Decorated Winter Holiday “Flash Lights” Buses Return

The county’s Department of Transportation has brought back its “Flash Lights” buses for the winter holiday season.

The decorated Flash buses run along Colesville Rd./Columbia Pike (U.S. 29) between the Silver Spring Transit Center, Briggs Chaney, and Burtonsville, making stops along the way. The county-operated Flash Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, which launched in 2020, runs every 7 to 15 minutes on weekdays, and every 30 minutes on weekends.

“The decorated Flash buses have become a tradition in our County and are a good way for residents and visitors to experience the holiday season,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The Flash U.S. 29 bus route provides express service to some of our County’s most popular destinations.  We hope the lights will encourage people to shop locally, enjoy our County’s vibrant performing arts scene at one of our music venues or theaters, or take a spin around the outdoor ice-skating rink in downtown Silver Spring.”

This year’s debut of the Flash Lights holiday buses took place on Nov. 18 at the Silver Spring Thanksgiving parade. A Flash bus decorated in a “Let It Snow” theme traveled along the parade route, accompanied by a snow machine that created a winter wonderland for onlookers.

The decorated buses will be in circulation throughout December.

“The Flash BRT has consistently been one of our most popular bus services since its debut in 2020,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “It consistently places within the top four for the highest ridership of our bus routes. The express service to popular destinations, combined with family-friendly features such as level boarding for wheelchairs and strollers, has made riding the Flash an appealing option for anyone in need of convenient and reliable transportation along U.S. 29. We started the Flash Lights campaign in 2021 [to] create a fun and memorable experience for the community. This is the third year we have done this, and we know our riders look forward to catching a Flash Lights bus during the holiday season.”

Riders are encouraged to share pictures of the Flash Lights buses on their X, Facebook, Threads, and Instagram accounts and tag @MCDOTNow for a chance to win a $25 gift card. A winner will be chosen randomly from all participants in a weekly drawing, starting Monday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Jan. 5.

Full contest details can be found at

MCDOT Photo and Graphic

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