State Announces Transportation Funding for So. Maryland

ANNAPOLIS (Jan. 17, 2008) - Governor Martin O'Malley today announced a series of nearly $56 million in transit and highway improvements for Southern Maryland designed to address traffic congestion and both BRAC and non-BRAC related growth. The projects are included in Maryland's six-year Consolidated Transportation Program.

Planned projects include:

-- $12 million to build park and ride lots in Prince Frederick, Waldorf, and Charlotte Hall;

-- $20 million for new commuter bus coaches statewide;

-- $15 million to purchase right-of-way along US 301 for a future Waldorf Bypass;

-- $3 million in engineering funds to improve traffic flow and safety along MD 2/4 from Steeple Chase Drive to Commerce Lane;

-- $4 million to complete the planning study for a new Thomas Johnson Bridge and capacity improvements along MD 4 from MD 2 to MD 235;

-- $2 million for a streetscape along MD 5 Business in Waldorf;

-- $500,000 to complete project planning to improve traffic flow and safety along MD 5 from MD 243 to MD 245 in Leonardtown.

In addition to these new funds for Southern Maryland projects, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is conducting two studies for Southern Maryland. One study, set to begin this spring, will examine the potential feasibility of future commuter rail service between Washington, D.C. and St. Mary's County.

This study will be conducted in addition to the separate Southern Maryland Mass Transportation Analysis now underway by the MTA. That analysis is designed to examine possible alignments for future bus rapid transit or light rail service along the US 301/MD 5 corridor between White Plains and the Branch Avenue Metro Station.

The State also has added $56.8 million in capital funding to buy buses and improve facilities used by locally-operated transit systems. Local transit agencies can apply for these funds as part of an annual application process administered by the Maryland Transit Administration. Approximately $7 million per year in additional funding will also be available for operating assistance.

The Governor's office says the increase in funding is needed to address rising fuel, insurance and labor costs, but also supports the expansion of services to provide access to employment, medical care and other critical transportation needs.

Governor O'Malley has added these projects to the six-year capital transportation program covering the years FY 2008-FY 2013. The six-year program, known as the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), shows statewide investment in transportation will total $10.6 billion.

Transportation in Maryland is funded through dedicated revenue sources flowing into the independent Transportation Trust Fund, separate from the state's General Fund.

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