Leggett Reconvenes Transit Task Force

Isiah LeggettUPDATED Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced today that he has reconvened the County’s Transit Task Force.

In an April 6 letter to Task Force Chair Mark Winston, Leggett asked the Task Force to make recommendations relating about how to “… establish a plan for the implementation of as much of the [high quality bus rapid transit] network as is financially and organizationally feasible.”

Leggett has asked that the Task Force use as the starting point for its deliberations the proposal he made last year for State enabling legislation authorizing the County to adopt certain financing measures and form a transit agency to allow development and operation of the transit network.

“Setting up the transportation system for Montgomery’s future is not easy, but is critically important,” said Leggett. “A Bus Rapid Transit system will give County residents more transportation options, help the environment and is absolutely necessary to foster the creation of 100,000 new jobs in the County over the next decade. That means more good jobs and a bigger tax base.”

Marilyn Balcombe, the President and CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Task Force and she says it’s important for the Corridor Cities Transitway and the Upcounty to have representation.

“If the County establishes a Transit Authority, the Corridor Cities Transitway will be part of the Authority. This is a critical project for Gaithersburg, Germantown and the entire Upcounty,” Balcombe said. “It is important for residents and businesses in the Upcounty to be represented on the Task Force. I feel protective of the CCT and want to make sure that whatever decisions are made about the future funding of transit in the County have the CCT squarely in the middle of the discussion.”

Another Upcounty resident, Susan Burkinshaw, said she was honored to represent the community on the Task Force.

“It is important for me that the information on this issue be shared broadly across the county, especially in the upcounty, which will be highly impacted by future Montgomery County transit expansion,” Burkinshaw said.  “The County Executive’s recommendation for the Independent Transit Authority has broad issues of concern regarding taxes (whether or not it can exceed the charter limits), governance and accountability, labor (if employment is transferred from the county to the transit authority), and community input. I take my responsibility of sharing information, both up and down the chain, very seriously on this issue.”

The newly tasked Task Force began meeting again on April 22nd.

On organizational and financial matters, the Task Force and Working Groups plan to meet weekly between now and September 30th, the date on which Leggett has asked the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to him and the Montgomery County Council.

All Task Force meetings are open to the public. Information on the meetings and the Transit Task Force are available at http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/cex/transit2015/.

The Task Force plans to hold a County-wide public forum on the evening of June 17.

You may remember that the Task Force held its initial round of meetings during 2011 and 2012, at which time the Task Force recommended the development of a network of high quality bus rapid transit corridors (now sometimes referred to as the “RTS network”), to serve the County and neighboring jurisdictions. The County Council adopted a Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan in December 2013.

Transit Task Force Membership – 2015

Voting Members:

Marilyn Balcombe               CCT Coalition

Tom Hucker                           County Council

Shayam Kannan                   WMATA

Casey Anderson                   Chair, Planning Board

Marc Elrich                            County Council

Ilaya Hopkins                        Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Jonathan Genn                     Percontee

David Hauck                          Sierra Club

Al Roshdieh                          Acting Director, MCDOT

David McDonough               Johns Hopkins University

Secretary or Designee                     MDOT

Rich Parsons                         Parsons & Associates

Craig Simoneau                    City of Rockville

Gino Renne                           MCGEO

Tina Slater                            Purple Line NOW

Francine Waters                  Lerner

Jim Zepp                                Montgomery Civic Federation

Dan Wilhelm                                    Community Representative

Francoise Carrier                 Community Representative

Praj Kasbekar                                    Community Representative

Susan Burkinshaw               Community Representative

Bill Kirwin                             Community Representative

Peter Myo-Khin                     Community Representative

Jonathan Sachs                    Adventist Hospital System

Mark Winston                                   Chair

Ex-officio Members:

Marc Korman                                     Maryland House of Delegates

Brian Feldman                                             Maryland Senate

Sally Sternbach                                Acting Director, Economic Development

Thomas Street                                              Assistant CAO, CEX

Marc Hansen, Esquire                                 County Attorney

Barbara Mikulski or designee                  U.S. Senate

Benjamin Cardin or designee                   U.S. Senate

Chris Van Hollen, or designee                  U.S. House of Representatives


Non-Voting Members:

Joe Beach                                          Director, Finance

Jennifer Hughes                               OMB Director

David Dise                                        Director, General Services

Andrew Gunning                              Assistant Director, DCPD, City of Rockville

John Schlichting                               City of Gaithersburg

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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