Maryland Transit Update Fall 2022

Maryland Transit Update is published by KFH Group, Inc. under contract to the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) in partnership with the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM).

2022 TAM Award Winners

MDOT MTA Updates

People in Transit

Maryland Transit Update November 2022

Maryland Transit Update is published semiannually by KFH Group, Inc. under contract to the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) in partnership with the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM)

IN THIS ISSUE November 2022

Letter from the President......................................................................................................................................................3 MDOT MTA Updates...................................................................................................................................................4 See What’s New at National RTAP...............................................................................................................................6 Federal Updates..............................................................................................................................................................8 2022 TAM Excellence Award Winners..............................................................................................................................10 Scenes from the 2022 TAM Conference.....................................................................................................................16 Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot Project Reaches Completion ........................................................................18 2022 TransIT Drivers of the Year ................................................................................................................................ 20 County Connector Shuttle Continues to Serve the Workforce .............................................................................. 21 TransIT Services of Frederick County Celebrates Ribbon-Cutting for New and Improved Transit Facility....22 Partnerships to Explore On-Demand, Rideshare, and Transit Options in Allegany County..............................24 People in Transit.............................................................................................................................................................26 New TAM Member: Truvelop......................................................................................................................................27 Mass Transit 40 Under 40: Roman Steichen, Frederick County..............................................................................28 Maryland Awarded Funding to Upgrade Regional Bus Systems.............................................................................30 Transit Bookshelf & Toolbox........................................................................................................................................32 Calendar 2022-23...........................................................................................................................................................33 Cover photo by Bittner Photography


Maryland Transit Update

Letter from the President

W elcome to the Fall RTAP newsletter. I hope everyone was able to attend our 2022 annual TAM Conference at the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. It was a terrific event that brought record attendance and offered many training and informational sessions. Our volunteer Board of Directors went above and beyond to help make this event a success. A special thanks to all of our vendors and sponsors that make all this possible, especially our major sponsors: American Bus, Coach Bus Sales, Coach USA, KFH Group, RideCo, Ecolane, AJ Stationers, Seifert Graphics, Vector Media, and Mead & Hunt. An extra thank you to MDOT MTA Office of Local Transit Support for their generous contribution allowing two attendees from all our member organizations to register at no charge! At the conference it was also our pleasure to announce and present the TAM 2022 Awards for excellence in public transit. Those were MDOT MTA Office of Local Transit Support for Friend of Transit, Harford Transit LINK for Outstanding Marketing Program, Roman Steichen of TransIT Services of Frederick County for Outstanding Leadership, Jodi Glock of Harford Transit LINK for the Unsung Transit Hero, The Harford Center for Outstanding Non-Profit Agency, Prince George’s

Jeff Barnett TAM President Chief of Transit, Charles County VanGO

County TheBus for Outstanding Transit System, and Jaime Holloway of Prince George’s County TheBus for Driver of the Year. Congratulations to this year’s award winners for their selfless public service! Mark your calendars for upcoming meetings and training opportunities. Our annual Legislative Reception will be in Annapolis on January 31, the Winter Series Virtual Trainings will take place on February 7, 15, and 23, our Annual Roadeo will be on April 15, the spring General Meeting on May 10, and the 2023 Annual Conference from September 19-21. Looking forward to seeing more of everyone this year. As always, please reach out to me or TAM staff if there is anything we can do to improve your membership experience.

November 2022


MDOT MTA Updates

MDOT MTA Office of Local Transit Support (OLTS) Staff Updates The MDOT MTA OLTS Director, Travis Johnston , recently announced the staff changes for FY2023. In making his announcement, Mr. Johns t on stated that “the Office of Local Transit Support has a full complement of professionals who stand ready to assist the locally operated transit systems (LOTS) and non-profit community. Please feel free to reach out when the need arises .”

grant and contract management, with more than five years in transit/transportation. She is excited to join the OLTS team and looking forward to working with our partners in transit/transportation. Ms. Nichols can be reached at . After 25 years of dedicated service to transportation, the OLTS team bid farewell to Beverly Walenga as she set off for retirement. Ms. Walenga served as the financial wizard of the team but do not fear, stepping into the position is Jennifer Vickery. Jennifer Vickery , as a six-year veteran of OLTS, has stepped into the finance role. Jen joined OLTS in 2016 as a program manager responsible for the Southern Maryland counties of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s and later the Central Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince Georges, Anne Arundel, and Howard. Ms. Vickery comes to this role with a tremendous amount of knowledge and enthusiasm. Ms. Vickery can be reached at .






