MDOT 640 Bus Rapid Transit

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Original Date: February 7, 2017
Revised: May 18, 2018
Effective Date: October 1, 2018
Note:There may be formatting differences between the electronic policy and the signed policy. 
MDOT signed policy supersedes all information provided on this page. 
Printed copies of this page only valid for this date: August 11, 2020

MDOT 640 Bus Rapid Transit


The purpose of this Policy is to:

  1. Define Bus Rapid Transit (BRT); and
  2. Guide MDOT involvement in BRT planning, design, construction, and operation.


§ 7-102 et seq., Transportation Article, Annotated Code of Maryland

§ 2-103.1 et seq., Transportation Article, Annotated Code of Maryland

US DOT FTA Final Interim Policy Guidance Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant Program


This Policy is applicable to all MDOT employees, contract employees, contractors, and consultants, and supersedes any Transportation Business Unit (TBU) BRT related procedures or processes.

Responsible Party

Deputy Secretary of Policy, Planning, and Enterprise Services

Policy Statement

  1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is intended to provide a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, reliable and cost-effective transit services in high activity corridors.
  2. The BRT system goal is for the project corridor or corridors to enhance regional bus transit performance by reducing travel times, improving trip reliability, enhancing system recognition, branding and innovation, improving safety and security, maximizing bus carrying capacity and comfort, and improving regional transit connectivity, while maintaining acceptable performance of the State’s highway system, as discussed on page 10 of the BRT Brochure.
  3. BRT is one of many planning solutions available to MDOT where applicable and when resources are available. The MDOT’s participation in BRT projects and services is weighed against competing investment priorities for limited available funding through the capital programming process as delineated in the CTP.
  4. BRT systems can link with statewide transit systems and enable our customers to easily use transit service. All BRT systems will comply with the Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) manual.
  5. The agency or local government providing transit service to the affected counties is responsible for the BRT planning, development, and operation and may receive guidance and assistance from MDOT.


For the purposes of this Policy, the following words have the following meanings:

  1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) means a high-quality flexible bus-based rapid transit system that delivers fast and efficient service that meets Federal Transit Administration (FTA) criteria and may include one or more or a combination of transit facilities. BRT can include dedicated bus lanes, dedicated bus stations typically aligned to the center of the road, off-board fare collection, and fast and frequent operations.
  2. Transit Facility means any one or more or a combination of tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, tunnels, subways, rolling stock, stations, terminals, ports, parking areas, equipment, fixtures, buildings, structures, other real or personal property, and services incidental to or useful or designed for use in connection with the rendering of transit service by any means, including rail, bus, motor vehicle, or other mode of transportation, but does not include any railroad facility.
  3. Transportation Need means an objective statement of fact, in accordance with purpose and need guidance, that articulates the transportation problem being addressed.
  4. Regional Transportation System means one or more or a combination of transit facilities and services, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, road traffic patterns and volumes, and parking.
  5. Proposing Entity means MDOT, MDOT TBU, a county, a municipality, or a metropolitan planning organization.
  6. Master Plan means an adopted plan that may include recommendations for zoning, staging of development and public improvements, and public services to implement the area general plan.
  7. Locally Operated Transit Service (LOTS) means systems that operate public transportation and receive funding under one or more of the programs administered by the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration’s Office of Local Transit Support.

See Also