Montgomery Co. taxpayers may shoulder new bus transit costs

WASHINGTON – Montgomery County is looking at a bus rapid transit system, but county planners say residents could end up paying for empty buses.

There’s not enough new development to support the system and there won’t be for 30 or 40 years after it’s built, planners say. That would put costs on taxpayers, rather than developers.

But Councilman Marc Elrich tells the Examiner the development along the lines isn’t the point. The stops in the middle may be quiet, but it will make commutes easier from one part of the county to another.

One planned route in the 160-mile system would go up 270 to and from Shady Grove.

In some spots, the buses also might not have many riders. Master Planner Larry Cole says the system will take a decade or two to build.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow Max Smith and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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