Tanya Nichols, M.S., CTPA joined OLTS in May 2022 as Deputy Director. Ms. Nichols spent the last five years with Montgomery County Government, Division of Transit Services as a Transit Program Manager. She comes to OLTS with decades of experience in


Maryland Transit Update

After working with the counties in the Western Region, Luke Benson will now oversee Central Maryland including the counties of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and the City of Annapolis. Mr. Benson will continue to be the liaison between MDOT MTA OLTS and RTAP. Mr. Benson can be reached at . As the most recent addition to OLTS, Kirby Wilhelm is the planner for the Western Region of Maryland, including Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties. Prior to joining the OLTS team, Mr. Wilhelm worked with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), starting in late 2019 as a Program Associate, spending most of his time with the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM). During his tenure with CTAA, he worked with communities of all shapes and sizes to start new public transportation service, improve relationships between social services providers and transportation, and expand existing community transportation and mobility management offerings. Prior to coming to the transportation world, Mr. Wilhelm worked in affordable housing and sustainability outreach. Mr. Wilhelm can be reached at . Bryan Glazer joined the OLTS staff in June of 2022 as Administrative Assistant following four years (2018- 2022) with the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA)

Office of I-495 & I-260 OP3. During his tenure with MDOT SHA, he assisted in the development of the OP3 Procurement Office and helped lead development of their onboarding and procurement procedures. Mr. Glazer can be reached at In addition to those already mentioned, the OLTS Regional Planners/Program Managers are:

Jason Kepple – Eastern Shore of Maryland

Nancy Huggins – Human Services Programs Statewide

Bruce Hojnacki - Southern Maryland

Chris Taylor – Northern Maryland and City of Baltimore

Glenn Hoge – Chief of Statewide Transit Development/Statewide NTD Coordinator

Travis Johnston - Director

Pictured above from left to right are Kirby Wilhelm, Jason Kepple, Travis Johnston, FTA Region 3 Regional Administrator Terry Garcia Crews, Tanya Nichols, Nancy Huggins, Bryan Glazer, Luke Benson, and Bruce Hojnacki

November 2022


See What’s New at National RTAP N ational Rural Transit Assistance Program (National RTAP) has provided rural

» Save the Date – National RTAP Technical Assistance Conference , December 3-6, 2023 in Myrtle Beach, SC. To stay up to date, subscribe to the National RTAP newsletter and follow them on social media. Get involved and build your national network by: » Joining the Rural Transit Manager’s Forum » Participating in Peer Roundtables and Chats » Becoming a volunteer TACL reviewer » Joining the Books in Transit Discussion Group » Getting ready for Rural Transit Day, July 16, 2023 For more information, visit the National RTAP website here .

» See the October 2022 update of National RTAP’s technical brief, COVID-19: Information and Resources for Transit . » Check out the new resources in their Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL) including: • National RTAP’s Charter Service, • FTA’s Coordination with Human Services Organizations and National Transit Database Reporting, and • National Aging and

and tribal transit agencies with free technical assistance and training resources since 1987. Their Knowledge and Resource Manager, Cara Marcus, highlighted the latest news and resources that may interest TAM members: » An updated National RTAP technical brief on Vehicle Maintenance to Reduce the Cost of Fuel Consumption. New information includes speed limiters, fuel engine additives, calibration of throttle body and driving patterns, and switching to electric vehicles. new RTAP Transit Website Checklist provides suggestions about navigation and accessibility; information on routes, service, and fares; and policies. » A National

Disability Transportation Center’s (NADTC’s) Travel Training Instruction using FTA Section 5310.

» View a recording of their September 2022 webinar on What’s New in National RTAP’s Toolkits including updates to the ADA, Find Anything, State RTAP Manager, and Transit Manager toolkits.


Maryland Transit Update

Federal Updates

Build America Bureau Opportunities The U.S. DOT Build America Bureau supports transportation infrastructure development projects by providing technical assistance and access to credit and grant programs. Two programs are described below: the Thriving Communities Program and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program. Funded with $25 million through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, the new Thriving Communities Program provides technical assistance, planning, and capacity building support to teams of community partners to scope, fund, and develop infrastructure projects that address transportation, equity, environmental, health and safety, housing, and/ or economic challenges or needs in the community. Selected communities will receive two years of deep- dive technical assistance to plan and develop a pipeline of comprehensive transportation, housing, and community revitalization activities. Entities interested in receiving this free support through the Thriving Communities Program must identify community partners and together submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) by December 6, 2022 to be considered for selection. The lead applicant organization may be a transit agency, metropolitan planning organization, or state or local government. Examples of community partners include non-profit organizations, private sector companies, philanthropies, and community-based organizations.

The Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) is one of Build America Bureau’s credit programs, which offers low-cost and flexible financing for transit and transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. Transportation Infrastructure A new initiative, TIFIA 49 , authorizes borrowing up to 49% of eligible project costs for projects that are at least $10 million in size. Transit projects are those eligible for assistance under Chapter 53 of Title 49, U.S. Code and include capital projects or associated improvement infrastructure or vehicles for public transportation systems, including but not limited to bus, subway, light rail, commuter rail, or trolley. TOD projects are those eligible for assistance under 23 U.S.C. § 601(a) (12)(E), and include improving or building public infrastructure that is either (1) located within walking distance (approximately 1/2-mile) of, and accessible to, a fixed guideway transit facility, passenger rail station, intercity bus station, or intermodal facility, including transportation, public utility, or joint development projects, and related infrastructure; or (2) for economic development, including commercial and residential development, and related infrastructure and activities. For more information on the Thriving Communities Program: https://www. » For more information on TIFIA 49 : https://www. » » For more information on Build America Bureau :


Maryland Transit Update

New SMART Grants Program The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) discretionary grant program to support demonstration projects of advanced smart community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety. The SMART program has $100 million apportioned annually for fiscal years (FY) 2022-2026. Public transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and states are eligible to apply. Eligible projects must demonstrate at least one of the following:

Frontline Worker Recruitment Campaign

The FTA-supported Transit Workforce Center (TWC) has published a Connecting my Community Recruitment Campaign Toolkit to help transit agencies address the national shortage of bus operator and maintenance staff. It includes customizable advertising templates, transit agency recruitment videos, print and digital advertising materials, and more. The toolkit will be continually updated with resources that public transit stakeholders can adapt to local audiences as they design their recruitment efforts. To request assistance using this toolkit or to share methods and materials, please contact Senior Communications Specialist David Stephen at More information about the national recruitment campaign and the toolkit are available here.

» Coordinated automation » Connected vehicles » Sensors » Systems integration » Delivery/logistics » Innovative aviation » Smart grid » Traffic signals

More information, including illustrative use cases, is available here.

November 2022


TAM’s Annual Awards Ceremony took place Wednesday, September 21, honoring organizations and individuals in the following categories: Friend of Transit; Outstanding Marketing Program; Outstanding Leadership; Unsung Transit Hero; Outstanding Non- Profit Agency; Outstanding Transit System; and Driver of the Year. See additional award winner photos on pages 14-15. 2022 TAM Excellence Award Winners

Friend of Transit: MDOT MTA Office of Local Transit Support

Our 2022 Friend of Transit winner is the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration’s Office of Local Transit Support, or OLTS, as they are known by our members. Under the leadership of Travis Johnston, and with the stalwart assistance of the regional planners and other OLTS staff, they have worked every year to strengthen community transportation in Maryland. They are not only a partner for our members, they are a friend – of all Transit.

Outstanding Leadership: Roman Steichen, TransIT Services of Frederick County

Our 2022 Outstanding Leadership Award winner became Director of TransIT Services of Frederick County in 2020, but he’s been working in the transit world since 2004, as a driver and a manager. By engaging the ideas and insights of the people he worked with, he built trust and engagement in his organization. Under his guidance, the local Meals on Wheels program saw a 20% increase in the number of people served from March 1 to May 30 of 2020 alone. He also took the lead in partnering with the local Health Department to create a mobile vaccination clinic, making sure that hundreds of local residents were vaccinated against COVID.

Outstanding Non-Profit Agency: Harford Center

For over 60 years, The Harford Center has provided services and supports to adults with developmental disabilities. They promote dignity, safety, stability, choice, and community integration. Their goal is to ensure that all the individuals they support are integrated into the community through social activities, volunteering, employment, and recreation. Drivers go through rigorous training to provide the best service to those who need extra care. All drivers are DOT certified and attend annual safety training. Last year, their staff drove over 300,000 miles to serve those in their community, and in FY 2022 took over 2,600 community trips . The pandemic did not slow them down; they continued to provide the same service while making sure passengers were safe and healthy, and keeping the strictest health protocols. The Harford Center has received ORION’s safety in driving award every year since 2016. Their mission of safety and community integration, and providing quality care with compassion and skill, is a credit to all nonprofits.


