HANOVER, MD—The Maryland Department of Transportation on Thursday announced that two contracts have been awarded to study potential transit-oriented development sites at light rail and subway stations in the Baltimore region and at MARC Penn Line stations in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
The contracts were awarded by the department’s partner, Maryland Economic Development Corporation, and officials say they are an important step in the state’s commitment to a bold new approach to create vibrant, diverse transit hubs.
“Governor Moore has entrusted us to create a world-class transportation network that’s accessible, sustainable and equitable for all Marylanders, and connect all modes through transit centers that rejuvenate and celebrate our neighborhoods and communities,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “These studies put that mission in motion.”
The two study contracts were awarded in recent weeks to the international research and consulting firm HR&A Advisors Inc., which has served as a consultant and master plan developer for projects in New York, N.Y.; Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Calif.; Research Triangle, N.C., Houston, Texas; and dozens of other communities in the United States and abroad.
“HR&A is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with MDOT and MEDCO to advance transit-oriented development in the State of Maryland,” said Stan Wall, Managing Partner at HR&A Advisors Inc. “Catalyzing the real estate market around MARC and MTA stations leverages the state’s existing infrastructure, increases access to opportunity, and fosters equitable and sustainable economic development. This strategic approach to TOD will create a lasting positive impact for the existing and future residents and business of Maryland.”
The Baltimore Region Study will examine the Maryland Transit Administration’s Light Rail and Metro Subway stations in the Baltimore region to identify sites with strong market potential for transit-oriented development that can provide new transit access and economic opportunity for communities. The study will evaluate the overall market for transit-oriented in the Baltimore region, identify challenges, opportunities and tools needed to incentivize impactful transit-oriented development; and engage with communities and potential private, institutional and nonprofit partners.
The Penn Line Study will initially look at MARC stations along the Baltimore-Washington corridor – Seabrook, Bowie State, Odenton, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Halethorpe and West Baltimore – and examine market potential, infrastructure, investment needs, benefits and financing. A second phase will study stations north of Baltimore including Martin State Airport, Edgewood, Aberdeen, and Perryville. Both phases will consider the impact of MARC service expansion. Cross-state service into Delaware and Virginia is anticipated based on Maryland’s recent framework agreements with both states to advance discussions and explore pilot service opportunities.
The contract awards stem from two requests for proposals announced in August by the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. Both studies will identify sites poised to become transit centers now, and also determine needs at other sites that could be addressed to make them strong candidates in the future.
Both studies will be conducted in the coming months. These efforts will analyze feasibility and overall goals for stations which will then lead to master developer partnerships and a full community engagement process.
“We value this opportunity to pursue Governor Moore’s vision and partner with the Maryland Department of Transportation to deliver transit-oriented development solutions that improve access to opportunity and enhances the lives of all Marylanders,” MEDCO Executive Director Tom Sadowski said.