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GLOSSARY/FAQ PAGE

GLOSSARY

Reliability
Calculates the percentage of the alignment that runs in dedicated right-of-way. Dedicated right-of-way could be a tunnel, elevated structure, transit street, at-grade track separated from traffic lanes or dedicated bus lanes.
System Travel Savings
Uses the Baltimore Metropolitan Council’s (BMC) Initiative to Simulate Individual Travel Events (InSite) model to calculate the travel time savings for an average transit rider living within ½ mile of a station. Travel time includes walking and/or driving to a station, wait time, and in-vehicle travel time.
Travel Time
Calculates the total transit travel time between West Baltimore and the Bayview Campus. Transit travel time includes walk/drive time, wait time, and in-vehicle time.
Ridership
Uses BMC’s InSite model to project daily boardings in 2045. The results were normalized per mile to compare Alternatives with different lengths.
Connections
Calculates the total number of connections to rail stations, frequent bus routes, and locally operated transit routes.
Access
Measures the area within ½ mile of stations to represent the corridor’s walkable access area. The existing number of households, students, and future jobs within these areas were added separately. The results were normalized per mile to compare Alternatives with different lengths.
Equity
Transit-critical populations include zero-car households, people with low-incomes, people belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, people with limited English proficiency, adults age 65 and older, and people with disabilities. This MOE measures the area within ½ mile of stations to represent the corridor’s walkable access area. The results of transit-critical populations/households within this area were normalized per mile to compare Alternatives with different lengths.
Sustainability
Uses BMC’s InSite model to compare the total number of transit trips for those living within a specified area along the Alternatives to that of a 2045 no-build scenario. The difference, which is the net number of transit trips, is reported for each Alternative.
Cost
Utilizing engineering cost estimates from other projects from the region and the US, costs were assembled on a per-mile basis based on mode and guideway type. Adequate contingency factors were added due to the many unknowns at this early stage. Operating costs were estimated based on existing MDOT MTA operating and maintenance costs for bus and rail modes.
Implementation
Estimates the total time to complete the project, measured from the completion of this study to opening. These durations are based on optimistic scenarios that there is no lag between phases and that all funding is secured without delay.
Fixed or Flexible Guideway
The space that is used by a transit vehicle where it cannot leave the rail line to deviate from the usual path of travel. A flexible guideway refers to the space that is used by a transit vehicle where it can deviate from the usual path of travel if needed. Flexible guideways can offer improved reliability to react to unplanned events.
Tunneling Complexity
Infrastructure under the street level is more difficult to measure and anticipate during the planning and design phases of a project. Tunneling projects carry increased complexity that unknown challenges may add to the cost and timeline of a project. The longer the proposed tunnel the higher the tunneling complexity.

FAQ

What is a corridor study?
  • Corridors are not tied to a specific route or mode at this point; rather, we’re trying to figure out how to use public transit to connect people to jobs, school, and recreation between sets of destinations while also strengthening the overall transit network.
  • By developing different alignments and proposed mode alternatives we will be able to evaluate how the options would perform and screen alternatives for items like travel times, proposed ridership, and costs to narrow down the list of possible improvements.
  • The goal is to identify the most promising two to three alternatives, which can then be evaluated in more detail, with the best option ultimately moving forward.
How were the alternatives developed?
  • MDOT MTA conducted an existing conditions analysis to create a baseline understanding of conditions along and around the corridor.
  • The existing conditions analysis included a Corridor Market Analysis, which included demographics, transit propensity and employment characteristics. A transit and travel flow analysis was also conducted, which included existing and future travel patterns. The analysis also involved studying existing transit use, current land use, zoning and development.
  • All of this information helped MDOT MTA and the Local Jurisdictions narrow down the potential options to the seven alternatives being investigated
How were the ridership projections developed?
  • MDOT MTA worked in partnership with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) to develop the ridership projections.
  • BMC utilized the latest approved regional model to include the transit alternatives being considered as part of the 2045 network to develop ridership projections for this study.
  • The model simulates how people will live, work, and play in the Baltimore Region in 2045 based on existing planning documents.
What’s the difference between local buses and BRT?
  • Typically Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, travels on roadways or lanes that are dedicated to buses. Additionally, intersections and signal systems are designed to give priority to buses over other traffic. Conversely, local bus service usually uses general traffic lanes, and therefore are impacted by congestion. As a result, BRT is more reliable and more efficient than local buses.
  • Unlike the existing BaltimoreLink bus service that uses dedicated bus lanes (DBLs), BRT has less frequent stop spacing to speed up service and more separation between the bus lane and other vehicles.
  • BRT stops are often more like stations, with off-board fare payment and all-door boarding that speeds up passenger loading. This is in contrast to local buses, where passengers pay one-by-one as they board, increasing the time spend at a stop (known as dwell time).
Who will make decisions about this study?
  • MDOT MTA will work with corridor stakeholders and the Regional Transit Plan Implementation Team, which includes representatives from each jurisdiction to review the studies’ findings and make a recommendation for future work.
How was the public involved in this study?
  • Public input has shaped these corridor studies since their inception during the development of the 2020 Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan.
  • At the start of these two feasibility studies, public input was gathered through an open survey, which was complemented by a scientific survey, which sampled our local population to get a representative group of responses. A major focus of the scientific survey was getting feedback from transit riders in the corridor. Together, this feedback helped to shape the project goals and objectives and to identify specific options to evaluate.
  • The public is now being asked to review the options and provide input about what they like and what they think should be priorities to select the two to three options to advance to further study.

Acronyms

RTP
Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan
BRT
Bus Rapid Transit
LRT
Light Rail Transit
HRT
Heavy Rail Transit
CMS
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
SSA
Social Security Administration
LOTS
Locally Operated Transit Services
MDOT MTA
Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration
MOE
Measure of Effectiveness

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