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June 5, 2009

MTA to upgrade Falls Road light rail station

It looks like the Maryland Transit Administration is getting the state's share of federal stimulus money out on the street. The latest of several MTA station upgrades being funded by the feds is an expansion  of the undersized parking lot and other improvements at the Falls Road light rais station.

The cost of the project is $2.3 million. The project will expand the lot from 97 spaces to 197. Construction is expected to be completed next spring.

 Click below to read what  the MTA had top say about the project:


BALTIMORE, MD (June 5, 2009) Today, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)

announced the start of $2.3 million dollars in upgrades at the Falls Road Light Rail Stop.

These important transit improvements were funded by President Barack Obama’s

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The improvements to the Falls

Road facility follow the completion of conceptual engineering designs that were

developed and approved with community input received during a series of public

workshop meetings conducted by the MTA.

“These transit investment projects also help put local people to work and further

Maryland’s economic recovery,” said Governor O’Malley. “The public process leading

to this point has kept the local community engaged, so citizens have a direct say on

transit development projects that impact their communities. These improvements will

allow more of those citizens to choose transit as a smart, environmentally-friendly way to

travel throughout their neighborhoods.”

The Falls Road project has been designed to meet the increased need for parking at the

station. The $2.3 million project design elements and station improvements include:

Increasing parking capacity from 97 spaces to 197 spaces

New lighted pedestrian path from Old Falls Road.

New lighting, landscaping and signs

New fencing between the station and Railroad Avenue

New bike racks.

Upgraded stormwater management facilities that reduce run-off to the Jones Falls

Bus access improvements

“This project represents real and immediate progress as we continue to identify ways

MTA can accommodate increased ridership,” said MTA Administrator Paul Wiedefeld.

“The existing parking lot has been over capacity for several years, resulting in Light Rail

riders being forced to parking along access roads and on unpaved surfaces,” he added.

Construction is expected to be complete in spring 2010. The MTA is assuring customers

that commuter vehicle parking and the station’s walkup access will be maintained at all

times during construction.

Average daily ridership at the Falls Road stop is 381. Total daily Light Rail ridership is


Since ARRA funding became available earlier this spring, Governor O’Malley has

announced a series of transit improvement projects made possible with ARRA dollars.

These include: the purchase of new hybrid replacement buses for the MTA; the purchase

of buses for locally operated transit systems around the state; customer information

system improvements at Baltimore Metro Subway and MARC stations, and infrastructure

improvements at a variety of MARC stations. All totaled, Maryland will receive

$135 million in ARRA funding for transit improvements.

For general information on MTA service, visit the MTA website at Customers can also call the MTA Transit Information Center

Monday through Friday from 6 A.M. to 7 P.M. at 410-539-5000 (TTY 410-539-3497) or

866-RIDE-MTA. To sign-up to receive email about service modifications and delays, go

to and click “Email Notification.”

# # #

Posted by Michael Dresser at 2:40 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Light rail


How about funding a transit line instead of a transit stop? Does anyone else get the feeling that the city is missing out on its fair share of stimulus funding? So far I've heard about a light rail station, knocking down a wall at he West Baltimore MARC Station (which will make way for the Red Line), and some endless road resurfacing jobs for a measly 22 Mil? Where's the beef? Is somebody going to bring home the bacon on this?

COMMENT: The stimulus program is geared toward short-term projects that are quick to get off the ground. Building a new transit line is anything but quick to get going. That's something that will have to be paid for out of a different pot of money.

Let's not dismiss these system rehabilitation projects as unimportant. Preserving existing lines from decrepitude is as important as building new ones.

Your comment is completely inaccurate. Roughly $8.4 Billion has has been allocated in the stimulus package toward mass transit funding which includes shovel ready infrastructure projects like a subway line.

Repeat, the stimulus package is geared toward shovel ready projects and an enormous amount of money, over 3 times what was allotted in the past, has been allocated to mass transit. The problem is, as usual, Baltimore's projects are not shovel ready. The MTA has been twittering its thumbs with a Baltimore mass transit plan since the 1960's, yet we can't step up to the plate with the Red Line project. We now have a historic opportunity to get it funded and we are blowing it with the usual hemming and hawing, endless community meetings, etc. etc. This thing should have been built over a decade ago. It should have been ready to go 20 years ago.

Also, if you're going to comment, do it in your own comment like the rest of the bloggers on The Sun blogs. Putting it in my comment makes it look like you're "correcting" me, which you're not, given that the information you're giving out is wholly inaccurate. And, if I may be so bold, your tone of acceptance about how long the Red Line is taking (again, based on an inaccurate understanding of the stimulus package) to get off the ground is the same type of enabling that has infected the area press for years. It has allowed our local leaders to get away with bad decision after bad decision, particularly regarding mass transit. It should stop. You need to buck up and do your job of holding people accountable.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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