Transportation and Mobility Committee

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Chair: Bruce Gartner, Vice President/Maryland Transportation Client Account Manager, Jacobs

Staff: Brian Levine, 410-727-2820

Description: The Transportation and Mobility Committee is dedicated to creating an interconnected, multi-modal, accessible transportation network that actively contributes to economic growth and moves people and goods efficiently. The committee studies and promotes regional transportation initiatives that connect workers to employment hubs and supports business growth by allowing the free flow of goods and services.

Membership: Membership in the Transportation and Mobility Committee is open to all GBC members.


Activities:

2018 Transportation and Mobility Committee news:

On May 9, 2018 the GBC Transportation and Mobility Committee met and received a presentation from Holly Arnold, Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Programming for the Maryland Transit Administration. Arnold focused her remarks on BaltimoreLink, Greater Baltimore’s core bus network system which was launched on June 18, 2017. It represents an overhaul of the regional bus network routes.

Arnold discussed increased efforts to achieve connectivity and reliability in the bus system, including capital improvements such as transfer facilities, real-time signage and clearer maps. Next steps for BaltimoreLink are operational and schedule tweaks, mobile ticketing, North Avenue Rising (supporting economic revitalization along North Avenue through increased mobility) and fleet overhauls and replacements.

The Transportation and Mobility Committee heard from Michelle Pourciau, Director of Baltimore’s Department of Transportation (BDOT), at its March 14, 2018 meeting.

Pourciau said she is working to provide Baltimore City with a safe and sustainable multi-modal transportation system. To accomplish her mission, BDOT seeks to enhance transit, bicycle and pedestrian accessibility options through a coordinated transportation planning and asset management process and implementation program.

Pourciau, who has been in her current position since 2017, previously served for 22 years with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, ultimately serving as director of that agency.

Following Pourciau’s presentation, the Committee was briefed on transportation-related legislation pending in the 2018 legislation session of the Maryland General Assembly.

The GBC’s Transportation and Mobility Committee met on January 24, 2018 and received two presentations, one from Heather Murphy, Director, Office of Planning and Capital Programming at the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and a second from Joe McAndrew, Director of Transportation Policy at the Greater Washington Partnership.

Murphy focused her discussion on MDOT’s Fiscal Year 2018 – Fiscal Year 2023 Consolidated Transportation Program. She also discussed Governor Larry Hogan’s traffic relief plan, which proposes a public private partnership that adds new toll lanes and widens portions of I-495, I-270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and took questions from Committee members.

McAndrew provided a presentation on the Greater Washington Partnership’s regional transportation priorities. The Greater Washington Partnership’s goals is to unify and advance growth in a region they define as Richmond to Baltimore. His organization has four priorities for regional mobility: (1) connect the super-region; (2) improve the consumer experience; (3) ensure equitable access; and (4) integrate innovation. The Committee added that freight movement by rail should be integrated into any regional transportation efforts by the Greater Washington Partnership.

2017 Transportation and Mobility Committee news:

Legislative Priorities and a list of potential regional projects the organization can get involved with was a topic of discussion at the Transportation and Mobility Committee’s at its November 8, 2017 meeting. Jennille Logan, Director of Business Development for Cubic Transportation Systems, presented Cubic’s NextCity® platform.

Cubic has a vision of seamless point-to-point transportation and trip planning with intelligent systems management grounded in one payment system for all services including public transit, bike share, car rental and on-demand transportation services. By bringing different elements together and using an integrated Open API, consumers can realize decreased costs and systems gain insights into demand management. Although the end-user experience is based on a mobile phone application, it is also friendly to the unbanked and those without smart phones through a retail network and smart transit cards.

Many types of data and services can be integrated into NextCity outside of transit service and payments. NextCity also includes revenue management, predictive analytics, traffic management, real-time passenger information and can include information on parking and tolling. Virtual ticketing agents and onboard infotainment are add-ons can also be integrated into NextCity.

Transportation and Mobility Committee Chair Bruce Gartner continued the conversation from the previous meeting on the topic of goods corridors and state support for roads and infrastructure at the committee’s September 27, 2017 meeting. The committee is working on a transportation investment vision for the Baltimore region. Member feedback has been incorporated into the document and a brief discussion was held to further refine it.

