The county’s Department of Transportation will commemorate the first anniversary of its Flash Bus Rapid Transit service today with special greetings of riders at several Flash stations.

The service launched one year ago today — October 14, 2020 — and more than 500,000 riders have used the service since its launch, according to a county press release.

The county is also looking to expand the service, with additional Flash corridors planned for Rockville Pike and Veirs Mill Road.

The first of its kind in Maryland, Flash currently operates on Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (US 29) and connects Downtown Silver Spring Transit Center...

...with White Oak, Briggs Chaney, and Burtonsville with limited stops along the way. Flash buses feature bike racks inside, free Wi-Fi service, and USB ports.

MCDOT is performing preliminary engineering and design for its next two planned Flash corridors along MD 355 (Rockville Pike) and MD 586 (Veirs Mill Road). It also is in the preliminary planning stages for New Hampshire Avenue and North Bethesda.

According to MCDOT, total project costs for Flash on US 29 were nearly $40 million, of which $10 million was funded by a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant. Flash vehicles and stations were all fabricated in the United States.

Flash, like all other MCDOT bus services, is free through January 1, 2022, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When fares are reinstated, the cost to ride will be the same as Ride On’s regular prices—$2 per ride, and all special passes and discounts apply.