Chair: Jon M. Laria Esq., Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, Ballard Spahr LLP
Staff: Teresa Milio Birge, 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, connects workers to employment, and moves people and goods efficiently. The Committee supports the Greater Baltimore Committee’s efforts as a leading voice in transportation policy and advocacy matters in the Greater Baltimore region and the State of Maryland.
Membership: Membership in the Transportation and Mobility Committee is open to all GBC members.
2021 Transportation and Mobility Committee news:
The GBC Transportation and Mobility Committee, chaired by Jon Laria, Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, Ballard Spahr LLP, met on December 8, 2021. The committee welcomed Steve McCulloch, Department of Transportation Budget Analyst with the Department of Legislative Services, to share information on the outlook of the Transportation Trust Fund. He discussed the Maryland Department of Transportation’s projected expenses and revenues, as well as some of the policies and procedures that went into creating those estimates and formulating budgets from them. Afterwards, Chairman Laria and Director of Policy and Research Teresa Milio Birge led a committee discussion about transportation priorities for 2022. The committee discussed the best way to prioritize issues, and what specific actions could be taken to promote those issues. Issues discussed included the adequacy of the current transit system, the shortage of MTA bus drivers, and a lack of shovel-ready projects in the Baltimore region.
The next meeting of the Transportation and Mobility Committee is scheduled for March 16, 2022, at 8:30 a.m.
The GBC Transportation and Mobility Committee, chaired by Jon Laria, Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, Ballard Spahr LLP, met on October 27, 2021. The committee welcomed Kate Sylvester, Acting Deputy Administrator, Chief Planning, Programming and Engineering Officer at MTA Maryland, to give an update on the Regional Transit Planning process and Regional Transit Corridor Studies. Ms. Sylvester shared the findings of multiple public surveys identifying key ridership demographics and desires in order to optimize MTA services. She also discussed preliminary alternatives for increased mobility among the East-West and North-South Corridors.
The next meeting of the Transportation and Mobility Committee will be held on December 8, 2021, at 8:30 a.m.
The GBC Transportation and Mobility Committee met on September 22, 2021. Committee Chair Jon Laria, Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, Ballard Spahr LLP, welcomed Samantha Biddle, Maryland Department of Transportation Chief of Staff, to share details about the projects and funding in the recently released Draft FY2022 – FY2027 Consolidated Transportation Plan (CTP). Committee members asked questions about the level of funding for Baltimore region projects. Laria then led a discussion regarding the draft CTP, and how to best advocate for the Baltimore region and its transportation needs.
The next meeting of the Transportation and Mobility Committee will be held on October 27, 2021, at 8:30 a.m.
The Transportation and Mobility Committee met on July 15, 2021. Committee Chair Jon Laria, Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, Ballard Spahr LLP, welcomed Don Halligan, Senior Transportation Planner at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), to share details about the results of the Baltimore Regional Transit Governance and Funding Study. The study was designed to identify alternatives for the structure, organization and funding of public transit in the Baltimore region, and was developed in collaboration with the Baltimore Regional Transit Board (BRTB) and regional stakeholders. It also includes research and analysis so that the effort would result in governance options that are understanding of transit’s historical development in the region, realistic about constraints, and creative in providing opportunities for change.
The GBC’s Transportation and Mobility Committee met on April 15, 2021, for a discussion on the 2021 Maryland General Assembly Session. Committee Chair Jon Laria, Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, Ballard Spahr LLP, welcomed guest speakers Senator Cory McCray (D-45) and Delegate Brooke Lierman (D-46). Senator McCray and Delegate Lierman told the committee members that they were proud of the work the General Assembly accomplished this year to help Maryland recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most significant legislation in the transportation arena is the passage of their cosponsored bill, HB 114/SB 199 – Transportation – Maryland Transit Administration Funding and MARC Rail Extension Study (Transit Safety and Investment Act), which will allocate additional funding to the Greater Baltimore Region’s transit system over the next seven years. The committee also discussed post session strategies for continued support for transportation infrastructure funding and improvements. Members are closely following President Biden’s infrastructure plan and its potential for federal investment in the Greater Baltimore region transit systems.
2020 Transportation and Mobility Committee news:
The GBC’s Transportation and Mobility Committee met on November 17, 2020. The committee and key guest stakeholders from the region were pleased to be joined by Scott Goldstein, Policy Director of Transportation for America, who provided an update on the federal outlook for transportation under the incoming Biden-Harris Administration. Additionally, Goldstein discussed ways in which the GBC and the region can advocate for better investments in our transportation infrastructure.
GBC 2020 Transportation Summit: Panelists urge route optimization, extended hours for equitable transit
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) held its 2020 Transportation Summit on September 29, 2020. The topic of this year’s event was: Advancing Equity Through Transportation Policy. Leading transportation and mobility experts from across the country came together for an informative discussion on concrete strategies for advancing equity through transportation planning and policy at the local, regional, state and federal levels.
- David Bragdon — Executive Director, TransitCenter
- Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. — Chief Executive Officer, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, past Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), 2020 Public Transportation Professional of the Year (APTA)
- Monica Tibbits-Nutt — AICP, LEED AP BD+C — Executive Director of the 128 Business Council, Vice-Chair of the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors
- Jess Zimbabwe – Founder, Plot Strategies, former Director of the Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership at the National League of Cities and the Urban Land Institute
GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry moderated the event.
