MDOT MTA unveils comprehensive statewide transit plan to deliver regional, intercity travel options for Maryland

Jan. 6, 2022
The agency is seeking public input on the draft plan that will connect people to jobs, housing and entertainment across rural, suburban and urban areas of Maryland.

A draft of the Statewide Transit Plan has been released by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA). The plan is designed to provide a roadmap for a comprehensive, connected transit system for current riders and for future generations.

MDOT MTA is seeking public comment on the 50-year plan that includes long-term and immediate goals to fulfill the agency mission of providing safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service.

“We are working to bring Maryland the best transit system in the nation. The Statewide Transit Plan is intended to establish the vision and benchmarks necessary to achieve that goal,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Holly Arnold. “It’s designed to serve as the roadmap for future transit development in the state. That’s why getting public feedback is so important to us.”

The full draft of the Statewide Transit Plan is available on the project website. The public comment period is open now through Feb. 18, 2022, and MDOT MTA asks the public to review the plan and share feedback. The final plan is expected to be released in summer 2022.

“MDOT is focused on delivering seamless transportation for all Marylanders across the state by integrating all forms of travel to get you where you need to go,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater. “Today, we are launching our first 50-year Statewide Transit Plan that outlines a vision for transit needs across the state for future generations. We developed this plan working with our regional and local transit partners and look forward to collaborating to create a true statewide transit system of systems.”

The key role of transit was shown most dramatically during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, when transit systems around the world ensured that hospital workers, store employees and other essential personnel could arrive at their workplaces. With the resulting widespread recognition of transit as a critical element to the health of communities, the Statewide Transit Plan was developed to optimize the power of transit to work synergistically in achieving other state goals.

These include improving economic opportunities, smarter community development and protecting the environment. In practical terms, that means recognizing and building on transit’s critical role in promoting access to employment centers and neighborhoods in all parts of the state, whether rural, suburban or urban, while simultaneously minimizing the agency’s carbon footprint.

The plan identifies near-term action items to accomplish in the next five years such as improving fare policy, building new transit hubs, exploring expanded rail service and enhancing evening and weekend service. The document also defines goals for MDOT MTA to attain, strategies to achieve them and future transit connections across Maryland.

Seven goals will guide Maryland’s transit investments into the future. Crafted through feedback from statewide stakeholders and the public at the start of the planning process, the goals include being an equitable, accessible and affordable transit system, providing mobility between regions, connecting people to jobs and opportunities and investing wisely and sustainably.

To reach those goals, MDOT MTA has also identified 31 strategies to be implemented through coordinated efforts with local, regional and state partners. Strategies in the plan include adopting new technology, installing customer-friendly features at stops and stations and enhancing and expanding service to essential destinations.

The draft document also lists 25 transit connections that will help the state meet future travel needs and improve access between Maryland regions and neighboring states. Significant transit connections include MARC-Virginia Railway Express run-through rail service, new and improved intercity connections to Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore, improvements to Northeast Corridor rail service and Frederick Douglass Tunnel.