MDOT MTA to invest $43 million into passenger experience initiative

Nov. 5, 2021
MDOT MTA’s Fast Forward initiative aims to bolster the passenger experience by improving transit reliability, safety and access.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is using funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to launch a passenger experience-driven initiative. The Fast Forward: Customer Experience Enhancement Project will see $43 million invested in efforts that will improve transit reliability, travel times, customer safety and access.

“MDOT MTA has overcome significant hurdles on a near-daily basis from the COVID-19 pandemic and, at the same time, we’ve been planning ahead to make sure that when our riders are ready for their own ‘great comeback,’ we will be too,” said MDOT MTA Acting Administrator Holly Arnold. “The Fast Forward project is a prime example of the ways we’re looking to rebuild better for all our riders – and attract new riders to transit too.”

The planned improvements include additional dedicated bus lanes, lane modifications to promote faster service, the implementation of transit signal prioritization, the creation of new and enhanced transit hubs, the addition of more shelters, ADA and pedestrian safety improvements near bus stops, improved signage to convey real-time information and the enhancement of wayfinding along light-rail routes.

MDOT MTA experienced significant ridership declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the agency recognizes the return of passengers requires a renewed emphasis on making transit a welcoming option for riders who might have other travel routines.

The planned Fast Forward: Customer Experience Enhancement Project investments will be implemented with an accelerated schedule beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022 to strategically improve transit customers’ experience along the region’s most heavily traveled traffic and transit corridors.

“MDOT’s commitment to an accessible transportation network for everyone means not only providing transit options, but making them modern, convenient and reliable,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “The Fast Forward initiative, through the addition of elements like transit signal prioritization, additional dedicated bus lanes and new bus shelters, supports MDOT MTA’s mission to provide high-quality service to our customers, and reinforces our commitment to work with our regional partners in delivering that mission.”

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