The region’s transportation board will expand its support of bus rapid transit in Montgomery County, giving a nod to new service along New Hampshire Avenue.

The Transportation Planning Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is expected to vote Wednesday in support of the BRT plan calling for service from Colesville Road Park N’ Ride to Eastern Avenue.

The vote allows the bus rapid transit plan to be included in the region’s long-range “Visualize 2045” plan and be studied to determine its impact on air quality.

Last month, the board approved a series of projects to be included in the Visualize 2045 plan, including the addition of four segments to Montgomery County’s bus rapid transit plan. Montgomery County officials requested that a fifth segment for New Hampshire Avenue be added to the plan, but did so after public comment had closed. Thus, the TPB will vote Wednesday.

A Look at BRT in MoCo

Montgomery County officials have been aggressive in pushing for bus rapid transit along the county’s major corridors. The county said it can reduce road congestion by adding bus routes with limited stops on New Hampshire Avenue and on MD-355 between Clarksburg and Bethesda; US-29 between Burtonsville and downtown Silver Spring; and MD-586 (Veirs Mill Road) between Rockville and Wheaton. The buses would use dedicated lanes or receive priority access through traffic lights along the corridors. Transportation planners endorse BRT as a relatively low-cost and efficient public transit option.

The county will hold a public meeting Wednesday to discuss the BRT plan for the northern part of MD-355, and on Feb. 26 will hold a meeting to outline plans for BRT on US-29.