August 27, 2013


Darcy Accardi, Demetria Barrett, Mike Brenner, Robin Budish, Scott Burkholder, Art Cohen, Amber Collins, Grant Corley, Kelly Cross, Lindsey Davis, Rufus Davis, Danyell Diggs, Peter Duvall, Charlie Duff, Dan Engelberg, Nate Evans, Alan Fish, Mel Freeman, Liz Gordon, Adam Gross, Daryl Hale, Bob Hellauer, Mike Kaurich, James McComas, Luke Mowbray, Klaus Philipsen, Wally Pinkard, Mark Pollak, Jeremy Pomp, Robert Pond, Michael Ricketts, Steven Rivelis, Barry Robinson, Jimmy Rouse, Chris Ryer, Greg Smith, Jill Sorensen, Sandy Sparks, Kristin Speaker, Maris St. Cyr, Karen Stokes, Ben Stone, Bill Struever, Michele Whelley

Moderator: Alan Fish, Johns Hopkins University

  • Alan welcomed the 45 attendees and thanked them for their participation. He then turned the meeting over to Michael Ricketts to talk about the new “Amtrak Project” and the redevelopment of Penn Station.


Michael Ricketts, Vice President of Development for Beatty Development – “Amtrak Project Update”

  • The redevelopment of Penn Station is a very exciting project where there will be a mix of uses. Transit-oriented development can create vibrant, livable communities which are compact and walkable by encouraging transit ridership.
  • The redevelopment project is not shovel ready and has not been approved by Amtrak.
  • There are 6 million people that travel through Penn Station annually. Amtrak specifically, has 1 million riders per year.
  • Next steps:
    Two studies going on by Amtrak (MTA and Amtrak)
    Amtrak is doing a long range master plan for the next 40 years
  • Beatty Development has done a development plan, but there is still a financial shortfall which may be bridged through the federal government

Work Group Updates

  1. Charlie Duff – “Study Area” consensus
    • Study Area Committee Recommendations:
    • Our study area should be the urban core plus MARC
    • We define the urban core as the area within 3.5 miles of the corner of Charles and Baltimore Streets:
      • East to Bayview
      • West to Edmonson Village
      • North to University Parkway
      • South to I-95
    • The urban core has:
      • Half the city’s land area
      • 88% of the city’s people
    • It is the only part of the metro area with enough density, enough acreage, and a big enough mix of uses to support – and require – a specifically urban transit mix
    • What we mean by urban service:
      • For transit, the priorities are frequency and legibility
      • Walking and biking are primary modes of transport
    • What we mean by suburban service:
      • For transit, the priorities are speed and fidelity to schedule
    • MARC is obviously low-hanging fruit for the city and the region
  2. Greg Smith – “Buses”
    • The mission of the work group is to provide urban core bus services that advance the following goals:
      • Help Baltimore grow by 10,000 households
      • Reduce dependency on single occupancy vehicles
      • Enhance access to jobs and schools
      • Coordinate with other regional transit services
    • Goals:
      • Support and enhance Baltimore area bus operations, including MTA, CCC (Charm City Circulator) and private services
      • Examine existing bus service and develop improvement ideas
      • Collectively recommend change that will help make buses (and other transit services) a desirable choice
      • Work together to make buses a primary choice of transit in Baltimore
      • Develop better connections, hubs and service options amongst bus services and other transit options
      • Enhance transit technology
    • Next Steps:
    • Identify short and long term action items
    • Participate in BNIP (Bus Network Improvement Project) study
    • Implement improvements
      • Frequencies, hub/connections, safety/crime prevention, maps simplification
    • Support/Recommend filling in service gaps
      • Colleges & Universities working together/opening up services
      • Circulator expansions
    • Technology improvements
      • GPS, Transit signal priority, queue jumpers, etc.
      • Open sourcing
    • Robert Pond (MTA) gave a brief presentation on BNIP
      • BNIP is a focused, 8-month project to develop a plan for updating and improving MTA’s bus service.
    • Attached is the Buses work group presentation in PDF format
  3. Jeremy Pomp – “Zipcar/Car Share”
    • Jeremy was formerly the Launch Manager at Alta Bicycle Share (company that operates bike share in DC, NYC, CHI, SF, and elsewhere). Previous to his role as Launch Manager, Jeremy was the general manager of Alta’s bike share system in Chattanooga,TN
    • Founded in 2000, Zipcar is now the largest car share company
    • Zipcar launched in Baltimore in 2010, and there are presently 200 cars available for use in the city
    • Zipcar is an alternative to car rental and car ownership. The company wants individuals to have a fun and energetic experience
    • Slogan: “wheels when you want them”
    • Avis purchased Zipcar for $500 million
    • For a map of the Zipcar locations in Baltimore
  4. Kelly Cross– “Streetcar”
    • The streetcar work group held its first meeting on August 22, 2013. The group consensus was to change the name to “Rail Transit” to include streetcar, light rail and metro in the discussion
    • The group discussed what an ideal streetcar network/system would look like:
      • Overall vision
      • What specific routes would help achieve the vision
      • How do we fund the routes
      • Action plan
    • Dan Engelberg presented a “Future Baltimore Streetcar Network” Map to the work group showing four possible streetcar routes that could begin to form a real mass transit system in the city

Other Discussion Points:

  • Alan Fish: how can Transit Choices support the Amtrak/Penn Station redevelopment project discussion?
    • Michael Ricketts: the project needs to be a priority for the city and support from stakeholders such as Peter Angelos would help to move the project forward
    • Bill Struever suggested that keeping the attention and focus on this project is key – it should be high on the project priority list for the city