Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced the launch of a Transit Task Force with the mission of making a comprehensive rapid transit system a reality in Montgomery County. The Task Force will advocate for developing and implementing a system that is consistent with state transportation objectives and complements regional transit operations.
“Our region recently made the top of a very undesirable list – among the worst in the nation for traffic congestion – and that is why we need to invest in alternative transportation on a scale that will really make a difference to our residents,” said Leggett. “By establishing this task force, I am keeping a commitment I made in my 2010 inaugural address to the residents of Montgomery County. The Task Force will devise a practical roadmap that will guide us to fully implementing the transit we both want and need to keep our County competitive in the 21st century.”
The Task Force is a public/private partnership with 20 members appointed by the County Executive and chaired by Mark Winston, a lawyer in private practice with the firm of Glazer Winston Honigman Ellick, PLLC. During his professional career Mr. Winston has been a member of the Maryland State Transportation Commission and State Roads Commission.
The group includes Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich, who has championed a bus rapid transit network for the County.
“This task force is significant because it will look at implementation and financing issues,” said Elrich. “It is not just another task force that will conduct a study and inform us that we have a traffic problem and that we need better transit. We know that. This task force is designed to help solve the problem. I thank County Executive Leggett for recognizing the need to move this proposal forward, and I look forward to working with the members of the Task Force and residents of this County.”
Leggett stated that Montgomery County will greatly benefit from a comprehensive rapid transit system as it will improve the County’s quality of life, stimulate economic development, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases and reduce energy consumption.
“In addition to the environmental benefits, I believe that bus rapid transit will provide much needed transportation relief for many of our residents and will help us meet future transportation needs in areas like East County,” said Council President Valerie Ervin, who also represents, Kensington, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and Wheaton. “I complement the County Executive for creating this task force, and I support Councilmember Marc Elrich’s ongoing efforts to create a bus rapid transit system in Montgomery County.”
“Our county's transportation priorities can be summed up as 'Transit First,'” said Council Vice President and Task Force member Roger Berliner, who chairs the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. “I commend the County Executive for pulling together this impressive group that will assist us in achieving first class transit options that will relieve our chronic congestion, improve our quality of life and enhance our competitiveness.”
In addition to Elrich, Berliner and Winston, the Task Force members are: Marilyn Balcombe, Corridor Cities Transitway Coalition; Nat Bottingheimer, WMATA; Francoise Carrier, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; Lisa Fadden, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; Delegate Brian Feldman (D-15); Senator Rob Garagiola (D-15); Jonathan Genn, Percontee; David, Hauck, Sierra Club; Art Holmes, Montgomery County Department of Transportation; David McDonough, Johns Hopkins University; Darrell Mobley, Maryland Department of Transportation; Henry Montes, Latin American Advisory Group; Rich Parsons, Parsons & Associates; Craig Simoneau, City of Rockville; Tina Slater, Action Committee for Transit; U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen (or designee); Francine Waters, Lerner Enterprises; and Dan Wilhelm, Montgomery County Civic Federation. Tom Street, Montgomery County Executive’s Office and Steve Silverman, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development; will serve as ex-officio members.
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Montgomery County Transit Task Force
The Montgomery County Transit Task Force, a public – private partnership with members appointed by the County Executive, is the only organization focused exclusively to make a comprehensive rapid transit system in Montgomery County a reality for its citizens and businesses. Our mission is to advise the County Executive on how to achieve his vision, and to be advocates for developing and implementing a world-class, county-wide, rapid transit system that is safe, efficient and effectively moves people throughout the county. The comprehensive rapid transit system will be consistent with state transportation objectives and will be complementary with regional transit operations. The system will provide improved mobility for its riders, will improve the county’s quality of life, will stimulate economic development in the County, and will improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases, and reduce energy consumption.
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