Over the past few days, you may have read about the proposed Independent Transit Authority. Essentially, Montgomery County state legislators introduced a bill that would enable the County Council to set up an Independent Transit Authority which would plan, develop, and operate the Ride-On bus system and the planned Rapid Transit System network, coordinate with WMATA and the Maryland Transit Authority, and operate the County’s four parking lot districts. The bill was introduced this past Friday and this Friday, there is a hearing at which Friends of White Flint will testify.
The board of directors of Friends of White Flint discussed this proposal in-depth last night and voted unanimously to support this bill creating an Independent Transit Authority.
Is it a perfect bill? Nope.
Does the cliché ‘the devil is in the details’ ring true? Yes, just like it does in any new venture, especially when it comes to funding and governing structure. Fortunately there will be many opportunities to hash out these details.
Is a Rapid Transit System/Bus Rapid Transit essential to the full implementation of the White Flint Sector Plan? Absolutely yes.
Will there be a BRT in the near future without an agency to design and manage it? Probably not.
For that reason, we believe that creating an Independent Transit Authority is an innovative, pragmatic solution to developing the transit Montgomery County requires to meet the needs of its growing population, attract business, and provide its residents with a better quality of life. This is important throughout the County, but it is especially critical in the part of MoCo we’re most fond of, the Pike District.
You can learn more about the Independent Transit Authority at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/transit-authority/factsheet.html.