Last week, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that Maryland will receive $14.8 million under the competitive TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program designated for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects. The TIGER application was submitted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments on behalf of its member jurisdictions and the states of Maryland and Virginia.
The funds will be used to construct three projects benefiting Montgomery and Prince George’s counties: the Takoma Langley Transit Center, a major transit hub for Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system, and priority bus corridor enhancements along University Boulevard and Veirs Mill Road.
“These additional federal resources will help us to advance important transit options in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Ike Leggett.
The Takoma Langley Transit Center project received $12.3 million to supplement matching funds of $2.5 million each from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and $7.3 million from WMATA’s Transportation Infrastructure Investments fund. The transit center will be located at the intersection of University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue, on the border of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The eight bus stops and 11 bus routes that currently serve this location is the busiest non-Metrorail transit terminal in the region. The project will consolidate these scattered bus stops at the heavily used bus transfer point into one facility that will also serve as a station on the future Purple Line. The new facility will have bus bays, pedestrian walkways, a full canopy, restrooms, lighting and real time bus information.
TIGER funds will also provide 100 percent of project funding for two other projects: $1.26 million for
University Boulevard in both counties and $265,000 for Veirs Mill Road for priority bus corridor enhancements. These two corridors are among those identified by WMATA as having the majority of bus riders in the region. To improve speed and reliability, these corridors will be enhanced by queue jumpers, traffic transit signal priority timing, bus stop improvements and real time bus information.
TIGER funds are part of President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, designed to generate significant economic and environmental benefits and invest in America’s infrastructure, green economy and public education system. In particular, the areas served by these projects are in economically distressed areas, and the residents will be served through better connections to job centers throughout the region.
TIGER fund projects were selected based on their contribution to the economic competitiveness of the nation, improving safety and the condition of the existing transportation system, increasing quality of life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including the private sector.