September 23, 2013


Charlie Bond, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Grant Corley, Kelly Cross, Peter Duvall, Kathy Epstein, Mel Freeman, Bon Hellauer, Mac McComas, Ed Myers, Klaus Philipsen, Steven Rivelis, Jimmy Rouse, Maris St. Cyr

Welcome and Introductions:

Kelly Cross, (Chair) welcomed the 14 attendees and thanked them for their participation.

Discussion: Improvements to the Present Rail Systems (Light Rail, Metro, Red Line)

  • The group discussed that some rail lines such as the metro are efficient with heavy ridership, while others are much less reliable resulting in low ridership.
  • Suggestions to improve the transit systems included: (1) let the public know the arrival time for each system and (2) utilize the signal improvement project (SIP) recommendations which will require coordination between the City and MTA. Example: the light rail on Howard Street could be much more efficient if signal prioritization were utilized.
  • Identify things that can be changed quickly such as comprehensive transit maps. Example: Charlie Bond presented an MTA regional transit map which did not include the water taxi or the circulator.
  • Portland, a well-planned transit city uses the following model:
    Pedestrian 1st
    Mass Transit 2nd
    Car 3rd
  • Any city with great transit has reduced their parking.
  • Klaus Philipsen offered to be a conduit to the MTA on behalf of the Rail Transit group to help them “think outside the box” when it comes to improving our transit system.
  • The group will work on Issue Identification (short term & long term) projects.

Action Items:

  • Jimmy Rouse recommended that the Rail Transit group put together a list of short term (low hanging fruit by 2014) and longer term list of improvements (identify drastic changes to create a truly integrated transit system) to take to (MDOT) Jim Smith and (BCDOT) William Johnson.
  • Klaus Philipsen will put together a list of short-term, easy-to-achieve items for improving the existing light rail line.
  • A new signage sub-committee will work on creating one transit map with the water taxi, circulator, metro and light rail routes to show an integrated system. Members of the committee are:
    Kelly Cross
    Steven Rivelis
    Grant Corley
  • Art Cohen will draft his vision of a long-range approach to a transit future for the Baltimore Metro Area.
  • Steven Rivelis and Kelly Cross will work on a “Process Plan” to define the steps each month so that 6 months from now we will know where the group should/will be.

Other Business:

  • Bob Hellauer announced that GBC will be the host of an MTA event on October 15, 2013 at which there will be an update on (BNIP) Bus Network Improvement Project.
  • Future Event Ideas:
    • Kelly Cross: Transit Day in Baltimore – hold a demonstration at a hub like Mondawmin Mall
    • Art Cohen: Work with city schools to identity transit “team” leaders
  • All agreed that the strength of the group is bringing people together that normally would not get together collaboratively to discuss an integrated transit vision.