Recently, Communities for Transit (CFT) joined Friends of White Flint as a community organization member and I spoke with David Hauck, the Executive Director, about the organization. CFT is a local non-profit organization located in Silver Spring focusing on county and community needs. CFT’s mission is to build support for alternative transit methods in Montgomery County, specifically the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. CFT focuses on public outreach, developing research materials, and providing evidence of other areas across North America that are expanding transit opportunities for their residents. It is important that the county has new transit projects in that address the growing population and the growing job opportunities, which is exactly why CFT supports the BRT project.
Mr. Hauck was first involved in Montgomery County Climate Change Taskforce and the transportation sub-committee that focused on how the county could reduce greenhouse emissions through different transportation opportunities. He began to see how alternatives, such as the Bus Rapid Transit programs, could improve the environment.
The County Executive Transit Taskforce brought together community groups and businesses to look at the feasibility of Bus Rapid Transit in the county. The Taskforce completing a report on the findings from the feasibility study of BRT. Mr. Hauck got involved in the Taskforce in 2011 and decided that the public needed to see the Taskforce’s findings and continue action towards bringing BRT to the county. The chair of the Taskforce decided to search for a foundation to provide financial support to start an organization concerned with transit issues for the county, which would be come CFT. The Rockfeller Foundation provided a grant to the organization through the Future Cities project and CFT came to be in 2012.
The causes Communities for Transit supports are really important in order for the county to grow sustainably and to make sure the county includes more smarter growth policies. The county is trying to attract the next generation of residents and workers but our roads are already built out to the maximum capacity. Expanding lanes on roads are no longer a solution. Alternative forms of transportation will allow for already-developed areas to be used more efficiently, which will create the growth that Montgomery County hopes for.
CFT is hopeful for the development coming to the White Flint district. The new street grid will make this urban area very walkable and accessible to all generations of residents. The BRT project is also crucial to the development, and is necessary to allow for growth in the area. Mr. Hauck loves learning from residents and would love to take “walk-abouts,” where concerned citizens can walk around the areas in the County that BRT is proposed for and learn firsthand what the project will be like. CFT understands that to add a whole new public transportation system to already developed areas will account for many issues and risks. It is not frictionless, but they hope that by providing space for residents to speak their mind, express their concerns, and learn about the projects will allow for residents to understand how important it is to use roads more efficiently.
CFT has an awesome presentation that really highlights why Rapid Transit is the right step of Montgomery County – we hope to have them at our next FoWF meeting in May (date forthcoming) to present it. If you’d like them to attend a meeting of your homeowner or civic association, contact David to set it up! You can reach CFT at:
Communities for Transit
8630 Fenton St, Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910