Leggett Reconvenes 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
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
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
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