Frequently Asked Questions
What is the BRTB?
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) is an 11-member board that works on transportation policy and planning for the Baltimore region. Members include elected officials and empowered representatives from the cities of Annapolis and Baltimore, as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties and the Maryland Departments of Transportation, Environment, and Planning, and the Maryland Transit Administration.
The BRTB is also the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Baltimore region. As such, BRTB works towards integrating locally-oriented policies and needs into a regionally-based agenda. Learn More About the BRTB
What is the BMC?
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council is also an organization of the elected executives of Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. However, their focus is broader than transportation alone. BMC also focuses on issues such as air quality, watershed protection, data development, rideshare coordination, and cooperative purchasing. In addition, the BMC hosts a Regional Information Center with a wealth of data and resources about the region.
Overall, The executives who serve on the BMC board are committed to identifying regional interests and developing collaborative strategies, plans and programs which will improve the quality of life and economic vitality throughout the region.
What is the relationship between the BMC and the BRTB?
BMC staff provides technical support to the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board. In addition, staff are also engaged in economic and demographic research, computer mapping applications, air and water quality programs, cooperative purchasing and rideshare coordination.
What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization?
A Metropolitan Planning Organization is a regional planning organization responsible for transportation planning and approval of federal transportation funding for the region. In Baltimore, the MPO is the BRTB.
The purpose of an MPO is to provide comprehensive, coordinated and continuous (“3C”) transportation planning for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods consistent with the region's overall economic, social and environmental goals. Special emphasis is placed on providing equal access to a variety of transportation choices and effective public involvement in the transportation planning process.
What does the BRTB do?
In general, the BRTB is responsible for the transportation planning process for the region. This is accomplished primarily through three related activities:
Unified Planning Work Program(Annual Budget and Work Plan)
Short Range Transportation Planning (Annual Transportation Improvement Program)
- Long Range Transportation Planning
How is the MPO funded?
The MPO receives its funding through money set aside in Federal transportation legislation.
Why is the MPO important to me?
Transportation planning is important to everyone. How well you get to work, school, the shopping mall, or the hospital affects your safety and your quality of life. The MPO provides an independent yet cooperative forum for regional planning and the allocation of millions of dollars in federal transportation funding annually. The MPO also helps citizens get their voice heard by their state and federal legislators on transportation-related issues. Most importantly, good public involvement makes sure that scarce tax dollars are used in a way that meets the greatest needs and desires of the people.
What is transportation planning and why does it exist?
The transportation planning process exists to provide decision makers with the information they need to make the tough decisions about which projects to fund with limited money. This process involves the creation of regional vision and goals, figuring out what impact each transportation project will have on the region, and identifying what the community’s priorities are.
To do this, transportation planners look at seven factors that relate directly to quality of life:
Support economic vitality
Increase safety and security
Increase accessibility and mobility options
Protect the environment and improve quality of life
Enhance system integration and connectivity
Promote efficient system management and operation
Emphasize system preservation
Why is public involvement important in transportation planning?
Government cannot do it all. Without your input – your ideas – local and state decision makers cannot have a true understanding of the community’s needs. You may know information that is more current or detailed. You may also see things differently than transportation officials.
Through public involvement, you can have a say in how transportation dollars are spent. You can let transportation planners and decision makers know what your vision for the region is – how we should grow and change. You can let others know about important issues related to transportation – like access for people with disabilities.
Our public agencies that provide transportation services are among the best in the nation, but without citizen input on critical decisions, our transportation system will not be what best meets our needs. Learn more about how you can be involved.
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