Transportation Summit Examines Regional Transportation Needs
Legal protection for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, greater cooperation among regional service providers and encouragement of new public-private partnerships. Those were among topics discussed by public transportation planners and providers at the third annual Central Maryland Transportation Summit on April 7 in Linthicum.
“There are a lot of challenges to providing efficient transit, not the least of which are the scale and nature of [operations], financial situations, turf issues, coordination between service providers and communication,” said Maryland Aviation Administration Executive Director Paul Wiedefeld, who welcomed the participants. “These are all things that need to be worked on.”
Panelists included Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen, President and CEO Donald Fry of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Army Col. Daniel Thomas, Fort Meade installation commander.
Check the May issue of The Business Monthly for a full recap of the summit.
Howard County to Operate Nation’s First Inductive-Charged Electric Buses
Howard Transit is on track to replace its three oldest diesel buses with the nation’s first all-electric vehicles, which can be charged through electric induction without ceasing operation.
Estimated to cost around $4.7 million, the project will be funded through the federal Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER-II) program. According to Kim Flowers, deputy director of Howard County’s Planning & Zoning department, project partners include county government, the Maryland Transit Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Center for Transportation and the Environment, Constellation Energy, Central Maryland Regional Transit (CMRT) and Howard Community College (HCC).
“In an agreement with [HCC], we will be establishing the inductive charging station on campus … next to the medical building,” Flowers said. The station will allow the buses to recharge by engaging a special charging pad built into the road surface during time spent picking up and discharging passengers at the bus stop.
CMRT CEO John Powell said the buses could be in service roughly one year after the county finalizes its order with the manufacturer, Charlotte, N.C.-based DesignLine.