The Montgomery County Transit Task Force presented its recommendations to County Executive Isiah Leggett for establishing a 160-mile, innovative, “best-in-class” rapid transit system that creates a comprehensive transit network. The Task Force is recommending that the system be built in three phases over the next nine to 20 years to mitigate both construction and affordability issues. Leggett created the Transit Task Force in February 2011 and appointed the members of the public/private partnership.
The proposed rapid transit system uses vehicles that will operate like “light rail on rubber tires.” To the maximum extent possible, the network would have separate, dedicated lanes, with an emphasis on creating a network with both north-south and east-west connections. The report states that a rapid transit network is essential if the County wants to achieve its smart growth vision and successfully compete for its fair share of the projected job growth in the region.
Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) will be Maryland’s first Bus Rapid Transit system and will operate along a 15-mile north-south corridor from the Shady Grove Metrorail station to the COMSAT facility near Clarksburg. The next step is for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to submit the project to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under its New Starts Program as the MTA prepares for the preliminary engineering phase of the project.
The preferred alternative will connect major employment, residential and activity centers in the corridor including Shady Grove, King Farm, Crown Farm, Life Sciences Center (LSC), Kentlands, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, and COMSAT. There will be direct connections to the Red Line at Shady Grove, the MARC Brunswick Line at Metropolitan Grove and local bus service throughout the corridor.
The CCT LPA will be a pedestrian-friendly system with 16 proposed stations that is expected to have 47,700 boardings a day by 2035. The CCT will operate at street level on a fully dedicated right-of-way with no shared use segments, allowing for fast and reliable transit operations. Parking will be available through existing and/or new Park and Rides at Shady Grove, Crown Farm, LSC West, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, and COMSAT. The transitway is also being designed to accommodate a future hiker/biker trail.
On May 24, the Montgomery County Council approved a $4.6 billion total County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins July 1, 2012.
Transportation-related items include:
An increase in the Ride On Monthly Pass from $40 to $45.
An increase in the cash or token Ride On fare from $1.70 to $1.80.
An increase in the regular SmarTrip Ride On fare from $1.50 to $1.60.
An increase in the Senior/Disabled cash/token fare from $0.85 to $0.90.
An increase in the Senior/Disabled SmarTrip fare from $0.75 to $0.80.
In the Bethesda Parking Lot District, an increase in: the short-term parking fee from $1/hour to $1.25/hour; long-term parking from $0.75/hour to $0.80/hour; the monthly pass from $140 to $150; and the associated daily and carpool passes.
In the Silver Spring Parking Lot District: an increase in the short-term parking fee from $0.75/hour to $1/hour; long-term parking from $0.60/hour to $0.65/hour; the monthly pass from $113 to $123; and the associated daily and carpool passes, effective Jan. 1, 2013.
A pilot program whereby residents of South Silver Spring can buy a monthly parking pass for the Kennett and King Street garages for the discounted price of $95; the pilot will run from Oct. 1, 2012 until June 30, 2014.
In the Wheaton Parking Lot District, an increase in the short-term parking fee from $0.50/hour to $0.75/hour, long-term parking from $0.50/hour to $0.60/hour, the monthly pass from $95 to $113, and the associated daily and carpool passes.
Approved items in the Capital Improvement Projects Budge include:
An increase in funding of by $16.25 million (95 percent) for roadway patching and resurfacing in FY 2013.
An increase in funding of $2.5 million (40 percent) for sidewalk and curb replacement in FY 2013.
A new parking garage on the Rockville campus of Montgomery College by FY 2015.
Design and construction of the Capital Crescent Trail, costing $49.5 million.
Construction funding for the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Silver Spring Green Trail.
Construction of new bike trails along Frederick Road in Clarksburg, Needwood Road in Derwood and Gold Mine Road east of Brookeville.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Division of Transportation Engineering will host a workshop to solicit community comment on the Midcounty Corridor Study on Wednesday, June 6. The meeting will take place, from 4 to 9 p.m. in the Watkins Mill High School cafeteria, 10301 Apple Ridge Rd., Gaithersburg.
The Midcounty Corridor Study is looking at ways to improve north-south transportation options in the Clarksburg, Germantown and Gaithersburg areas to serve the planned land use and future growth.
Attendees at the workshop will be able to review concepts at their own pace and provide feedback. MCDOT staff and other agency representatives will be available to discuss the project, answer questions and address concerns. No formal presentation will be made.
Planning for the Midcounty Corridor Study (MCS) began in 2006 with 11 preliminary alternatives. The MCS is now at a critical milestone where the 11 alternatives have been reduced to six, based on the results of preliminary studies, agency input, stakeholder recommendations and public comments. More information about the study is available on the County’s website.
The public may also comment by contacting Project Manager Greg Hwang at