Montgomery Council Committee to Discuss Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation, Proposed RideOn Route Reductions
On Thursday, Feb. 4: ‘Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities’ as More Seniors Choose to Retire—and Stay; Public Hearings on Kensington, RideOn Fare Increases
ROCKVILLE, Md., February 3, 2010—The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee on Thursday, Feb. 4, will hold a worksession on a report compiled by the Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) on potential public-private partnerships in transportation projects. The committee also will discuss proposed route reductions for the County’s RideOn bus service that could lead to more than 30 bus drivers losing their jobs.
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Council President Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Roger Berliner and George Leventhal, will meet at 2 p.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.
At 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Health and Human Services Committtee, which is chaired by Councilmember Leventhal and includes Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Duchy Trachtenberg, will discuss an OLO report titled, “Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities and Neighborhood Villages.” The report looks at how government should prepare as an increasing number of senior citizens are choosing to retire and remain in their family homes rather than move to another location. When numerous seniors choose to remain in place, they likely require different service needs and activity opportunities.
At 7:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room, the full Council will hold two public hearings, including one on proposed fare increases for RideOn bus service. Among the fees County Executive Isiah Leggett has recommended increasing are regular RideOn fares (from $1.25 to $1.35 for fares paid with cash or tokens) and Day Passes (from $3.00 to $3.20). Another public hearing will focus on the proposed Kensington and Vicinity Sector Plan.
Both daytime committee meetings and the evening public hearings will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The live broadcast also can be viewed via streaming through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
The OLO report on public-private partnerships for road, parking and transit projects was requested by Council President Floreen. The report looks at whether the County would benefit by having private entities build and/or operate traditional County facilities such as parking garages and roads.
The report states that partnerships could produce benefits such as providing a quick influx of cash to the local government, possibly lower costs, access to non-traditional funding sources and improved quality. However, the report also points out the risks of the partnerships, including the difficulty in estimating the worth of a project, additional costs to the public sector, higher use rates and the loss of policy control.
The report looked at public-private partnerships in other U.S. jurisdictions including Chicago, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Las Vegas.
The committee’s worksession on the County Executive’s plan to reduce RideOn service by approximately 7.5 percent also will look at some possible alternatives to reducing service on some routes and totally eliminating service on other existing routes.