Mike Heslin, Baltimore Market Manager for Lyft, followed Gartner’s presentation with a discussion about how Lyft is transforming transportation and how it hopes to help make Baltimore a city developed around people. Today, the average car is in use one hour per day, or approximately 4 percent utilization. Furthermore, the occupancy rate of most cars, when in use, is only one or two seats out of five. To build a city around people, Lyft highlights the use of multiple modes, fleet efficiency and reclaimed space. Services they provided include Lyft Line, a carpool version of their service, and Lyft Shuttle, a fixed route service, can help increase vehicle occupancy and utilization while decreasing the need for personal vehicles.

The Transportation and Mobility Committee met on July 26, 2017 to create and refine an original vision for transportation investment in Baltimore. The multi-part plan, once completed, is intended to bring stakeholders together under a common set of values that support economic growth and urban renewal. The plan includes opportunities for construction, service expansion, and increased connectivity for transit riders. More details will be available in the future.

The Innovation and Technology, Economic Development and Transportation and Mobility committees met jointly May 30, 2017 and heard from Bill Cole, President and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation, and Jim Smith, Chief of Strategic Alliances for the City of Baltimore, during a panel discussion on Baltimore’s economic future. Cole and Smith gave presentations and answered questions highlighting some of the challenges, assets and opportunities within the city’s economic development landscape.

While it can be challenging to connect workers to employment centers, the city is actively pursuing measures to build neighborhood commercial centers, implement shuttles to complement MTA service and realize a complete streets and multimodal vision for transportation in the long-term. The Baltimore market is growing with some of its largest development projects being completed in downtown Baltimore and in neighborhoods throughout the city. However, many opportunities exist to continue developing the city lead by a host of incentives, a BDC loan fund, efforts to attract new business, expanding fiber optic broadband access to the entire city and on-boarding top leaders to lead the City’s technology and transportation needs.

On March 22, 2017, Liz Cornish, Executive Director of Bikemore, introduced the Transportation and Mobility Committee to the organization and complete streets. Bikemore is a leading advocate for cycling and bike infrastructure and has been on the forefront of ensuring the best possible implementation of the Bike Master Plan and bike education in communities throughout the city. The organization is also actively involved in the Baltimore Greenway Trails Network. Complete Streets are a street design solution that ensures safety and that the needs of all users are met no matter your mode choice.

Bikemore believes that complete streets can bring a positive impact to Baltimore. For example, studies have shown that protected bike lanes have the ability to increase sales at nearby businesses. Bikemore has partnered with Councilman Ryan Dorsey to introduce legislation on complete streets to supplement the current law. The legislation will empower the Department of Transportation to coordinate initiatives involving streets more effectively, engage a range of communities, provide an equity lens to for the city to view transportation, installs performance measures for the department, and gives space for an innovative culture to take hold.

The presentation by Bikemore was followed by an update from Committee Chairman Bruce Gartner on various federal and state legislative initiatives.

Glen Smith, Project Manager for Maryland Transportation Authority, and Jacob Smith, Highway Engineer for STV, presented at the Transportation and Mobility Committee’s January 11, 2017 meeting on the I-95 Access Improvements Study. The study area encompasses exits 50 through 55. The project is being pursued due to increased traffic demand, inadequate roadway capacity and geometry, to support economic development and land use changes and expand multi-modal connections. There are multiple options for each exit, which will determine the final cost of the project. The project is contingent upon FASTLANE grant funding and is still in the National Environmental Policy Act process.

Sagamore Development, represented by Vice President Caroline Paff and Transportation Planner Kimiya Darrell, added to the discussion on the I-95 Access Improvements. Sagamore is the development company leading on the redevelopment of Port Covington and will be contributing $5 million to the cost of the project. The organization has a preferred configuration of options to improve circulation and support economic development. The estimated cost is $183 million, in addition to the developer’s contribution $33 million will come from MDTA, $66.7 million from tax increment financing and the City of Baltimore, $78.8 million from a FASTLANE grant.

David Fleming, CFO of the Maryland Department of Transportation, walked the committee through the subject of the Transportation Trust Fund Revenues and their resulting effect on the Consolidated Transportation Plan (CTP) from 2017 to 2022. With a $.76 decrease in the average price of gas and each $.1 generating approximately $33 million in revenue, the CTP is facing loss revenue of $751 million. The projects within the CTP are being adjusted as necessary to accommodate for the new revenue projections.