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For Immediate Release:


Deputy Transportation Secretary Announces Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 7, 2016

(Annapolis, MD) ‑ Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Anne Arundel County officials to discuss the Draft FY 2017 - FY 2022 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) draft six-year capital budget.  Today’s meeting was part of MDOT’s annual tour of 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City to update local officials and the public on the Hogan Administration’s $14.4 billion investment over the next six years in transit, highways, Motor Vehicle Administration facilities, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall).  Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority’s $1.99 billion additional investments in Maryland’s toll roads and bridges.

“The annual CTP Tour is a great opportunity for us to connect with our customers and to discuss their transportation priorities,” said Deputy Secretary Ports.  “We are committed to continuing an active dialogue with our customers throughout the year.”

MDOT Team members representing the agency’s six business units were: Deputy Secretary Ports, Planning and Capital Programming Director Heather Murphy, and Regional Planner Tyson Byrne from The Secretary’s Office; Executive Director Ricky D. Smith, Sr., from the Maryland Aviation Administration; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the Motor Vehicle Administration; Administrator Paul Comfort and Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration; Executive Director Milt Chaffee and Acting Project Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams from the Maryland Transportation Authority; Deputy Executive Director Kathy Broadwater and Harbor Development Director Chris Correale from the Maryland Port Administration; and Deputy Administrator David Coyne and District Engineer Tim Smith from the State Highway Administration (SHA).

Speaking on behalf of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn, Deputy Secretary Ports outlined key updates on the transportation investments.  Statewide, more construction projects are underway than at any other time in Maryland’s history, with 1,073 projects totaling $7.9 billion across MDOT, from investments in MVA, transit, highways and toll facilities to key projects at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and BWI Marshall. 

In addition to these projects, Deputy Secretary Ports announced funding for Anne Arundel County’s local priorities, including: $21.3 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $233,200 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates; $2.78 million in FY 2017 capital and operating transit grants for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County; and $2.6 million to support four non-profit organizations that transport seniors and people with disabilities.

Deputy Secretary Ports also discussed the $5.2 million in grants announced last week for transportation alternatives and improvements to bike and pedestrian safety and connectivity across the state, including key projects in Anne Arundel County:  $200,760 to provide connections from the B&A Trail to Anne Arundel Community College and Broadneck Trail and $26,754 to the Annapolis Maritime Museum for trail improvements and maintenance for the Ellen O. Moyer Back Creek Nature Park Trail.

Another key part of this grant funding will retrofit 30 Bi-Level MARC cars to accommodate standard sized bikes on weekday service for the first time ever on all three lines – Penn, Camden and Brunswick.  Currently, only folding bikes are allowed on weekday MARC with bike cars or standard-sized bikes on the Penn Line’s bike cars on the weekends.

In addition to these grants for alternative transportation, Deputy Secretary Ports provided an update on BaltimoreLink, which last month marked the one-year anniversary of Governor Larry Hogan’s unveiling of the transformative transit plan to connect all Baltimore transit options into one true transit network.  BaltimoreLink will deliver an interconnected transit system by:  redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout the Baltimore region and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and to MARC, Metro Subway and Light Rail.

In addition to MTA’s more than $800 million annual operating budget, BaltimoreLink harnesses the value of $795 million key capital investments to upgrade the system with:  real-time location and arrival information, 172 new buses, new Metro Subway vehicles and signaling system, and mid-life overhaul of the entire Light Rail fleet and MARC bi-level railcars.  BaltimoreLink also adds key tools to truly integrate all the transit options into one interconnected system with:  a transfer hub network, dedicated bus lanes, transit signal prioritization, new bicycle amenities, access to car-sharing options and much more.

The Deputy Secretary highlighted key milestones with the first Express BusLink launched in June 2016, including the new Express BusLink from Old Court Metro Subway Station in Baltimore County to BWI Marshall MARC Train Station in Anne Arundel.  These direct suburb-to-suburb connections are already improving access to regional job centers, like BWI Marshall, as well as speeding the ride for many commuters.  As part of BaltimoreLink, Anne Arundel County also will receive four shuttle buses with BaltimoreLink service to Fort Meade and funding for the Rideshare Program.

As promised, expanded and new Commuter Bus service launched new service in the summer and this fall with more to come in the spring.  This spring, MTA will be starting service on a new Commuter Bus route that will provide service between Kent Island, Annapolis, and Baltimore linking Anne Arundel County residents with easy transit access to more employment options.

A key aspect to the past year of BaltimoreLink activities has been the public dialogue designed to receive community feedback about the plan.  In gatherings with community groups, elected officials, public workshops, pop-up events and meetings with MTA bus operators, MTA received more than 2,000 comments and suggestions about the BaltimoreLink plan at over 200 meetings. 

Deputy Secretary Ports said the high-frequency, color-coded CityLink routes and LocalLink routes will be launching in June 2017 with better connections to Light Rail, Metro Subway and MARC.  MTA will be bringing the routes out for public comment later this year.  At today’s meeting, he encouraged everyone to continue the dialogue.

“It’s great to see the roll out of this transformative transit plan,” said Deputy Secretary Ports.  “BaltimoreLink will connect Marylanders to life’s opportunities throughout the Baltimore Region.”

Deputy Secretary Ports also touted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the Port being #1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery and welcoming the first big container ship from Evergreen to come through the newly expanded Panama Canal.  He also highlighted key Anne Arundel County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including: Exelon, Expeditors International, Delsey Luggage, Natural Stone Imports, and Northrup Grumman.

At BWI Marshall, he highlighted steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets.  In 2015, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic with nearly 24 million passengers and has seen strong growth continue with 14-straight monthly passenger records from July 2015 to August 2016.  The D/E Connector is a key capital project that is being delivered on a fast-track to meet the growing demand for international service.

On the highway side, he outlined MDOT’s great progress on Governor Larry Hogan’s commitment to fix the 69 structurally deficient bridges in the state system identified in 2015: 15 are complete and open to traffic, another 15 are under construction, and another 25 have been funded for construction.  He also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Anne Arundel County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA is nearing completion of the $4 million intersection improvement project on MD 2 at Earleigh Heights Road/Magothy Bridge Road.  Weather permitting, SHA will complete the project in Spring 2017.  Also, SHA is nearing completion of the new bypass lane on MD 177 (Mountain Road) at Woods Lane in Pasadena.  In a special partnership, Anne Arundel County funded this safety project and SHA oversaw the construction.  SHA expects to complete this project this fall.  This spring, SHA will begin a $1.9 million resurfacing project on southbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295) between Hanover Road and Winterson Road.  Weather permitting, SHA will complete the project next Fall.

At the Maryland Transportation Authority, we are undertaking a 48-month Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Study for an additional Bay Crossing.  The two main goals of this study are to identify where the crossing will be located and explore financing options.

Deputy Secretary Ports also showed the group the new Maryland Proud license plate that was made available September 26 and can be ordered on line at  He also talked about the new Maryland driver’s license and ID card that are the most secure in the nation and let veterans have the VETERAN designation on the front.  From June 20 to November 5, 2016, 12,514 veterans chose to get the new MD Secure Driver’s License or ID with the Veteran designation on the front.

Officials and residents met today at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.  The tour launched September 20 with stops in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties and will conclude November 15 in Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.  Meetings are planned at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.  For a complete list of the CTP Tour Schedule with dates, times and locations visit:  To view the draft CTP, visit:  Each fall, MDOT presents its draft six-year capital program to every county and Baltimore City for review and comment.  Following input from the 24 local jurisdictions, MDOT prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.

Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs

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