Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Open forum: Deficiencies displayed in transit plan

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The map in the July 25 Gazette titled ‘‘Keeping Montgomery competitive” shows the proposed route for the Corridor Cities Transitway, the Intercounty Connector and the many campuses, industrial parks and business centers.

The map highlights a major deficiency in building a fixed rail guideway such as light rail trolley. It doesn’t connect the many campuses, business centers and technology parks in the area.

A better approach would be to build a limited access roadway for buses in place of LRT and use existing roads too to provide a transit facility for all buses to use. It would provide flexibility for existing buses and new hybrid diesel-electric buses to get closer to origins and destinations where people come and go. Any bus could hop onto the limited-access roadway for fast travel to connect with existing bus facilities at the Metrorail station and onto the ICC for longer distance travel to east Montgomery County and to BWI Airport.

This approach would be less costly and it would be much easier and faster to implement while serving many more people. Moreover, new hybrid diesel-electric buses, which get up to 40 percent more miles per gallon, would use about the same amount of energy, if not less, than the very heavy trolley vehicles needs to operate.

G. Stanley Doore, Silver Spring