Maryland Transit Update

Outstanding Marketing Program: Harford Transit LINK The Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM) has honored Harford County’s public bus service with its inaugural Outstanding Marketing Program Award . The award was announced at the annual TAM conference in September. Harford Transit LINK earned the 2022 award for its vehicle and operations center branding; informative, easy-to-navigate website; development of free, customer- friendly apps; electronic signage; mass communication systems; advertising and outreach; approach to employee safety; health and safety campaign during COVID; and for elevating its customer service standards. Harford Transit LINK’s mission is to create a quality, customer-oriented transit service that is forward- thinking, strategic, and ever-evolving to meet the

(Photo, L-R) Travis Johnston, Director, Office of Local Transit Support, Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration; Gary Blazinsky, Administrator, Harford Transit LINK; Jodi Glock, Administrative Supervisor, Harford Transit LINK; Terry Garcia Crews, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration. Photo by Bittner Photography.

needs of Harford County’s citizens. Its customers include students, citizens with disabilities, and employees commuting to work. The service focuses on sustainability and maintaining economic and environmental standards. “We are honored to receive this award for our marketing efforts to engage and serve our customers,” Gary Blazinsky , Administrator, Harford Transit LINK, said. “I would like to thank our entire team for consistently providing outstanding service and for helping us be a leader in the state.” Harford County Transit LINK was named the Outstanding Transit System of the Year by TAM in 2017, 2019 and 2021 for its efforts to modernize its operations and improve customer service. For more information about Harford Transit LINK, including apps, on-demand service, and fixed routes, visit www. .

Award-winning Harford Transit LINK officials, pictured from left, are Karen Holt, Dave Hall, Eric Colbert, Patrick O’Neill, Gary Blazinsky, County Executive Barry Glassman, Jodi Glock, Kelli Wolfe, Ken Weldon, Ryan Kivinski, and Len Parrish

November 2022


Unsung Transit Hero: Jodi Glock, Harford Transit LINK

Harford Transit LINK’s Jodi Glock has been named the 2022 Unsung Transit Hero by the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM). The award announcement came at TAM’s annual award ceremony on September 21 in Stevensville. Jodi Glock is an administrative supervisor in Harford County’s public bus service system. She was recognized for her exceptional contributions to public transit, her advocacy for sustainable rural transportation, unprecedented efforts to secure funding, and overall passion for helping others through public transit service.

(Photo, L-R) Travis Johnston, Director, Office of Local Transit Support, Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration; Jodi Glock, Administrative Supervisor, Harford Transit LINK; Terry Garcia Crews, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration. Photo by Bittner Photography.

During secured capital and discretionary grants, saving county taxpayers more than $29.6 million. She also secured $11.6 million in federal and state operating funds and managed a $10 million federal CARES grant. her tenure Jodi has Jodi spearheaded legislative efforts to fund the Statewide Specialized Transportation Assistance Program and provided testimony for transportation bills at Maryland House and Senate hearings. Due in part to her efforts, SB838 was signed into law by Governor Hogan in May 2022, ensuring increased funding each fiscal year for elderly and handicapped transportation services, greatly benefiting those most in need. Jodi is also responsible for leading and developing career paths for Harford Transit LINK’s dispatch and fiscal teams. Through her actions as a role model, and by connecting her associates to transit- specific resources and educational opportunities, she inspires others to reach their full potential. To learn more about Harford Transit LINK, visit ; for information on the Transportation Association of Maryland, visit .

County Executive Glassman congratulating Unsung Hero Award winner Jodi Glock


Maryland Transit Update

Outstanding Transit System: Prince George’s County TheBus

TAM’s mission is to strengthen community transportation in Maryland, and we do this with the assistance and cooperation of our members like Prince George’s County TheBus. This isn’t the first time that they have won an award, and it is well deserved once again. In the wake of the pandemic and the lockdown, this system has thrived and continued to progress in many ways that deserve recognition. They have refused to slow down! They’ve expanded the video-based safety program SmartDrive to all transit vehicles, helping to eliminate accidents, save time, and reduce fuel consumption and operational costs. They have also continued to follow extraordinary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID and other diseases that are now a fact of life. This system launched their “Proud to Charge” initiative, with a goal of creating a healthier environment and enhancing access to transit. They have added four electric buses to their fleet, with more on the way. This will give a boost to county residents to enter the blossoming world of sustainability technology maintenance. The county’s plans include moving from diesel buses to zero-emission electric buses, installing a solar powered microgrid system, installing bus chargers at various locations, renovating the existing garage to allow for electric buses and their maintenance, and implementing related skill development and training opportunities .

Driver of the Year: Jaime Holloway, Prince George’s County TheBus

Drivers are truly the most important part of everything we do. Without drivers, there is no public transit, so it is fitting we take this time to honor the most deserving of them. Jaime Holloway is not just another driver. She is a vital part of the community and a lifesaver. She’s been driving for over fourteen years. Jaime’s a native of her county and always has a smile and a good word for all her passengers. She looks out for their safety and well-being. She’s not only a driver, but also a shining example of what community transportation is and how it serves. Jamie was approached by the family of a missing young woman and provided with a photo. Jamie recognized the young woman as an occasional passenger to whom she had offered food and water, so she kept an eye open for her. Later, this driver found the young woman in a station, and alerted both her family and local authorities. The young woman was safely returned to her family and is healing physically and mentally from her ordeal.

