Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Study
Montgomery County is home to over a million residents, including numerous federal agencies and businesses in need of expanded public transit access. The proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a system of bus routes that emulate light rail operations in terms of features provided but would instead travel on existing arterial roads and utilize lower cost bus technology. The goal of the County’s BRT Corridor Study was to look at major transportation corridors as well as evaluate land use, route options, and existing impediments of utilities and right-of-way. Soltesz was tasked with analyzing and identifying 16 viable BRT routes that could operate along State and County roads. The challenge was that the analysis was to be done on an accelerated schedule of less than three months and the magnitude of the project involved researching 25 potential routes comprised of over 200 miles of roadway.
The Soltesz Solution
By successfully coordinating with Montgomery County Planning Department and Parsons Brinkerhoff (the lead design consultant for the BRT), Soltesz was able to obtain current, high resolution aerial photography and cadastral mapping for the County. The firm utilized the multiple layers of data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to allow remote analysis of the roadway networks nearly eliminating on-site or field time and allowing for multiple users to simultaneously perform the task. Soltesz was able to make all necessary measurements with substantial accuracy within GIS and provide the client with a matrix cataloging every foot of each corridor within the time constraints given. As a result, Soltesz and Parsons Brinkerhoff prepared a comprehensive report presented to elected officials on the feasibility of the implementation of the BRT.