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Baltimore - Washington Investment Corridor Studies

In an effort to determine the best opportunities for transit investments in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, there were several studies conducted from 2004 to 2008 in the Corridor, that together were dubbed the Baltimore-Washington Investment Corridor (BWIC).

BWIC Summary

The information provided on this web page for the Baltimore-Washington Corridor is the culminationof a series of studies conducted from 2004-2008 to determine a cost-effective means of providing transit service in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor.  Critical to this work was defining the future transit markets that exist between Baltimore and Washington.  We discovered potential transit markets include long distance travel between the two major metropolitan areas as well as travel among the many destinations within the Corridor, such as the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport, Fort Meade, and growth areas at Laurel, Muirkirk, and Columbia.

In 2004, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) initiated a feasibility study for extending the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Green Line from the Greenbelt Metro
Station to Laurel (Laurel Racetrack).  This feasibility study grew to include service to a number of destinations such as Muirkirk, Fort Meade, and the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport to accommodate travel needs associated with the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative. 

Soon after the completion of this study, the Maryland General Assembly Joint Chairmen requested a study of an expansion of the Green Line extension to BWI Airport and to the Columbia Town Center. 
A report was submitted to the Joint Chairmen in response to this request in June 2007. 

In 2006, the Maryland Department of Transportation initiated a corresponding study to determine
the potential political and financial support for an extension of the Metrorail Green Line by the Corridor’s many institutional, elected and agency leaders.  For this study, the Baltimore-Washington Corridor is referred to as the Baltimore-Washington Investment Corridor to symbolize the economic significance of the Corridor to the region and to the State of Maryland.  The study revealed concern by the region’s leadership about mobility in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, particularly in light of BRAC.  However, a clear consensus on the specific transit investments needed to support perceived needs did not emerge.  Particularly lacking from this assessment was consensus for an extension of
the Metrorail Green Line.  Some communities and leaders supported it; however, most of the region’s leaders questioned the need for the investment in light of the State’s existing investments in the
MARC system or wanted to see the State show more definitive intent to develop the project before they would take a position on it.

 

In December 2007, the MTA and MDOT initiated a transit market study to inform decisions regarding the optimal transit investments for the Baltimore- Washington Corridor.  The study used data provided by the two regional travel demand models, enhanced by data from the Maryland Aviation Administration and the US Census Transportation Planning Policy Package to project transit travel demand between the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas in 2030.  The region was split into multiple destination districts and assessed for travel going both into and out of each destination area.  
 
 
(The map below  shows the major regional destinations in the Corridor.)

A number of predicted land use and travel growth patterns emerged from the data that indicate the potential for a range of transit investments for the future.  The consultants felt the types of transit services that could be supported based on the volume of the growth and total transit trips predicted. 
Transit trip volumes for 2005, 2030 and the growth anticipated between 2005 and 2030 are shown
on the following figures.

 

Figure 1: Transit Volume Potential Growth from 2005 to 2030

One way trips. Southbound trips are shown in blue.

Northbound trips are shown in magenta.
 

As shown on Figure 1, the travel market analysis highlighted several key points:

  • Stable to modest growth anticipated for traditional radial commute market.
  • Growth anticipated for reverse-commute market and short suburb-to-suburb trips within the corridor.
  • Competitiveness of transit will be driven by degree to which growth can be oriented toward existing transit services.
     

What this means for the MARC Line and Bus service is that:

  1. Travel demand is expected to grow on the Camden Line, particularly in the reverse–commute markets from Washington, DC.  There is a lot of job growth and development anticipated to
    be concentrated in the Route 1/Camden Line Corridor, particularly as far north as Laurel.
  2. Strong growth is anticipated on the Penn Line for the reverse-commute market from Baltimore.  There are many mid-length trips (to BWI or Fort Meade).  Slower growth is anticipated for
    long-distance trips.
  3. Strong growth is anticipated for the Baltimore-Columbia reverse-commute market.
  4. Strong growth potential east/west between Columbia and Odenton, suggesting that bus opportunities should be explored.   
      
    Technical Memorandas:

On June 3, 2008, MTA and MDOT held the Baltimore-Washington Investment Corridor Transit Futures Symposium with approximately forty stakeholders from local planning agencies and local transit providers, as well as planning departments within the Maryland Department of Transportation.  The purpose of the symposium was to share the results and status of the various transit planning projects ongoing within the State affecting the Baltimore-Washington Investment Corridor, share the results
of the transit market study, and to engage in a dialogue on the future of transit in the Corridor. 

The discussion was valuable in helping the State to identify types of service improvements and
studies for implementation as a transit service strategy for the Corridor.  MTA and MDOT staff have continued the dialogue with these folks as transit strategies progress, as well as to encourage local agencies to adopt supportive land use and economic development policies that will ensure the
viability of transit investments within this important Corridor. 

 

Last Updated on

Wed Dec 13, 2017