By Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA)
ANNAPOLIS (January 3, 2018)—Governor Larry Hogan today announced at a meeting of the Board of Public Works that the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has assisted its 1 millionth driver on Maryland highways through its Coordinated Highway Action Response Team (CHART).
"Today we recognize the men and women of the CHART program for providing their one millionth assist on Maryland roads," said Governor Hogan. "This is an incredible milestone for our state and it would not be possible without the dedication of those who work 24/7 to support their fellow citizens. We thank them for their commitment to our administration's Customer Service Promise."
Over the past 27 years, CHART has helped approximately 635,000 motorists and responded to over 365,000 traffic incidents—resulting in last month's one millionth assist. In 2016, CHART emergency patrols assisted more than 42,000 people.
CHART is one of the longest standing statewide traffic incident management and motorist assistance programs in the nation, developing into a model and benchmark for other states. The current Statewide Operations Center opened in 1995.
Feedback from motorists served indicates that CHART is recognized as an MDOT leader in customer service. CHART Emergency Response Technicians were deemed "Extremely" or "Very Professional and Courteous" by 99 percent of those surveyed. Their service was "Very Good" or "Excellent" 99 percent of the time, and 100 percent of these motorists had a more favorable opinion of MDOT SHA after receiving assistance.
The CHART program started as a "Reach the Beach" effort to improve travel to the Eastern Shore in the 1980's. It was the first comprehensive, integrated statewide program in the nation.
With the opening of two regional operational centers in Maryland in 1989 and 1990, CHART began to capture how many vehicles have reached the milestone of responding to
1 million requests for services since its inception and assists a motorist every 15 minutes, 24/7. This effort saves drivers $1.5 billion in the cost of delays and 43.6 million hours of delays.
With Baltimore and Washington suburbs growing exponentially and traffic volumes skyrocketing, the program grew to meet these challenges. In 2015, CHART added personnel and trucks to expand to 24/7 emergency traffic patrol coverage to meet the ever-increasing traffic demands, which is expected to exceed 60 billion miles of collective travel in Maryland in 2017.
During the last two decades, CHART established Traffic Operations Centers (TOC) in the College Park Maryland State Police Barrack, in Golden Ring, Baltimore County, as well as one in Frederick County. MDOT SHA has two seasonal TOCs: one to manage the "Reach the Beach" philosophy of keeping eastbound US 50 and associated beach routes moving to the shore, and another to manage far Western Maryland and I-68 through the mountainous regions during the winter.