Funding for BaltimoreLINK and MTA Bus Facilities (2016-2019 TIP Amendments)
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) welcomed comments on updates to the 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for six five Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Maryland State Highway Administration (withdrawn) projects from Friday, January 29 through Friday, March 4, 2016.
The BRTB voted to approve these amendments on Tuesday, March 22 via BRTB Resolution #16-12.
The 2016-2019 TIP is the list of regional transportation projects requesting federal funding. It includes more than $2.5 billion in proposed federal, state and local money for highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects during the next four years. The funding goes towards maintaining, operating and expanding the transportation system. The TIP is fiscally constrained.
Amendments occur in the TIP because of changes to project scope and funding or changes to federal documentation policies. Public comment periods and meetings aim to keep communication open regarding these changes.
MTA PRESERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS INCLUDING BALTIMORELINK
MTA proposed changes to the following projects in order to address funding updates, as well as changes associated with the implementation of BaltimoreLINK.
MTA Core Bus and Paratransit Vehicle Replacement (TIP ID # 40-1601-05)
In order to reduce operating and maintenance costs, MTA is committed to replacing aging transit and paratransit (Mobility) buses and fleet expansion to meet demand for service. The replacement of older buses with clean diesel buses helps MTA meet higher federal emissions standards.
This amendment adds $39.39 million in unused funds as follows:
- Section 5307 funds increase by $26.572 million ($21.257 million federal/$5.315 million matching).
- CMAQ funds increase by $12.818 million ($10.254 million federal/$2.564 million matching).
Of this total funding, $2.8 million in federal funds (with $700,000 matching) go toward 10 forty-foot clean diesel buses to assist with the BaltimoreLINK project.
Bus and Rail System Preservation and Improvement Project (TIP ID # 40-0015-64)
This ongoing project rehabilitates MTA bus, light rail, and Metro vehicles, facilities, and infrastructure including park-and-ride lots, bus turnarounds, bridges, tunnels, track and equipment.
This amendment updates funding levels, as well as adds three BaltimoreLINK projects: BusLINK Transitways, BusLINK Transit Signal Priority, and BusLINK Transit Hubs. Total funding increases from $10.407 million to $54.582 million.
MTA anticipates additional opportunities for public comments on this and other aspects of the BaltimoreLINK project. Visit the BaltimoreLINK website for more info.
MTA BUS FACILITY REPLACEMENT PROJECTS
MTA proposed funding changes for the following bus facilities in Baltimore City:
Kirk Bus Facility Replacement – Phase 1 and 2 (TIP ID # 40-1203-65)
The purpose of this modernization project is to construct a new Kirk Bus Division transportation and storage building to accommodate approximately 160 buses, including articulated / hybrid vehicles. The new Kirk Bus Division replaces the existing facility, originally constructed in 1947. The new facility will also allow all MTA bus operations to take place inside new facilities to address community concerns related to bus visibility, noise and emissions.
Phase 1: Maintenance building construction is expected to be completed in May 2016; and Phase 2: Transportation/storage building construction is anticipated for completion in 2018.
This TIP amendment reflects funding updates for FY 2016, including an additional $12.9 million in Section 5307 funding and an additional $2.6 million in Section 5339 funds.
Bus New Main Shop (TIP ID # 40-1401-66)
This $42 million project funds the construction of a new “sustainably designed” bus maintenance facility in South Baltimore at 1300 Bush Street. The new facility increases the capacity for maintenance and for the staging of additional articulated buses.
This amendment adds the project to the 2016-2019 TIP thereby allowing MTA to utilize $9.329 million in Section 5307 funds (with $2.332 million in matching funds) and $1.664 million in Section 5339 funds (with $416,000 in matching funds) for construction in FY 2016.
OTHER MTA PROJECTS
MTA proposes an update to the TIP to correct a funding amount:
Ridesharing – Baltimore Region (TIP ID # 40-9901-01)
The rideshare program promotes alternatives to driving alone through use of mass transit, carpools, and vanpools. Funding is for the promotion and management of the Rideshare program, as well as assistance to commuters through the Guaranteed Ride Home program.
This amendment corrects funding levels for the Baltimore region for fiscal years 2016 through 2019. Previous TIP descriptions erroneously listed the statewide total of $6.2 million. This amendment lists the correct amount of $2.664 million for the Baltimore region.
STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION BRIDGE PROJECT
During the comment period, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), on behalf of the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), requested the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) withdraw a request to amend the Amended 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to add the project U.S. 40 Bridge Replacement over Little & Big Gunpowder Falls.
The BRTB appreciates those who have provided public comments about the project and have given those comments to SHA staff. Those interested in the project as it moves forward at a later time should contact Ted Yurek, SHA Regional Planner, at 410-545-5671, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
US 40 Bridge Replacements over Little & Big Gunpowder Falls (TIP ID # 63-1604-13)
This $12.4 million project replaces four bridges along US 40 over the Little and Big Gunpowder Falls. The existing bridges, built in 1935, are structurally deficient.
Adding this project to the TIP allows SHA to utilize $1.191 million in federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, with a $298,000 match, for preliminary engineering. It also adds state construction funds in the amounts of $3.95 million in FY 2017 and $6.05 million in FY 2018. The total amount of funding being added with this TIP amendment is $11.49 million.
PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT
A public review period* was held from Friday, January 29 through Friday, March 4, 2016. During this time, the BRTB hosted a public meeting on these TIP amendments on Wednesday, February 24** from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Cecil Elementary School, located at 2000 Cecil Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218.
In addition, a presentation was made to the BRTB’s Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Policy Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 2 at 4:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, (1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230) and comments were welcome during the Public Comment Opportunity during the BRTB meetings on Tuesday, February 23 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, March 22 (scheduled vote) at 9 a.m.
* The public participation process for the TIP will also meet the FTA public participation requirements for the MTA’s Program of Projects (POP).
** Notice: The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, or national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable laws. Appropriate services can be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities or those in need of language assistance who submit a request at least seven days prior to a meeting. Call 410-732-0500.
For more information: Zach Kaufman, email@example.com, 410-732-0500 x 1048