July 14, 2015

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Marie Louise Bistro (904 N. Charles Street)

Brian O’Malley, Chair, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Peter Duvall, Kathy Epstein, Paulo Gregory Harris, Jeff LaNoue, Hans Mayer, Ed Myers, Klaus Philpsen, Jimmy Rouse, Sandy Sparks

Welcome and Introductions:
Brian O’Malley opened the meeting and welcomed everyone

Opportunity Collaborative Study – “Baltimore Regional Plan For Sustainable Development”

  • Brian O’Malley reported that the recently released “Baltimore Regional Plan For Sustainable Development” (RPDS) report was created to advance sustainable development in the Baltimore region by cohesively link our region’s housing, transportation and workforce investments. The report also includes a “comprehensive menu of options” for change.
  • The CMTA is also focusing on how to better connect people to jobs. One possible idea is to revive the Bus Network Improvement Project (BNIP) and ask for solutions by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.

Discussion Points:
– The city should explore the possibility of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Quick Bus service. BRT requires dedicated lanes, special vehicles and special stations. The #13 Bus that runs along North Avenue could be a candidate for QB service, and possibly serve as a potential corridor for a future streetcar system.
– If the transit user has a positive experience riding the bus, ridership numbers will increase which could make the argument for a future streetcar system along North Avenue.
– We need a broader group to speak with one voice about a greater vision for transit in the next twenty years.

MTA Stakeholder Workgroup Meeting:

  • Brian O’Malley reported that on June 24, 2015 the MTA Stakeholder Workgroup met to discuss 1) an overview of the Baltimore transit system, 2) questions regarding the Baltimore transit system overview presentation and 3) facilitated open discussion on MTA transit performance: Ridership, On-Time Performance and Farebox Recovery.

Discussion Points:
– The MTA could do a “pilot” program with clear metrics to significantly improve bus service, review the program after one year and if successful, expand the program.
– Cities that are doing well have re-shifted their transit focus to make pedestrians #1, bikes #2 and cars #3.

The Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP):

  • The CTP is Maryland’s six-year capital budget for transportation projects. The release of the CTP report and its state spending priorities will be discussed at the work group meeting on September 15, 2015.

Other Comments:
– Many MARC stations are in deplorable condition, an issue which needs to be addressed.
– A recommendation was made to form a “Baltimore Transit Commission” to address transit issues from the “who is the user” perspective.
– Brian Greenan with the Baltimore Development Corporation was unable to attend the work group meeting, however, he wanted to share the following link for the Howard Street RFP, (20 city-owned properties on a downtown block along the light rail alignment): www.baltimoredevelopment.com/rfps/