Brown announces guaranteed-ride plan
In his role as the state's coordinator of military base relocation actions, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says the state will spend $200,000 toward creation of Maryland's first "guaranteed ride home" program to provide Fort Meade transit users with an emergency backup plan.
Brown, chairman of the Governor's Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), announced the ride initiative as part of an overall Transportation Demand Management Plan for Fort Meade.
The guaranteed-ride program is based on a 13-year-old program in the Washington area that ensures rides home during the day for transit riders who need a ride home because of an unexpected emergency or because they have to work unscheduled overtime.
Under that program, registered participants who use transit twice a week or more are eligible for up to four free rides home each year. The rides are provided by taxi or rental car, depending on distance. Commuters must work in the Baltimore Metropolitan area and live in a somewhat larger region that includes the metro area plus parts of the Eastern Shore and southern Pennsylvania.
Brown also announced a plan under which a private developer, BRS/EGGERL LLC, will pay for the State Highway Administration to widen from two to five lanes a part of Route 175 between Maryland 295 and Rockenbach Road near one of the fort entrances as part of the planned mixed-use Parkside Development. Brown's office said that work could begin within months and be finished in fall 2011.
A state BRAC study has recommended that the entire 5-mile stretch of 175 between 295 and Route 170 be widened to five lanes to accommodate the increased traffic flow expected to result from an influx of jobs at the fort.