Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 1



| VOLUME 78, NO. 21

Challenges and
Opportunities Ahead
MCDOT Launches
Maryland's First
BRT Service
MONTGOMERY COUNTY Department of Transportation
(MCDOT), MD, launched its "Flash" BRT service with recent
ceremonies at a Flash station in Silver Spring attended by
local dignitaries.
Flash serves the county's busiest transit corridor.
Eighty-passenger buses will run the 14-mile route along US
Route 29 from Burtonsville to Silver Spring with fewer stops
than regular buses; shorter waits at the door-level stations
(15 minutes maximum); and will run seven days a week. By
paying fares at stations before a bus arrives, boarding at
any of three doors on the bus, and with exclusive use of the
shoulders along the northern section of US 29 and traffic
signal priority, Flash is anticipated to reduce travel times by
an estimated 30 percent compared with current bus routes.
Flash buses feature the first interior bike racks in the
region; bicycles can be rolled right on board. The buses
are also the first in the region to employ a fully automated
wheelchair securement system. Flash offers free WiFi and
USB ports for charging devices at stations and also on
Platforms are decorated with unique, locally inspired inlaid
mosaics created by teen artists from Arts on the Block, a
nonprofit in Silver Spring providing students with real-world
experience in art, design and business. The Flash project
also includes improved pedestrian walkways and ADA sidewalk upgrades, bike facilities and 10 new Capital Bikeshare
stations along the corridor.
Safety features include Mobileye, a pedestrian detection system that alerts bus drivers when a pedestrian is
approaching the vehicle's path. Flash buses are the first in
the region to use this new technology, which further supports the county's Vision Zero Initiative to eliminate serious
and fatal injuries related to traffic incidents.
"I'm really proud of the entrepreneurial spirit our team
has shown," said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin, "They
had a fixed timeline, they had a fixed amount of money to
make this project happen and we've achieved both of those
marks. It's being delivered on time and on budget and it's
taken collaboration among all of the groups within MCDOT
to make that happen. Everything from traffic signals to our
transit operators, to the design and construction teams-it
has all come together as we wanted it to."

Oct. 21-22, focused on the critical conversations
taking place in the public transit industry as
the U.S. confronts the ramifications of a global
pandemic. More than 420 leaders participated in
sessions ranging from how to bring back riders
and instill confidence, to putting social and racial
equity at the forefront, to safety and security.
Participants heard from renowned educator and
futurist Tony Seba and noted scholar Eddie S.
Glaude Jr. In keeping with tradition, everyone
had the chance to honor the 'best of the best'
winners at the always festive APTA Awards

Paul P. Skoutelas

Nuria I. Fernandez

The conference opened Wednesday morning
with remarks from APTA Chair Nuria I. Fernandez, CEO and general manager, Santa Clara
Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA,
who spoke about last year's annual meeting in
New York where one of her first acts as chair
was to establish a set of priorities to complement APTA's three-year strategic plan. She created working groups that focused on advocacy,
mobility, innovation and technology, workforce
readiness and growing the membership.


K. Jane Williams

USDOT Announces
$291 Million for 'State of
Good Repair' Rail Grants
of more than $291 million in grants for 11 intercity passenger rail projects in nine states through
the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good
Repair Program.
These grants "will upgrade rail infrastructure
and enhance railroad safety and reliability in
communities across America," said USDOT
-Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The program is intended to improve intercity
passenger rail performance by funding capital
projects to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly
owned or controlled railroad assets, thereby
bringing them into a state of good repair. Funding for these awards totals $291,422,706, with
$198 million made available from the Further
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 and
$93,422,706 in remaining funds made available

through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of
FRA published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for this award cycle June 10. The evaluation
and selection process considered several factors
in choosing projects, including a project's ability
to improve service and safety and to meet existing or anticipated demand.
"These investments have proven vital during
this challenging year and kept essential supplies
moving throughout our nation, and these State of
Good Repair grants will continue those improvements and enhance passenger rail service to
ready the nation for the forthcoming recovery,"
said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory.
Project descriptions are available at https://

Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21

Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 1
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 2
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 3
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 4
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 5
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 6
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 7
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 8
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 9
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 10
Passenger Transport November 2020 Vol 78 No 21 - 11