I thought I’d share with you our testimony that we will give tonight to the Montgomery County State Delegation concerning the Independent Transit Authority. If you want to send your own comments, you can do so easily through the Coalition for Smarter Growth by clicking here. They have also created an informative fact sheet about the Independent Transit Authority that you may find helpful.
Below is our testimony:
My name is Amy Ginsburg, and I am Executive Director of the Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit organization with more than 1,100 supporters, including residents, businesses, homeowners associations, and property owners. Our only mission is to ensure the full implementation of the White Flint Sector Plan so that the promise of a walkable, transit-oriented, smart-growth community is achieved in the Pike District.
We support the legislation that enables the formation of an Independent Transit Authority that in turn will create and operate a Rapid Transit System along Route 355 and elsewhere in the County. RTS is critical to improving the quality of life for a growing population and to attracting businesses and retailers to the Pike District. Building a Rapid Transit System is a crucial step in creating a vibrant, prosperous community in the White Flint area.
Just like bread needs a baker, an RTS needs an organization whose focus is transit. The Independent Transit Authority is an innovative way to provide that dedicated concentration to public transit. Essentially, it provides Montgomery County with the ability to efficiently and quickly create the kind of walkable, transit-friendly community so important to our future sustainability. The Independent Transit Authority will result in a faster design and build out of the indispensable RTS along Route 355.
Without a government body providing a singular focus to transit, there will likely be long delays in creating the Rapid Transit System in the County, including along Route 355, delays that will be detrimental to the successful transformation of the Pike District. Therefore the Friends of White Flint is strongly in favor of this legislation to create an Independent Transit Authority.
From all of us at Friends of White Flint, thank you for your continued support of the White Flint Sector Plan.