November 2022


2022 Annual Award Winners Presented by Awards Committee Chair Tangela Carthy (EasterSeals), and sponsored by Vector Media, the following individuals and agencies were honored and presented awards alongside Terry Garcia Crews, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration; Travis Johnston, Director, Office of Local Transit Support, Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration; Jeff Barnett, Board President, TAM; and John Duklewski, Executive Director, TAM.

Driver of the Year: Jaime Holloway, Prince George’s County TheBus

Outstanding Leadership: Roman Steichen, TransIT Services of Frederick County


Maryland Transit Update

Friend of Transit: MDOT MTA Office of Local Transit Support

Outstanding Transit System: Prince George’s County TheBus

Outstanding Non-Profit Agency: Harford Center

Photos taken by Bittner Photography

November 2022


Scenes from the 2022 TAM Conference


Maryland Transit Update

Check out the presentations here .

Photos taken by Bittner Photography

November 2022


Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot Project Reaches Completion

By Will Kenlaw, Program Manager: Marketing, Advertising & Customer Relations, Montgomery County Department of Transportation

M CDOT recently completed its first micro-grid solar energy project to power its expanding fleet of electric buses. The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will service 44 new electric buses within MCDOT’s Ride On fleet by 2023. MCDOT’s goal is to transition its fleet of buses to all electric by 2035. MCDOT currently replaces an average of 10% of the buses per year, per Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) guidelines. “The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot project falls in line with our ambitious climate action plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035 ,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “This bus depot is one component of many County projects that is making a difference for our environment such as converting our fleets to electric

and reducing harmful emissions. This infrastructure project will improve the County’s resilience and we are proud to be at the forefront amongst local governments when it comes to projects like this.” “MCDOT has committed to a zero- emissions fleet by 2035,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We’ve started the transition with the purchase of fourteen electric buses so far. The Brookville microgrid project will charge these and future buses allowing us to provide great service in an environmentally responsible way.”


Maryland Transit Update

Electric clean energy production technologies, will enable the County to provide a sustainable, resilient, and reliable energy supply for bus charging and site operations. The project will include the following: bus charging, incorporating » 2 Megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic canopies that will provide electrical power to the buses and to the battery storage systems » 4.3 Megawatt Hours (MWH) battery storage » 2 MW of natural gas generation » Microgrid controller This program is a public-private-partnership or P3, an agreement with AlphaStruxure , a leader in Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions. The project will enable at least 44 buses in the Ride On Montgomery County’s transit fleet to transition from diesel to electric power. This advances the County’s goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, reducing lifetime emissions by over 155,000 tons, while delivering resilience to climate events and power outages. The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a first- of-its-kind integration of microgrid and EV charging infrastructure, delivering sustainability, reliability, and resilience for the County’s public transportation system. AlphaStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund , designed, built, financed, and has owned and operated the project to enable Ride On’s growing electric bus fleet.

Completed in late October 2022, the project will deliver the following benefits and outcomes: Bus Electrification: Enabling the County’s transition from fossil fuel buses to electric buses with a customized energy and infrastructure solution. Environmental Sustainability: 62 percent carbon emissions reduction with electric buses powered by the microgrid and lifetime greenhouse gas benefit of over 155,000 tons. Climate Resilience and Operational Reliability: Ensures uninterrupted bus services during any long- term power outages caused by severe weather as well as any short-term disturbances or perturbations of the utility grid. Flexible Fleet Operations: Avoidance of utility demand charges and time-of-use tariffs provides fleet operations with ultimate dispatch flexibility. Financial Benefits: EaaS approach eliminates upfront cost to the County for the project including all microgrid and charging infrastructure, and provides long-term cost predictability for energy supply. Economic Development: Created more than 50 construction jobs. A ribbon cutting ceremony to mark completion of the project was held on October 31, 2022 at the Silver Spring bus depot.

