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MTA Seeks Public Input from PG County Residents, Commuters

The MTA is kicking off a Southern Maryland rapid transit study to connect Waldorf to the Branch Avenue Metro Station. Prince George's County residents can attend open houses to learn more and comment.

Three open houses will be held in June to get public comment on a transit study. File|Patch
Three open houses will be held in June to get public comment on a transit study. File|Patch

Prince George’s County residents can comment on transportation options for Metrorail and other services in Southern Maryland at three open houses this month, according to a news release.

Maryland Transit Administration is advancing the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit (SMRT) Study by hosting a series of upcoming public meetings in Prince George’s and Charles counties. The SMRT Study is a proposed 19-mile transit alignment along the MD 5/US 301 corridor that would connect Waldorf/White Plains in Charles County to the Branch Avenue Metro Station in Prince George’s County. 

Funding for the $5 million study was announced last year by Gov. Martin O’Malley thanks to the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013.

“Moving forward with this study is an important step in our ongoing efforts to relieve congestion for Southern Maryland commuters while helping us meet our goals of doubling transit ridership by 2020 and reducing Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020,” O’Malley said in a statement.

MTA is collaborating with Prince George’s County, Charles County and other stakeholders who share a vision for improved transit in the corridor. The MTA, in partnership with Prince George’s and Charles counties, will select the locally preferred alternative.

The three open houses will kick off the public outreach process, which includes a website, informational fliers and brochures, advertising, and presentations to communities and organizations.

The public is welcome to stop by these locations any time between 4 and 8 p.m.:

  • June 10, Surrattsville High School, 6101 Garden Drive in Clinton
  • June 18, Waldorf Jaycees, 3090 Crain Highway in Waldorf
  • June 19, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, 4909 Brinkley Road in Temple Hills

The SMRT Study builds off the 2010 Corridor Preservation Study and is part of a long-term planning process to evaluate the alternatives for an alignment and select the appropriate transit mode (i.e. bus rapid transit or light rail). Each open house will present project history, goals, alignment alternatives, transit options, preferred station locations and schedule, along with information on related projects being conducted by the Maryland State Highway Administration, and Prince George’s and Charles counties.

Project staff will be available to explain the displays, answer questions and record comments. 

The goals of the study are to:

  • Deliver improved, accessible, cost-effective transit service linking activity centers and Metrorail;
  • Contribute to reverse commuting by providing transit access to employment opportunities; 
  • Support planned transit-oriented employment and redevelopment and Metrorail;
  • Provide transit alternatives throughout the day and evening for those traveling between existing and planned development areas;
  • Improve accessibility to employment and services for people who are dependent on transit; 
  • Provide an environmentally-prudent and sustainable transportation alternative; and
  • Increase the capacity of the transportation system serving the corridor.

As part of the SMRT Study, the MTA will examine several alignments and two transit modes to compare their respective environmental effects, ridership potential, community impacts, costs and economic development potential. MTA’s goal is to identify one alternative that can be advanced through local, state and federal actions. The study will take about two years to complete.

For information or to comment on the studies and related projects, visit http://www.mta.maryland.gov/smrtor contact project staff by email at  mailto:smrt@mta.maryland.gov. 

For the latest information on MTA service, passengers are urged to check the MTA website at http://www.mta.maryland.gov. Customers also can call the MTA Transit Information Contact Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 410-539-5000. TTY 410-539-3497.

To sign up for email about service modifications and delays, go to http://www.mta.maryland.gov/enotifications. Visit MTA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mtamarylandor Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/mtamaryland for updates.

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