CARDIN, MIKULSKI AND HOYER ANNOUNCE $2.8 MILLION APPROPRIATIONS FOR SOUTHERN MD COMMUTER BUS FACILITIES
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) and U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-5), today announced that Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties will receive $2.8 million in federal transportation funding to construct Park and Ride lots that will be able to accommodate the growing number of people who use the commuter bus service from Southern Maryland to Washington.
The funding will be used for planning, design and construction of new or expanded Park and Ride lots in Waldorf, Prince Frederick, Dunkirk, Newmarket and Charlotte Hall. There will be a total of approximately 2,880 new parking spaces at the Park and Ride lots once construction is completed.
"One of the greatest challenges facing Southern Maryland residents is traffic congestion," said Senator Cardin. "I strongly support appropriations that will make it easier for Marylanders to use mass transit and this funding will help do that."
"The growing population in Southern Maryland, combined with longer commute times, higher gas prices, and wear and tear on vehicles are creating an added stress on families. We need to do our part," said Senator Mikulski. "I was proud to work with Senator Paul Sarbanes and Congressman Hoyer to secure this funding in 2006, and look forward to working with my colleague Ben Cardin on transportation alternatives that will help keep Marylanders on the move."
"The need for commuter bus service has grown rapidly in Southern Maryland over the last decade and a half, and is only expected to increase as the region experiences continued economic expansion and BRAC-related growth," stated Rep. Hoyer. "The expansion of commuter bus services for Southern Maryland commuters is a top transportation priority. I am pleased to announce this $2.8 million investment, which will build upon previous Federal appropriations we have secured, to help accommodate the increasing demand for affordable and efficient transportation in our region."
Commuter bus service has grown in popularity and utilization in Southern Maryland since the service's inception around 1990. In November 2006 (the most recent month available) 6,784 riders traveled on 208 trips daily from the three counties to Washington, DC. This ridership is 6.9% higher than the comparable date in 2005.
The service is expected to grow as more workers move to the region and utilize available transit. In addition to the current expectations of increased utilization, Maryland will gain a sizable number of jobs (estimated at over 50,000) and functions as a result of the "BRAC" base realignment, thus providing even greater ridership demands.
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