March 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., White Oak Community Center Social Hall, 1700 April Lane, and
  • Wednesday, March 21, 7-9 p.m., Montgomery Blair High School Cafeteria, 51 University Blvd., East.

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