Governor Larry Hogan recently announced $135 million in targeted investments to improve mass transit in the Baltimore metropolitan area and enhance connections to major suburban job centers like the Fort Meade region.
More than 55,000 people currently work on Fort George G. Meade, and continued growth over the next five years will add over 1,400 more. In addition, the completion of ongoing construction projects will move as many as 9,000 employees currently working in leased space around the region onto the main post.
Workforce mobility is a major issue in the region, and the Fort Meade Alliance has been a leading advocate for transportation investments and improvements to public transportation systems to connect the state’s workforce with the job centers in our region, including the FGGM, National Business Park, Arundel Mills and BWI airport. The FMA’s transportation has been actively engaged with representatives from the Maryland Transit Administration, and the recently unveiled transit plan takes important steps toward meeting those goals.
FMA Transportation Chair Stuart Title of A.J. Properties has participated in several workshops and stakeholder meetings during the past four months, representing the FMA membership and its 120,000 employees.
“I’m pleased to see that the needs of the Fort Meade region were heard loud and clear, and that the current MTA leadership has backed up its rhetoric with action and funding,” Title said. “What has been announced is a great start and we look forward to continued collaboration with the MTA regarding this and necessary future initiatives.”
The plan’s Express BusLink service will provide enhanced connections to the region, including a new connection to the Odenton MARC Station near Fort Meade. All-day, express service will be provided between Owings Mills and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport/BWI Rail Station and between White Marsh and BWI Airport/BWI Business District Station. During peak hours, express service will also be provided between the Patapsco Light Rail Station and the Odenton MARC station.
In addition, a new shuttle service will connect the Odenton and Savage MARC Train stations with Fort Meade and National Business Park. MTA is also researching the idea of develop a transit hub near the installation. This much needed and long-overdue shuttle service could help ease congestion and boost connectivity to job centers. MTA representatives provided an overview of the plan and shared draft shuttle routes with the FMA Transportation Committee during its November meeting. The plans are in line with the FMA’s long-standing transit priorities.
The MTA is hosting several workshops to seek public opinion on the transit plan. Several have already been scheduled and more are expected, including one on Post and one in or around National Business Park.
If you are interested in getting involved with the FMA’s Transportation Committee, contact Will Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org.