Reopening Montgomery: We Will Be Getting There in a Flash

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October 15, 2020 |  Bookmark and Share

A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends:

We all know that more people need to get out of their cars and into public transportation, which not only is environmentally friendly, but also is the best way to deal with traffic and encourage economic development. 

I am pleased to announce that this week we launched the first bus service of its kind in Maryland. We are calling it Flash and it will run north and south along Maryland Route 29—one our most congested traffic routes. This is the start of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network I first proposed a dozen years ago, a network that will eventually connect the major commuting routes in the County.

For the eastern portion of our County, which is starting to see its economic possibilities with the FDA headquarters, the new Adventist Medical Center, the growth of White Oak and so much more, Flash will be a major contributor to what is ahead in its future.

When I proposed BRT, few people wanted to listen. But then our County put together a task force to study real transit—transit that would be reliable, easy to use and would take people where they needed to go—and people liked what they heard. It took a long time, but we finally got it started. It was exciting to see the unique 16 Flash buses roll out on their new routes. But this is just the start. We are also reviewing Flash routes for corridors such as Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. BRT will not solve all of our traffic problems, but it can make a difference.

In my video this week, I talk about this service. You can also read the story about Flash in this newsletter to learn more about why this is different from our existing bus service.

Regarding the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, we have begun seeing a slight uptick in the numbers and we are watching it very carefully. I know everyone is eager to continue reopening, but we will continue to watch the data and proceed with caution. You may have seen that this new uptick is happening across the country and the world.  We are encouraging people to get tested, especially if you think you may have been exposed—and please continue to follow the safety guidelines to prevent the spread of this virus. Getting tested is easy and fast, and on the upcoming schedule, we have 49 test clinics scheduled—the most we have ever scheduled in an eight-day period. They are at various times and at locations across the County. Here is more information on where to get tested.

This week, some special individuals, a dedicated organization and an important national business that calls Montgomery County home were all honored at the annual Montgomery Serves Awards. In a normal year, they would have been honored at a major ceremony, and I would have loved to have been with them to celebrate, but we all know this is not a normal year, so they were honored in virtual ceremonies. Their contributions, however, have been just as monumental as ever.

The Montgomery Serves Awards represent the County’s highest honor for service and volunteerism. You can watch the ceremonies at

Each of the honorees are models of what can be done to help and inspire others. They have been involved in projects that reach a cross-section of our County, ranging from making our neighborhoods stronger, preserving the history of our Black communities, inspiring our youth to become more involved, lifting up the arts and helping our homeless residents.

We are very proud of this year’s award winners, and we thank them for their work and their commitment to Montgomery County.


Marc Elrich


Marc Elrich
County Executive

P.S. Remember that Election Day is less than three weeks away. Whether you are voting by mail, at early voting or on Election Day, please vote. Get more information at


Watch Video

County Launches ‘Flash,’ Maryland’s First Bus Service of its Kind, in Ceremonies Led by County Executive Elrich and Council President Katz

ride on flash bus

Montgomery County on Oct. 14 launched its new “Flash” transit service in ceremonies led by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, County Council President Sidney Katz and Council Vice President Tom Hucker. Immediately after the ceremonies at a Flash station in Silver Spring, the County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) began the 14-mile service along US Route 29 that spans from Burtonsville to Silver Spring.

Flash is MCDOT’s first transit service in which specially designed, 80-passenger capacity buses will bypass other vehicles in certain locations and provide high quality and reliable transit service and amenities at the same price to ride as any other local bus.  


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County-Operated COVID-19 Testing Will Expand to 49 Clinics on Upcoming Schedule

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Montgomery County will significantly expand its COVID-19 testing program over the next nine days to 49 County-operated clinics. That schedule exceeds the record number of clinics the County held in its previous busiest schedule. Those clinics will be in addition to more than 45 private providers who are continuing to operate testing clinics.

The upcoming schedule of County-operated clinics includes sites that previously never had testing operations.


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County Health Officials Urge Residents to Get a Flu Shot; Online Appointment System Available for County-operated Free Clinics

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Montgomery County health officials are urging all residents to get a flu vaccination, with four County-operated clinics providing shots this fall. Two of the clinics will be for residents 14-and-over and the other two specifically for children ages 6 months to 18.


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County Honors Top Volunteers Through Montgomery Serves Awards

Montgomery serves award 2020

The 2020 Montgomery Serves Awards, Montgomery County’s highest honor for service and volunteerism, were announced this week in a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The ceremonies can be viewed at


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County Executive Elrich Highlights Package of Support to Help Renters Take Action to Stay in Their Homes

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Montgomery County surveys indicate an estimated 20,000 households, or 15 percent of the 130,000 rental households in the County, are behind on their rent and at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 health crisis. County Executive Marc Elrich is encouraging all concerned renters to take advantage of available financial, legal and counseling resources to help avoid eviction actions.


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Voting Update: Avoid Lines and Stay Safe by Voting by Mail

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Election day—Tuesday, Nov. 3—is less than one month away, and for those who have ordered mail-in ballots (it is not too late to do that), they will arrive soon—if they have not already arrived. In Montgomery County, there will only be about 40 polling places open throughout the County on Election Day (usually there are 255 voting locations). Here is some important election information.

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Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection Warns: The Holidays Bring More than Festive Times ... They Also Bring Scammers

scam alert

The holidays are approaching. While the COVID-19 health crisis fueled a lot of new twists on old scams, the holidays are sure to bring out the criminals. Just like snow, decorations, cookies baking and gifts, the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is warning that additional traditions sure to be around for the holidays are scams.


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Applications Now Being Accepted for County’s Resident and Community Food Production Gardening Grant Program; Information Session on Friday, Oct. 16

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Montgomery County is now accepting applications for its Resident and Community Food Production Gardening Grant Program. An information session for applicants will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16.  The program will make available $160,000 in grants to County nonprofit organizations that expand local food production through home and community farming and gardening.


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County Executive is Holding Series of Virtual FY22 Budget Forums, with Next One Monday Oct. 26

virtual townhall

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is holding a series of virtual forums about priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Operating Budget and the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget. The next forum will be held starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, and will focus on the operating budget. Each of the forums will be hosted via Microsoft Teams.


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Montgomery County Joins Celebration of October as ‘Energy Action Month’ with Focus on Lowering Energy Use and Costs

October is energy act on month

October is “Energy Action Month” and Montgomery County, through the Montgomery Energy Connection network, is hosting events in partnership with the County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Montgomery County Recreation, the County’s Department of Health and Human Services and community partners to provide residents with information and opportunities to lower energy costs.   


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