February 13, 2015

Time: 8:00 – 9:30 AM
Location: Enoch Pratt Free Library (400 Cathedral Street)

Darcy Accardi, Eunice Anderson, David Benn, Pat Bennett, Liz Briscoe, Adam Rhoades-Brown, Robin Budish, Mary Colleen Buettner, Scott Burkholder, Celeste Chavis, Art Cohen, Michael Crowley, Ryan Dorsey, Peter Duvall,  Mark Heishman, Steve Holt, Alex Hutchinson,  Andrea Jackson, Todd Lang, Jeff LaNoue, Chris Merriam, Imani Mintz,  Brian O’Malley, Klaus Philipsen, Craig Purcell, Michael Romeo, Jimmy Rouse, Marty Schwartz, Greg Smith, Jill Sorensen, Sandy Sparks, Kristin Speaker, Raven Thompson, Keisha Trent

Moderator: Scott Burkholder, Administrative Manager of the Baltimore Museum of Art (Director’s Office)
Scott welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the attendees for coming. He then introduced the first guest speaker, William H. Cole.

Speaker: William H. Cole IV, President of the Baltimore Development Corporation
Presentation: “The importance of mass transit for the future of Baltimore”

Presentation highlights: Seizing the Momentum, Building a Brighter Future

1.      BDC Mission

  • Retain existing businesses and assist in job expansion
  • Attract new business opportunities
  • Increase job opportunities for City residents
  • Expand the tax base
  • Support cultural resources

2.      Methodology

  • An independent consultant compiled a market assessment that analyzed national, state, regional and local data and evaluated Baltimore’s business climate and assets.
  • Information on Baltimore’s assets, challenges and opportunities were collected. One-on-one and group interviews were conducted with more than 200 local leaders in the business, nonprofit and government sectors, and five community meetings were held to gather input from small-business owners and community residents.
  • Over 1,100 people offered their views using an online survey geared toward Baltimore residents and business owners.

3.      Conditions & Market Analysis

  • Population
    622,104 (growth from 2010)
    23% of Baltimore MSA
  • Race/Ethnicity
    64% African American
    4.6% Hispanic
  • Workers
    2/3rds of City workforce commutes into City
    8.5% unemployment (Sept 2014)
    29% have Bachelor’s or higher (workers over age 25)
  • Housing Affordability
    Median home value is $150,000 (MD – $280,000)

4.      Key Economic Drivers

  • Stable and Growing Population
  • 8th Largest Destination for Millennials in the Country
  • Millennials within 3 miles of City Center increased by 12,000
  • Increase of 92% from 2000 to 2010
  •  Downtown and Neighborhood Revitalization (2010-2014)
    2,800 market rate apartments completed
    2,400 under construction
    1,400 approved for construction

Increasing Wages (locally and nationally competitive)

Employment Growth (2010-2013)

  • Private sector employment growth increased 6%
    Persons with BA degree increased 16%
    Persons with Grad or Professional degree increased 28%

5.      Key Industry Sectors

  • Financial and Professional Services
    32,300 employees/2,400 firms
  • Health and Bioscience Technology
    66,400 employees/1,100 firms
  • Arts, Culture, and Tourism
    25,500 employees/3,000 firms
  • Information and Creative Services
    5,600 employees/830 firms
  • Logistics
    7,500 employees/260 firms
  • Advanced Manufacturing
    3,200 employees/125 firms

6.      Key Strategies

  • Focus on business retention and attraction
  • Improve Baltimore’s Resources for small business and entrepreneurs
  • Foster economic inclusion
  • Expand support for mid-size companies

7.      Millennials

  • 17% of our total population
  • “A new analysis of census data has quantified the explosive growth. It found that the number of college-educated people ages 25 to 34 living within three miles of Baltimore’s central business district increased 92 percent from 2000 to 2010. Their numbers grew from about 13,000 to 25,000, according to the study released last week.”
    — The Baltimore Sun, October 25, 2014
  •  “The effects of the migration of the young and the restless are most vividly seen in urban cores. . . . Of the metropolitan areas with the most populous city centers, Washington and Philadelphia showed the largest increases of young adults living there, at 75 and 78 percent. Other cities that have made big gains in that category are Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Miami and St. Louis.
    — The New York Times, October 20, 2014
  • “These urban areas may not be traditional magnets for young people. But cities like Baltimore are, in many ways, the best places to look to understand both how the country’s long-beleaguered cities are changing, and how the Millennials are reshaping America’s urban landscape.”
    — Christian Science Monitor, February 1, 2015

Additional comments:
–  William H. Cole IV serves as the Co-Chair of The Opportunity Collaborative, For a Greater Baltimore Region.
– The success of the Charm City Circulator has shown an increase in Baltimore’s economic development.
– It is important that Baltimore creates transit hubs with transit oriented development. Effective, inter-connected transit is a priority.
– Our city needs to get people to jobs, if that is not accomplished – we fail. 70% of employees at the new Horseshoe Casino are Baltimore residents, and take some sort of mass transit to get to work.
– Baltimore will grow at a much faster pace with efficient, effective mass transit.