November 2022


2022 TransIT Drivers of the Year

By Kendall Tiffany, Communications Manager, TransIT Services of Frederick County

Pictured from left: Mr. Chad Abrecht, 2022 Paratransit Driver of the Year; Mr. Roy Velasco, 2022 Fixed-Route Driver of the Year A nnually, TransIT Services of Frederick County recognizes one fixed-route driver and one paratransit driver who exemplifys the spirit of exceptional customer service and his outstanding customer service , and his ability to work as a team player. Meeting the needs of his passengers and providing a safe ride is the top of his list of priorities. He takes pride in his work and accomplishments, and always looks for ways to serve.

demonstrates commitment to their community through our Driver of the Year Awards. These awards honor drivers who represent the very best of TransIT ; providing safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation with world- class customer service throughout Frederick County. To be eligible for consideration, drivers must maintain safe driving records, exhibit strong and consistent attendance, and provide excellent customer service. Drivers are then selected by their fellow drivers through a secret ballot vote, and the winners are announced at the following Drivers’ Meetings. This year, TransiIT is honored to recognize the contributions of Mr. Roy Velasco and Mr. Chad Abrecht, selected by their peers as the 2022 Fixed-Route and Paratransit Drivers of the Year. Mr. Velasco was selected TransIT’s Fixed-Route Driver of the Year thanks to his unceasing positivity,

Mr. Abrecht was selected TransIT’s Paratransit Driver of the Year because of his excellent and definite “can do” attitude, his willingness to help others, and his steadfast reliability. Mr. Abrecht is a capable driver who can truly do anything and always goes beyond the call of duty. He is respectful , has a great sense of humor , and is committed to providing the best service possible every day. In recognition for their selection as the Drivers of the Year, Mr. Velasco and Mr. Abrecht each received a plaque commemorating their award, as well designated parking spots reserved for the Driver of the Year. Both drivers will be recognized through a year-long advertisement onboard a TransIT bus.


Maryland Transit Update

County Connector Shuttle Continues to Serve the Workforce T he County Connector, a free daily shuttle service for the workforce and job By Towera Loper, Director of Community Development, The BWI Business Partnership

40%, which was in line with other public transit operations across the country. However, as vaccines became available and the State and private sector organizations opened their doors for business, we began seeing a significant uptick in our ridership month over month. In FY2022 (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022), we had the highest ridership since the pandemic. We totaled 71,025 passengers. For context, the M&T Bank Stadium’s capacity is 71,008. We had more people ride the County Connector than a sold-out M&T Bank Stadium. This is indicative, we believe, of the resilience of our passengers getting back into the workforce, despite the challenges they still face. In our new fiscal year (FY2023), our highest ridership in a month to date has been 7,253. Along with our positive numbers and in keeping with the trends

of technology in transportation, we recently installed GPS and passenger count tracking on our shuttles called Passio Go Technology. This technology is a service that allows us, as an agency, to track the shuttles and count the number of passengers daily. Our passengers can track the shuttles in real time by downloading the free Passio Go app on their cell phones and from a browser on their computer. The BWI Business Partnership is excited to contribute to the success story of riders feeling confident, once again, to use public transportation as we provide reliable transit that promotes economic growth and workforce development. We look forward to continued service for our riders as we anticipate getting back to pre-pandemic numbers of 10,000 passengers a month.

seekers, operates 365 days a year. The shuttle is made possible by funding from the Local Development Council and is managed by The BWI Business Partnership, in conjunction with the Anne Arundel County Office of Transportation. In operation since July of 2018, the shuttle services the BWI Business District and has become a reliable source of transportation, especially for those needing transportation between the BWI Light Rail/BWI Marshall Airport and the Arundel Mills Mall/Live! Casino & Hotel. As the public transportation industry took a hit during the pandemic, the County Connector was no different. Its ridership decreased by over

November 2022


TransIT Services of Frederick County Celebrates Ribbon-Cutting for New and Improved Transit Facility

TransIT Services of Frederick County staff, MDOT MTA state representatives, Frederick County and City of Frederick representatives cut ribbon at new TransIT facility in Frederick, Maryland on September 15th, 2022.

O n Thursday, September 15, TransIT Services of Frederick County officials joined representatives from the State of Maryland, Frederick County, and the City of Frederick for an official ribbon-cutting and celebration for the completion of the new Transit Facility Expansion. “Our award-winning TransIT staff provides outstanding service to our community. I am pleased that this expanded facility will allow us to meet the rapidly growing demand for fixed-route and paratransit service,” Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said, “because we know that reliable, safe transportation is essential to Frederick County’s high quality of life.” Twenty-five years ago, on June 19, 1997, TransIT celebrated the groundbreaking on its former 5,333

square foot facility. At the time, TransIT maintained five 30-foot transit buses and primarily provided service to the City of Frederick. Today, Frederick County is one of the fastest growing in Maryland, and TransIT’s ridership continues to grow, as does service throughout the urbanized and rural parts of the County. In FY2022, TransIT provided over 540,000 trips throughout the County on its fixed route and paratransit services, an increase of over 130,000 trips in FY2021. “This new facility enables us to continue to provide the level of service that Frederick County deserves,” said TransIT Services Director Roman Steichen. “We are grateful to both the County and to MDOT MTA for their continued support of Frederick Transit, and this facility further demonstrates their commitment to our service and community.”


