Maryland plans to invest nearly $1.5 billion in transportation investments for the Baltimore Metropolitan Region that will support more than 13,000 jobs, reduce traffic congestion and revitalize communities.
“Thanks to the better choices we’ve made together, we’ve been able to put hardworking Marylanders back to work,” said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. “That didn’t happen by accident. To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments like the ones we are announcing today for the Baltimore region.”
Rail-related projects that will benefit from the funds total more than $1 billion and include $46 million to operate the first-ever MARC Train weekend service; $52 million for MARC Commuter Rail improvements to purchase 10 new diesel locomotives and to add two daily round trips to weekday service on the MARC Camden Line; $689 million in state funds for right-of-way acquisition, final design and to initiate construction of the Red Line ($170 million for right way and final design and $519 million for construction) and $246 million to replace Baltimore Metro Subway’s 100 railcar fleet and 15 miles of signaling systems.
The largest chunk of funding goes towards the Red Line, which is a 14.1-mile, east-west light rail link connecting Woodlawn in Baltimore County to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus on the east side of Baltimore City.
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) intends to develop the Red Line using a primarily design-bid-build approach and award a sequence of contracts according to a contract packaging plan. The exception is a group of project elements that could be delivered through a public-private partnership (P3). Design-bid-build contracts will be utilized to deliver the majority of project elements including tunnels, structures, surface segments, surface and underground stations, elevators and escalators, utility relocations and stormwater management facilities.
A group of transit elements will be examined for third-party P3 provision to include the railcars, operations center and maintenance facility, track, signals and power, as well as maintenance of those elements.
The Red Line is proposed to be funded with Transportation Trust Funds, federal funds, regional contributions and investments by the private entity. Pending funding, construction could start as early as 2015 and be open for service by 2021. Daily ridership in 2030 is forecast to be 54,000.