Speaker: Jill Sorensen, Bus Work Group Chair
Presentation: “Maryland Transit Mapping – progress, pitfalls and plums”: Updates from the Transit Choices Bus Work Group

Presentation Highlights: Clean Transportation

1.      Why green commuter focus? Freedom

  • Mitigate Traffic Congestion
  • Assure high quality of life, mobility, access to work, home and play
  • Reduce emissions (burn) for clean air/water
  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Increase  and harness renewable energy
  • Fortify the grid
  • Assure energy security and independence

2.      Baltimore (and much of Maryland) lacks a transit culture AND many low-income citizens can’t afford cars.  Why are transit ridership and service limited?

  • Circuitous and complex bus routes
  • Leave riders waiting and wondering
  • Waste time
  •  Transit silos, territory contests
  • Absence of last mile transit
  • Connections, sidewalks and bike paths
  • Associate transit with PAIN and FEAR

3.      Transit Choices Solution

  • Transit systems integration
  • Mobile information access
  • Last mile connections and improved routes informed by user tracking and feedback
  • Associate travel with fun, efficiency, getting a bit of exercise, seeing other people, NOT waiting without knowing why or how long, better routes, avoiding duplicate service routes (public and private)

4.      Transit Choices Bus Work Group Report Out

  • Bus Quick Hits review

1.      Advocacy for Circulator extensions to include sustainable funding sources and not changing head times
2.      Requiring fixed-route public transit providers to publish schedule data using GTFS
3.      Enhanced maps accessible both physically and electronically
4.      GPS tracking for real-time transit and user data
5.      Improve bus rider experience with clear road markings, resurfacing and enhanced lighting

  •  Bus Work Group Collaborators

1.      City DOT
2.      MTA
3.      College Town Shuttle and universities
4.      TRIP and regional transit providers
5.      Circulator
6.      Users and Community Representatives

5.      SMART goals for Bus Quick Hits

  • Advocacy for Circulator extensions

1.      Letter to City to support Purple Line extension
2.      Continue discussions with Circulator and overlapping bus route service providers to optimize service, safety and expense management

  • Requiring fixed-route public transit providers to publish schedule data using GTFS

1.      TRIP to compile list of which transit providers currently are in GTFS and which are not yet participating
2.      Communicate with potential participants to create most robust and complete transit data feed possible
3.      Step up to “require” by first setting a performance (participation) goal, making it easy for transit providers to participate through TRIP, establishing best practice standards from there

  • Enhanced maps accessible both physically and electronically

1.      TRIP mapping
2.      MTA mapping
3.      Coordination with NextBus and other mobile app service providers

6.      Transit Hubs?

  • Connect transit modes strategically

1.      Favor zero emission (electric, bike, pedestrian) connections to move people, cargo and electrons
2.      Plan for renewable energy and wifi support, along with back-up (battery bank) energy capacity
3.      Improved routes with vehicle and user real-time mobile tracking
4.      Encourage citizens to get out of their cars and into their city.  (MRLN map of transit maps and mobile app under development – www.mrln.org, result of Baltimore Betamore Hackathon in April 2013 to “Reinvent Transit”)

Additional comments:
– General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is similar to mapquest for public transit. It is the database of information and useful for planning a trip. Current real time performance is something the MTA is working on.
– Transit Choices should strongly advocate for real time data from the MTA. From a user perspective, there is tremendous value to knowing when a bus will arrive at its stop.
– Transit Choices will be exploring a transit mobile app which will aggregate all transit data.
– The Bus work group will continue to discuss last mile connections, transit hubs.

Discussion Summary:
Meeting attendees were given the opportunity at the conclusion of both presentations, to share their feedback and to provide suggestions, ideas and concerns with the guest speakers. Electronic copies of both PowerPoint presentations will be made available to the full Transit Choices group.

 Jimmy Rouse, Transit Choices: provided an update on Transit Choices activities by announcing that the next Quarterly meeting with the City, State, MTA and the Mayor’s Office will be held on February 23, 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to further discuss the implementation of the Transit Choices “Quick Hits” list.

Robin Budish, Director Transit Choices:

  • Acknowledged and thanked Eunice Anderson on behalf of the Enoch Pratt Free Library for providing meeting space, and Scott Burkholder for serving as the moderator.
  •  Announced that Todd Lang Director, Transportation Planning with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and Steven Gondol Executive Director. Live Baltimore would be the guest speakers at the March Transit Choices meeting.