Maryland Transit Update

T ransIT continues to provide safe, reliable, essential services to the Frederick community, now from a state-of-the-art facility. The upgraded campus houses all aspects necessary to provide this service, including an administrative and operations building, bus maintenance facility, and bus wash facility. TransIT also has sufficient space for its fleet of 51 vehicles, nine of which are all-electric, and are powered by the solar array located at the County’s landfill. TransIT represents one of the many locally operated transit systems across the state working hard to ensure regional access to life’s opportunities.

“Across Maryland, transit provides a vital link in connecting people to jobs, schools, and essential services,” said Holly Arnold, MDOT MTA Administrator. “MDOT MTA is proud to partner with Frederick County to support their efforts to improve access for their residents.”

TransIT Facility

Front view of the new facility

November 2022


Partnerships to Explore On- Demand, Rideshare, and Transit Options in Allegany County

By Juli McCoy, Executive Director, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce

A llegany County, nestled between Washington and Garrett Counties, is taking an approach to resolve its transportation challenges through the lens of economic development. Supported by the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, the work began when Courtney Thomas- Winterberg , director of the county Department of Social Services (DSS), approached Juli McCoy , executive director of the Chamber with the idea that for the community to realize a transformation of its moveability issues, the goal would require establishing an interconnected, multi-modal, accessible transportation network that actively contributes to economic growth.

Within that goal the group intends to connect residents to education, employment, and health and human services, and provide reliable options for visitors and residents. Thomas-Winterberg and McCoy are not unfamiliar with efforts that have been made to find solutions and fill gaps, specifically for those who must utilize the existing transit system as a last resort. Thomas-Winterberg spent ten years as executive director of the local Community Action Agency prior to moving to DSS and McCoy was executive director of the local United Way chapter until 2021. Each had worked to advance the issue through various community transportation efforts.


Maryland Transit Update

When efforts to address transportation slowed following COVID, it was an opportunity to try a new approach.

Allegany County and its surrounding areas do not fall within the metrics to call for recruitment of drivers. “We understand the nature of supply and demand. We see populations of students at Frostburg State University and Allegany College of Maryland, coupled with our booming tourism industry, which all position us at a high demand point. In an area where transportation is already a challenge for some households, the supply of drivers will be what has the potential to move us forward or force us to refocus,” said McCoy. Results from the survey indicate that the community might be in a better position than standard metrics indicate, however. Economic development specialist Adam Strott, a partner with the committee, has been working to extrapolate data that will soon be published, along with additional requested metrics, to Uber and Lyft . In addition to the survey, the partners have continued to explore options for a study and plan to identify specific actions for public transit and finding ways to bring together agencies that provide medical and non-medical transport to encourage coordination through a shared management platform.

The Chamber officially formed a sub- committee of its Economic Development Committee in May of this year, at which time representatives from Allegany County Transit, Allegany County Department of Economic and Community Development, Tri-County Council, and a growing assembly of individuals representing nonprofit organizations came together. The sub-committee quickly began conversations focused to: » Identify transportation barriers and opportunities » Evaluate how federal and state transportation funding is currently being utilized » Evaluate the flexibility of federal and state transportation funding in context of Maryland regulations and policies » Identify best practices in rural communities » Identify funding and partnership opportunities » Develop an action plan that includes implementation timelines and costs

It was during an update on the transportation issue in a health planning coalition meeting in June that led to connections being made with two nationally recognized rideshare companies and a software firm, which broadened the group’s focus to include additional opportunities. Now, four months later, in partnership with Allegany County Department of Economic and Community Development, the group has completed a survey that was encouraged as a grassroots effort to prove not only the need, but also potential supply for on-demand and rideshare options.

November 2022


People in Transit R ob Shearman, Jr. is the new Transit Manager for the Town of Ocean City. Rob started his transportation career in 1995 as a student bus driver at the University of Maryland, College Park; he eventually worked his way up to run the Charter division, handling all charter and special event bus and shuttle needs for the campus. In 2018 he became the Transportation Manager for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, before joining the Town of Ocean City as Transit Manager in 2022. He also has experience in public safety communications. He and his wife Kristin now live in Snow Hill. Rob has been a frequent visitor to Ocean City for his entire life and is proud to call the area his new permanent home.

