Montgomery County DOT Spreads Love: Valentine’s Day Buses Hit the Streets

The county’s Department of Transportation is celebrating February with five Flash buses adorned with pink neon heart-shaped lights in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Alongside the festive buses, MCDOT is providing residents and riders with an opportunity to send love to their Valentines and potentially win a prize package for two.

Residents and riders can participate by reposting a #LoveFlash Valentine to a friend on social media and tagging both a valentine and @MCDOTNow by Feb. 14. This enters them for a chance to win two $50 gift cards – one for the sender and one for their Valentine. #LoveFlash Valentines have been shared on RidetheFlash.com and MCDOTNow’s social media channels since Feb. 1.

The winning entry will be selected at noon on Feb. 14 and announced on MCDOTNow’s social media platforms at 5 p.m. The sender and the tagged individual will each receive an electronic gift card.

Complete contest rules are available on RidetheFlash.com.

“Valentine’s Day is a great day to share your love about the U.S. 29 Flash,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “The U.S. 29 Flash route has consistently been one of our top five most popular bus routes since it debuted in 2020. The Flash Valentine lights are our way of thanking our riders. I hope that by participating in the #LoveFlash Valentine contest, our residents can show their appreciation for Flash. And if you and your Valentine win the $50 gift cards, you can take Flash to visit one of our many local businesses and restaurants for a wonderful night out.”

The five Valentine buses can be spotted along the Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (U.S. 29) Flash route, connecting the Silver Spring Transit Center in downtown Silver Spring with White Oak and Briggs Chaney.

Flash, Montgomery County’s bus rapid transit (BRT) service which debuted in 2020, offers a limited-stop bus service that is becoming more popular in urban areas nationwide and globally. BRT systems like Flash aim to provide buses every few minutes, enhanced amenities, pre-boarding payment, priority traffic light signaling, and dedicated lanes where feasible.

The full Flash network will consist of nine routes, including an extension of the current U.S. 29 Flash corridor, with over 100 stops connecting to Metro stations, the MARC Train, and the future Purple Line. Progress is notable on Veirs Mill Road, North Bethesda, and Rockville Pike.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, MCDOT outreach teams will be at the Silver Spring Transit Center during morning and evening rush hours to show appreciation to riders and drivers, distributing #LoveFlash chocolate bars.

“The Flash buses are a convenient and affordable way to reach some of Montgomery County’s most popular destinations on Valentine’s Day or anytime,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We hope the decorated buses and engagement, online or in person, will encourage our community to try a Flash bus for their next trip along U.S. 29 and learn more about our plans for future Flash corridors. We’re building a Flash network that will better connect riders throughout the County with faster, more convenient service.”

The cost to ride Flash is just $1 per trip. Seniors aged 65 and above, persons with disabilities, and youth aged 18 and under ride for free with specialized SmarTrip cards. For more information on riding the Flash bus and upcoming corridors, visit RideTheFlash.com.

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