The need to improve and expand our transportation system – everything from maintenance and upgrading of existing highway, rail and bridge infrastructure to expansion of public transportation, particularly rail – is generally agreed upon. The Transportation Alliance has and will continue to support the funding of long-term transit and highway projects that are central to the achieving the goal of creating a sustainable transportation system that is a catalyst for and supports economic vitality. However, given the negative impact we are experiencing today on the economic competitiveness of Central Maryland due to the current limitations of existing transportation systems, and the long-term horizon of many transit and highway projects, the Alliance’s priorities are focused on implementing improvements that can be realized in the short-term.
The long-awaited increase in revenue for the Transportation Trust Fund was finally achieved with the passage of Governor O’Malley’s Transportation Infrastructure and Investment Act of 2013. This pivotal event will permit long-overdue improvements to roads, bridges, the Port of Baltimore, and new transit projects to move forward. The Transportation Alliance has long supported three such projects that will significantly improve access to employment centers in the region:
· The Red Line light rail line that will serve as an east/west connector from Baltimore County through Baltimore City to Bayview Medical Center
· The Purple Line light rail line that will provide a direct connection between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties
· The Corridor Cities Transitway, a Bus-Rapid-Transitway that will provide high-quality transit from the Shady Grove Metro station to the Metropolitan Grove MARC station in Montgomery County
The Transportation Alliance has launched several projects that seek to increase the reliability and efficiency of existing transportation systems, focusing on the public transit options to major employment hubs throughout the Baltimore/Washington region - a critical factor for providing access to jobs as well as access to job-ready employees.
The Alliance is assessing the need, the capacity required and the cost of improving service and/or instituting interim measures in the near-term to provide the access necessary for our economy to grow through three initiatives:
The Transportation Alliance’s “Let’s Get to Work” initiative, launched in January 2012, is an initiative to expand and improve MARC rail service throughout Central Maryland. By implementing the service improvements recommended by the Let’s Get to Work Feasibility Study, we can greatly improve the transit access to economic and employment opportunities throughout the 9 jurisdictions in Central Maryland that are served by MARC.
This increased service will support the significant and ongoing job growth due to BRAC and other growth industries in the region, expand opportunities for job ready residents and support employers needing access to a skilled workforce, and provide the catalyst needed to attract private investment to Transit-Oriented Development projects served by MARC.
For a detailed description of Let’s Get to Work, click here.
Rate Your Ride allows public transit riders to give instant feedback via text message on the quality of their ride. The pilot program, funded by the Open Society Institute – Baltimore, the Ford Foundation, and the Clayton Fund, was created and managed by the Transportation Alliance from September 2010 through June 2011. The successful pilot resulted in service improvements on 3 bus routes and also provided lessons about how to best use this type of data.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding between MTA and the Transportation Alliance, MTA has been managing Rate Your Ride since January 2012.
Got to www.RateYourRide.org to view data from Rate Your Ride participants in real time and other information about the program.