Annapolis, MD (May 2, 2006) - County Executive Janet S. Owens announced today that she, along with Howard County Executive James Robey and Fort Meade Installation Commander Colonel Kenneth O. McCreedy, have signed an agreement that will eventually lead to the establishment of a Central Maryland Transit Facility, located at Fort Meade, Maryland.
“This transit facility moves us another step forward, toward implementation of regional transportation options,” said County Executive Owens. “This facility will enable us to maximize transportation opportunities by cutting costs.”
The proposed transit facility will house the operations of Howard Transit, Connect-A-Ride and Western Anne Arundel County bus services, as well as transit administration activities currently being provided under contract by the Corridor Transportation Corporation. By combining bus operations and bid solicitations, the Counties anticipate substantial cost savings through economies of scale and increased vendor competition. The facility will also house state-of-the-art transit technology that is expected to generate added cost savings. Moreover, the facility will provide a transfer point for transit routes serving the Fort Meade/Odenton area.
The Federal Base Realignment and Closure Act, referred to as BRAC, will result in an increase of thousands of new jobs to Fort Meade and the surrounding area over the next decade. In order to better serve these employees and to reduce adverse traffic impacts, the agreement calls for new bus services to connect Fort Meade with the surrounding community. In addition to planning for the increase in travel associated with the influx of employment and households, it will also offer an opportunity to improve and provide transit service as a means of offering an option to motorists who are concerned at the rising cost of fuel.
Much of the funding for the bus facility is expected to come from Federal grants approved as part of the new six year Federal transportation funding bill passed by Congress last year. Additional funding to complete the project is expected from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) as well as Howard and Anne Arundel Counties. It is estimated that a first phase of the facility will be open and operating in about four to five years.
This project is a testament of the regional thinking of the leadership of the Counties and Fort Meade in addressing the need for more transit and better options for travel needed to meet the increased demand that is anticipated in the area.