February 17, 2014


Charlie Bond, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Kelly Cross, Paulo Gregory Harris, Jeff LaNoue, Mac McComas, Klaus Philipsen, Jimmy Rouse, Sandy Sparks

Welcome and Introductions:

Robin Budish welcomed everyone opened the meeting.

Response from the MTA and State to the Rail Transit “Quick Hits”

  • Jimmy Rouse reported that the response from the MTA, Robert Smith, Administrator and CEO & Tony Bridges, Special Advisor, and the State, Leif Dormsjo, Deputy Director to the Transit Choices “Quick Hits” PowerPoint presentation was very positive and commanded the highest level of attention. All representatives agreed to participate in a top-level working group to include the City, Khalil Zaied (Director of Operations Mayor’s Office) & William Johnson (Director, BCDOT). The first meeting will be held on February 21, 2014. Representatives from Transit Choices will include: Jimmy Rouse (via conference call), Klaus Philipsen, Paulo Gregory Harris. Greg Smith, Chris Merriam and Robin Budish.
  • Khalil Zaied expressed to Jimmy that he hopes to walk out of the meeting on February 21, 2014 with agreement on 1) identifying 6-8 “Quick Hits” and 2) the timeline and funding sources for each. In essence, what projects are both doable and fundable. Khalil also stated that we should be able to show what has been accomplished within a 6 month timeframe
Discussion Points:

Klaus Philipsen suggested that at the top-level meeting, we should engage the participants in a meaningful way and encourage that a structure be put in place. Most importantly, we should put the user first rather than the agency, provider or funder.

Next Steps:

Jimmy Rouse initiated a discussion about what longer term projects (Light Rail, Metro, Streetcar) should the Rail Transit group be working on. Additionally, he suggested the group think about whether to take projects on as a full group or create sub-committees.

Discussion Points:
  • Art Cohen expressed that we should not create sub-committees, rather we should work within the group.
  • Paulo Gregory Harris suggested we think of the entire transit system as a “Rubik’s” cube and discuss whether the streetcar is or can be part of the cube. If we are trying to catalyze the creation of the whole transit infrastructure. Perhaps we should take a look at 2 or 3 things than can spawn growth taken from examples of smaller cities that have done a comprehensive transit study which resulted in a vibrant infrastructure.
  • Klaus Philipsen: we should make the case for streetcars, adding that Kittelson & Associates did a major transit feasibility study for Washington, D.C. and perhaps they could do something similar for Baltimore using D.C. as the “precedent” model.
  • Sandy Sparks felt there should be a synergy between Baltimore and D.C.as it relates to streetcars.
  • Art Cohen suggested we take a look at the Philadelphia transit system.
Other Points:
  • Possible “Quick Hits” for the high-level working group meeting on February 21, 2014 could include Maps and Pedestrian improvements
  • Jeff LaNoue reported that the City is switching to a different Bike Share vendor (Social Bicycles) and that per Barry Robinson with the City, the program should be implemented in July 2014.

Action Items:

  • Jimmy Rouse and Robin Budish will get back to the signatories of the Transit Choices mission statement to update them on our progress and to share the “Quick Hits” handout booklet.
  • All agreed to hold the next work group meeting on March 3, 2014.