Delivering on the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s plan to improve transportation options for Southern Maryland residents while increasing transit ridership, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is advancing the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit (SMRT) Study by hosting a series of upcoming public meetings in Prince George’s and Charles counties.
The SMRT Study is a proposed 19-mile transit alignment along the MD 5/US 301 corridor that would connect Waldorf/White Plains in Charles County to the Branch Avenue Metro Station in Prince George’s County. Funding for the $5 million study was announced last year by Gov. Martin O’Malley thanks to the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013.
“Passing the Transportation Act has enabled us to advance key transportation projects across the state to reduce traffic gridlock, improve air quality and enhance Maryland’s economic competitiveness,” said Governor O’Malley. “Moving forward with this study is an important step in our ongoing efforts to relieve congestion for Southern Maryland commuters while helping us meet our goals of doubling transit ridership by 2020 and reducing Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.”
MTA is collaborating with Prince George’s County, Charles County and other stakeholders who share a vision for improved transit in the corridor. The MTA, in partnership with Prince George’s and Charles counties, will select the Locally Preferred Alternative.
“Expanding transit service to one of the fastest growing regions in Southern Maryland translates into expanding opportunities for more Marylanders,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “An improved transportation network in Southern Maryland strengthens the appeal of this region as a place where people want to live and work, and where companies want to locate and create jobs.”
The three open houses will kick off the public outreach process, which includes a website, informational fliers and brochures, advertising, and presentations to communities and organizations.
The public is welcome to stop by these locations anytime between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.:
- June 10 - Surrattsville High School Waldorf Jaycees Thurgood Marshall Middle School
- June 18 - 6101 Garden Drive 3090 Crain Highway 4909 Brinkley Road
- June 19 - Clinton, MD 20735 Waldorf, MD 20601 Temple Hills, MD 20748
The SMRT Study builds off the 2010 Corridor Preservation Study and is part of a long-term planning process to evaluate the alternatives for an alignment and select the appropriate transit mode (i.e. bus rapid transit or light rail). Each open house will present project history, goals, alignment alternatives, transit options, preferred station locations and schedule, along with information on related projects being conducted by the Maryland State Highway Administration, and Prince George’s and Charles counties. Project staff will be available to explain the displays, answer questions and record comments.
“Public outreach and input are vital to the success of this study,” said MTA Administrator Robert Smith. “We encourage residents, commuters and all interested parties to attend these meetings to learn more about the goals of this study as we work with our local partners to improve our transit network.”
The service goals of the study are to:
• Deliver improved, accessible, cost-effective transit service linking activity centers and Metrorail;
• Contribute to reverse commuting by providing transit access to employment opportunities;
• Support planned transit-oriented employment and redevelopment and Metrorail;
• Provide transit alternatives throughout the day and evening for those traveling between existing and planned development areas;
• Improve accessibility to employment and services for people who are dependent on transit;
• Provide an environmentally-prudent and sustainable transportation alternative; and
• Increase the capacity of the transportation system serving the corridor.
As part of the SMRT Study, the MTA will examine several alignments and two transit modes to compare their respective environmental effects, ridership potential, community impacts, costs and economic development potential. MTA’s goal is to identify one alternative that can be advanced through local, state and federal actions. The study will take approximately two years to complete.