In his opening remarks, Fry said, “There’s no greater transportation policy challenge facing us today than ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to transportation access for employment, education, health care and everyday activities.”
Read more about the event here.
See additional materials from the event here:
- TransitCenter: Inclusive Transit: Advancing Equity Through Improved Access & Opportunity
- 128 Business Council: Technology for All: How Equity, Access and Affordability Must Feature in Next Generation Vehicle Policy
- 128 Business Council: A Road to Somewhere
- Pay for All: What Intersectional Equality Really Looks Like
- APTA Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan May 2019
- “Leadership in An Age of Uncertainty” by Deborah Ancona
- “Advancing Equitable Transit-Oriented Development through Community Partnerships and Public Sector Leadership” by Mariia Zimmerman
- JTA: Route Optimization Initiative
The Transportation & Mobility Committee met on July 29, 2020. Meg Young, Shared Mobility Coordinator, and Matthew Richardson, Lead Bike Planner from Baltimore City DOT’s Transit Bureau, gave a presentation to the Committee on new and emerging programs including the dockless vehicles and slow streets programs.
On May 19, 2020, the Transportation & Mobility Committee welcomed Holly Arnold, Deputy Administrator of MDOT MTA, and Kate Sylvester, Planning Director of MDOT MTA, to provide a presentation on the draft Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan that is open for public comment through June 18. The Regional Transit Plan sets the 25-year vision for the transit network in Greater Baltimore and is critically important to the future of the region’s economic growth and success. The Transportation & Mobility Committee is chaired by Jon Laria, Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr LLP and member of the GBC Board of Directors. To become involved with the Committee, please contact Adrea Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 3, 2020, Baltimore City Councilmember Ryan Dorsey, Chair of the Transportation Committee, attended the Transportation and Mobility Committee meeting to provide an overview of his near-term vision for transportation in Baltimore City.
2019 Transportation and Mobility Committee news:
In 2019, the Transportation and Mobility Committee welcomed local transportation officials to address the Committee this year including: Elisabeth Sachs, Director of Government Reform and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Baltimore City DOT Director Steve Sharkey and Deputy Director and Chief of Policy Theo Ngongang. The committee also heard from city and state elected leaders including Baltimore City Councilman and Transportation Committee Chair Ryan Dorsey, Delegate Brooke Lierman and Delegate Marc Korman.
On September 24, 2019, the Transportation and Mobility Committee welcomed Delegate Brooke Lierman (D-46) and Delegate Marc Korman (D-16) to discuss transportation and mobility in the State of Maryland and in the Greater Baltimore region. Delegates Lierman and Korman provided updates on the current status of funding and support for transportation infrastructure in the Maryland General Assembly, discussed policy proposals that are likely to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session and emphasized the need for strong support from the business community to drive necessary transportation infrastructure investment in the Greater Baltimore region.
On July 9, 2019, Baltimore City Councilman and Transportation Committee Chair Ryan Dorsey gave a presentation to the Committee on his vision for the future of transportation in Baltimore City. He identified several keys to success for the future of transportation in the City, including: (1) fix Baltimore City DOT’s staffing shortages (2) enhance coordination with region and state (3) meet critical maintenance and modernization needs (4) implement low-cost, high-impact treatments that transform corridors, and (5) increase City investment in transportation.
The GBC’s Transportation and Mobility Committee at its May 8, 2019 meeting welcomed Elisabeth Sachs, Director of Government Reform and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. Sachs provided an update from the Baltimore County Government 2019 Transition Report, highlighting the County Executive’s priorities in transportation and mobility.
Among the priorities discussed were:
- Creation of an expanded Transportation Planning function within the Department of Public Works;
- Refinement and implementation of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan;
- Establishment of a Complete Streets policy and program;
- Creation of a pilot circulator system, starting with the Towson area;
- Partnership with companies to ensure that all new job centers connect with transit and provide support for ‘last mile’ connectivity and reverse commuting; and
- Participation in the Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan Commission, with a special focus on connecting the West and East sides of the County and partnering with Baltimore City.
Sachs also shared highlights from the County Executive’s proposed FY2020 budget to support these priorities, including: funding to hire a deputy in the Department of Public Works who will oversee comprehensive transportation planning; $1 million for bike lanes and pedestrian access; planning funds for a Towson Circulator pilot program; $2 million for traffic calming and more than $37 million for road resurfacing and curb and gutter maintenance.
The Committee also heard from Theo Ngongang, Deputy Director and Chief of Policy for the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT), who discussed the Department’s upcoming Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a firm to develop a Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the City.
As BCDOT embarks on the development of its first ever Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Committee members shared feedback on priority areas of focus and made recommendations for structuring the RFP to effectively inform the development of a robust yet attainable plan.
Several themes emerged in the discussion, including: innovative approaches to increase community engagement and public awareness; strategies to maximize the efficiency and transparency of core Department functions; enhanced regional and intergovernmental coordination; and suggestions for structuring contracts to maximize outputs and efficiencies.
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.