A ndrew Wile is the new Director of Shore Transit, a Division of the Tri-County Council (TCC). Shore Transit has a $7 million annual budget, 90 employees, and 40 buses to provide public transportation in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties, including fixed- route and paratransit ADA service. In 2004 the three lower shore counties identified the need for a regional transit system and created Shore Transit by consolidating the area’s multiple public transit services into a single regional entity under the Tri-County Council. Andrew will replace the retiring Bradley Bellacicco who served as the Director of Shore Transit for over nine

years. During his tenure, Brad led the effort to move to more eco-friendly propane fuel for the fleet with two-thirds of the fleet now being dual-fuel capable, using propane and unleaded gasoline. Shore Transit was the first transit organization in Maryland to use propane and is still the largest user. Shore Transit was honored by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce in 2016 with their Environmental Service Award for the groundbreaking conversion. Shore Transit was also the Transportation Association of Maryland’s 2015 Large Transit System of the Year. Andrew brings extensive education and experience in operational logistics, leadership, and crisis management with him to lead Shore Transit. He has served for over 25 years in Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management, and Public Health consulting, and has a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. He has a unique understanding of the critical role transportation plays in creating access to job opportunities, improving quality of life, and supporting community development. This understanding, coupled with his education and experience, will help Shore Transit maintain the momentum that has been built while continuing to adapt and grow in response to the ever-changing needs of Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore.


Maryland Transit Update

New TAM Member: Truvelop T AM is proud to announce a new affinity partnership with Truvelop , a best-in-class software-as-a-service (SaaS) performance coaching platform for the modern

According to Gallup

workforce. Truvelop’s technology provides continuous performance evaluation and real-time feedback to promote development and retention for distributed workforces at all levels of a company. Its proprietary coaching engine delivers specific recommendations to frontline managers to increase retention, engagement, and team member performance. Truvelop generates measurable return on investment (ROI) through seamless employee reviews, continuous employee development, and real-time feedback. Truvelop’s event-based performance analysis provides data-driven insights to managers based on a unique algorithm that monitors performance output and trends. This enables delivery of real-time performance indicators – both upward and downward – through Truvelop’s interactive dashboard, thereby prompting the manager to take steps to commend or correct the employee’s performance pattern. “We are excited to collaborate with TAM as a new member,” said Lisa First- Willis, CEO of Truvelop. “We know our technology will deliver insights and value to transportation companies and service providers critical to improving employee retention and close the gap in talent due to nationwide driver shortages.”

According to Gallup, “70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.” Frontline managers are the key to engaging an organization’s employees. Coupled with Truvelop’s one-of-a-kind artificial intelligence-enabledcoaching insights, managers quickly understand who on their team is excelling, who may need additional attention and coaching, and indicates potential barriers to the employee’s success. Most important, Truvelop’s unique technology lays out a roadmap on how to drive continuous performance improvement, thereby leading to better employee engagement, ongoing development, and improved retention.

“Truvelop is a great addition to TAM. As our members confront the challenges presented by employee shortages and a demand for more efficient and effective ways to engage with frontline workers, Truvelop could be a good solution,” said John Duklewski, Executive Director, TAM.

November 2022


Mass Transit 40 Under 40: Roman Steichen, Frederick County

By Luke Huddon, KFH Group

M ass Transit’s 40 Under 40 is an annual award that recognizes young individuals for their impact on the public transit industry. These individuals have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their communities and shown a capacity for innovation . This year, Frederick County TransIT Services Director Roman Steichen was among those who received the award. Steichen’s first day as Director of Frederick County Transit Services was February 29, 2020, just days before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the nation into lockdown. He faced a delicate situation with countless questions, but Steichen adapted quickly. The new director implemented zero-fare operation , thereby eliminating driver and passenger contact and making access to transit equitable for everyone. Steichen also worked with the Senior Services Division to provide meals to seniors across the county.

“We were very fortunate to receive a large allotment of CARES funding,” Steichen said. “That’s what’s been backstopping our budget and replacing the revenue we would have otherwise had with fare collection. We found that as we continued to operate without fares, things were working really well. The drivers were happier, and the passengers were happier too.” Steichen also partnered with the Frederick County Health Department to provide mobile vaccine buses to transport people who may not have had another option.


Maryland Transit Update

“If you can’t get the vaccines, we’ll bring them to you,” he said.

Like most of the nation, Frederick County is dealing with a staffing and equipment shortage, a problem that could hinder future projects. Still, Steichen aims to find other efficiencies that will better serve the community. He hopes to keep the fare-free system in place, improve a bus stop amenities program that would include more shelters that are ADA accessible, and completely redesign the system based on what riders need and want.

While Steichen is proud to be recognized on the national level, he wanted it known that he was only recognized for this because of the work of his team . “I can’t take all the credit,” Steichen said. “I’ve got a rock solid deputy; I’ve got a rock solid staff. Everyone understands the mission and is just as passionate about it as I am. It’s not a one-man show here.”

“It’s very important to us that anyone who needs our service can access it,” Steichen said.

The 14th Annual 40 Under 40 edition of Mass Transit Magazine can be viewed online here .

November 2022


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