The Metrobus Q Line Study (En Español)
- Who was involved? The study was a partnership between Metro, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the City of Rockville.
- What was studied? The Metrobus Q Line corridor (formerly the Q2 / Veirs Mill Road Line).
- Where is the corridor located? The Q Line runs between Shady Grove Metro and Silver Spring Metro along Frederick Road, Hungerford Drive, Veirs Mill Road, and Georgia Avenue.
- Why was this corridor chosen for study? The line serves about 10,000 passengers on an average weekday, the highest Metrobus ridership in Maryland. But the line was often overcrowded with frequent delays stemming from traffic and other factors.
- When did the study take place? The study began in December 2008 and ended in September 2009. It was followed by a brief implementation period during which Metro determined the best ways to put the first phase of recommendations into effect. The restructured line went into service in December 2009, and Metro, along with its partner agencies, are currently working on a plan for implementing the second phase of recommendations.
- How is service on the line being improved? See below for the study's recommendations, as well as specifics on how the study was conducted.
First Phase of Improvements, Implemented December 2009:
In the first phase of improvements, two new overlapping routes were added to the line:
• Q4 - Rockville Metro to Silver Spring Metro (all stops, daily, 15-minute schedule during peak periods and 30-minutes midday)
• Q6 - Shady Grove Metro to Wheaton Metro (all stops, Monday-Saturday, 15-minute schedule during peak periods and 30-minutes midday)
The study showed that most activity on the line takes place on Veirs Mill Road. The two new routes overlap along the busiest part of the corridor and provide more service to riders between Rockville and Wheaton.
In addition to the Q4 and Q6, two more routes were added:
• Q1: Shady Grove to Silver Spring, bypassing Montgomery College (early and late full-length trips, daily)
• Q5: Shady Grove to Wheaton, bypassing Montgomery College (typical midday schedule, Sunday)
During the study, many riders indicated that the service to Montgomery College is time-consuming for those who want to get to other destinations along Frederick Road/Hungerford Drive. The addition of the Q1 and Q5 means that riders who want to bypass the college will now have that option.
The existing Q2 route (from Shady Grove to Silver Spring via Montgomery College) remains in place for early and late full-length trips daily, meaning that five routes in total now serve the Veirs Mill Road corridor.
In addition to route changes, several operational improvements were implemented to make the service run more smoothly. Among these are:
• Increased Supervision – a team of Metrobus supervisors is focus ing only on the operation of the Q Line. They are in direct communication with bus drivers, advising them about problems on the road, suggesting detours as needed, and ensuring that buses don’t get bunched up along the routes.
• Greater Parking Enforcement – Enforcement of parking regulations around bus stops helps improve the overall flow of the bus service, especially along Georgia Avenue and in Silver Spring.
• Enhanced Bus Driver Training – additional training is being given to bus drivers to help them deal with problems specific to the Q Line.
Pending Metro Board approval, a second phase of improvements may be implemented in the near future. Please visit this website throughout 2010 for developments.
Timetables and Maps:
Click here for a downloadable schedule of the current Q Line service.
Click on the icon below for a map that shows the restructured Q Line.
Reports and Publications:
The following newsletters, presentations, survey results, and reports are available to read in PDF format. Some of the files are large; please allow sufficient time to download.
- Q Line: Information Card
- Q Line: Improvements Brochure
- Q Line: Frequently Asked Questions
- Map of Veirs Mill Road Line Overlapping Routes (Oct 2009)
- Q2 Implementation Boards (Oct 2009)
Please note that although the Final Summary Report below recommends a limited-stop Q9 route for the near-term, this service will not be implemented in 2009. The information in the map and boards above supersede the recommendations of the Final Report. WMATA does not have an implementation date for the Q9 at this time.
- Final Summary Report (July 2009)
- Slide Presentation (June 2009 Public Meeting)
- Display Boards (June 2009 Public Meeting)
- Summary of March Public Meeting and Additional Outreach (April 2009)
- Slide Presentation (March 2009 Public Meeting)
- Display Boards, Part 1 (March 2009 Public Meeting)
- Display Boards, Part 2 (March 2009 Public Meeting)
- Summary of Jan/Feb Public Meeting Results (February 2009)
- Slide Presentation (January/February 2009 Public Meetings)
- Display Boards (January/February 2009 Public Meetings)
- Newsletter # 1 (January 2009)
- Preliminary Results of the Rider Survey (January 2009)
FINAL TWO PUBLIC MEETINGS COMPLETED:
The Q2/Veirs Mill Road Line has developed a set of draft recommendations to improve transit service along the Q2 corridor. Before the recommendations were brought to the Metro Board for approval, the project team invited Q2 riders and members of the public to two final meetings for the study. One meeting was held in Wheaton, and the other at Montgomery College in Rockville. The meetings began with an open house, in which participants reviewed visual materials and spoke individually with the project team. At 7:00 pm, there was a presentation of the draft recommendations, followed by an hour-long breakout session in which participants discussed the proposed transit improvements to the Q2 Line.
CONTINUED PUBLIC OUTREACH:
Throughout March 2009, the study team met with riders of the Q2/Veirs Mill Line to obtain feedback about challenges facing the line and ideas about ways to improve the service. The team met with riders at bus stops and distributed flyers and surveys at neighborhood associations, apartment complexes, and other locations to further identify problems and hear riders’ views about potential ways of solving them.
The month-long outreach effort culminated in a public meeting on March 31 at First Baptist Church of Wheaton. The purpose of the meeting was to summarize the prospective improvements and hear what Q2 riders think about them before the study team moves on to the next phase of analysis. To see materials from the meeting, please go to the reports page.
FIRST SET OF PUBLIC MEETINGS:
The first two meetings for the Q2/Veirs Mill Line Study took place on Thursday, January 29, at Rockville United Church in Rockville, and on Thursday, February 5, at Holiday Park Senior Center in Wheaton. Both meetings were from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The public meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday, January 27, was postponed to February 5 due to inclement weather.
The purpose of the meetings was to solicit the input of Q2 riders (as well as communities and businesses along the Q2 corridor) in identifying problems with the Q2/Veirs Mill Line service. Participants helped determine ways to evaluate potential transit service improvements for the line.
The format of the meetings was as follows: 1) Open house from 6:30 to 7:00 pm, during which participants reviewed project materials and spoke individually with the study team. 2) Presentation by the project team at 7:00 pm. 3) Breakout sessions at 7:20, in which participants split into small groups to discuss issues related to Q2 service and possible ways of solving problems along the corridor.
The next public outreach effort for the study will focus on getting rider feedback on potential service improvements for the Q2/Veirs Mill Line. This effort will begin in spring of 2009.
RIDER SURVEY CONDUCTED
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, conducted a rider survey on December 17, 2008, for the Metrobus Q2/Veirs Mill Line Study. Surveys were available on Q2 buses during the day and evening, and survey takers had the option of placing their completed surveys in pouches on the buses or mailing them in later postage-paid. The purpose of the survey was to receive feedback from Q2 Line riders about what works on the route and what needs improvement. Input from riders will be used to develop study options and, ultimately, recommendations for enhancing service on the line. Preliminary results can be seen on the reports page.