November 10, 2015

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Location: Campaign Consultation, Inc. (1001 N. Calvert Street)

Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Peter Duvall, Jeff LaNoue, Klaus Philipsen, Jimmy Rouse, Sandy Sparks, Yolanda Takesian

Welcome and Introductions:
Jimmy Rouse opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.

Transit Study Report: MDOT Plan – “Baltimore Link”

  • Jimmy Rouse reported that he spoke at the Governor’s press conference on October 22, 2015 where the ‘BaltimoreLink” transit improvement plan was unveiled. In his remarks, Jimmy stated that “BaltimoreLink” and Transit Choices share common objectives such as connecting people in east/west Baltimore to jobs and providing clean, safe, efficient mass transit.
  • “BaltimoreLink” is a bold and creative approach to improving transit, and provides a great opportunity to make a significant difference in Baltimore.

Discussion Points:

  • The “BaltimoreLink” plan is a high frequency bus system, run entirely with color coded buses.
  • Governor Hogan has committed to providing an additional 135 million to fund the transit improvement plan.
  • The engagement process must be a priority: 1) take each piece of the MTA  plan  and communicate it through smartphones, organizing community groups, and facilitating “pop-up” meetings.
  • The MTA needs a decision making plan that is transparent, to include an engagement strategy. People have to be given the opportunity to debate the issue.

Action Items:

  • Klaus Philipsen and Yolanda Takesian offered to assist the MTA by defining (5-6) key metrics.

Streetcars on North Avenue:

  • The North Avenue transit corridor is an important one.
  • Create a transit hub @ north & Broadway and connect it with the transit hub @ Mondawmin, perhaps with a streetcar.
  • Another idea would be to have the streetcar go to Hopkins metro or wherever the metro terminus would be.
  • A great regional transit hub could also be Marc @ Madison Square station.

Discussion: Transit Choices Work Groups 2016

  • Jimmy Rouse reported that beginning in 2016, Transit Choices will be restructuring the work group format to form Ad-hoc committees. The first Ad-hoc committee will be a response to “BaltimoreLink”, the Governor’s new transit improvement plan. MDOT Secretary Pete Rahn and MTA Administrator Paul Comfort have expressed they would be happy and receptive to receiving our input, therefore, the purpose of this committee is to both review the plan and respond with questions and suggestions.
  • Another Ad-hoc committee will be organized to focus on Water Transit. The committee will review the Whitman Requardt “Water Transit Study”, and provide feedback to the Baltimore City DOT. Preliminary feedback suggests that the study provides a good set of data, however, it arrives at some wrong conclusions. Questions regarding economic sustainability remain unanswered.