BaltimoreLink recently won an award for Operations Excellence from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
BaltimoreLink — Gov. Hogan Administration’s transit improvement plan to better connect people in the region to jobs and other transit modes — was one of six projects in the Northeast to be recognized in the 11th annual America’s Transportation Awards.
The program won in the category for medium-sized projects costing between $25 million and $200 million. AASHTO, which represents all 50 state departments of transportation, honors individuals and transportation departments annually for exemplary service in the transportation field.
“We are pleased to receive this awesome recognition from our peers in transportation agencies across the country,” said Administrator Kevin Quinn of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA). “BaltimoreLink kick-started a new era for our agency and the people of Baltimore with the first major transit system overhaul in 50 years.”
BaltimoreLink, which launched in June 2017, was a $135 million, multi-phase plan to create an interconnected transit system by redesigning local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded routes that improve connections to jobs and MARC Train, Metro SubwayLink, and Light RailLink.
The new transit system transformed Baltimore’s half-century-old and outdated transit network with implementation of bus-only dedicated lanes, installation of transit signal priority, construction of a transfer hub network, rebranding and replacement of about 4,500 transit signs, expanded commuter bus service, new shared bicycle availability, access to car-sharing options, and more. MDOT MTA launched its Transit app last month and plans to introduce mobile ticketing later this summer.
AASHTO will announce winners in the three remaining regions throughout the summer. The three highest-scoring projects from each region will be included in the “Top 12” to compete for a grand prize and people’s choice award. Online voting begins Aug. 30. The top two winners — which will be announced Sept. 23 at AASHTO’s annual meeting in Atlanta — also will receive $10,000 to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing.