Frederick County would get money to use for transit-related projects from revenue generated by toll lanes built along Interstate 270, but it would take a while to come.
Under an item approved Jan. 8 by the state’s Board of Public Works, counties through which proposed toll lanes along I-270 and Interstate 495 travel would sign memorandums of understanding with the state setting out improvements to regional transit services in each county with money from the tolls.
The toll lanes would be operated as a public-private partnership, in which the lanes are built by private contractors, which would own the lanes and share proceeds from the lanes’ use with the state.
The toll lanes on I-270 would operate alongside the free lanes.
The original language of the BPW item specified that 10 percent of the state’s net proceeds from the lanes, after the P3 contractor is reimbursed for the construction costs, would go to Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for regional transit services.
But the amended language that was approved Jan. 8 said that the state will develop MOUs for transit improvements with each county affected by the project, and the state would work with each county to decide which projects would be funded.
Del. Carol Krimm (D-Frederick), who serves as the vice chairwoman of the Transportation and the Environment subcommittee of the House of Delegates’ Appropriations Committee, said she spoke with acting Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater after the BPW vote, and was told Frederick would be among the counties that would get transit funding.
But Frederick County’s money wouldn’t come until a bit later in the process.
The P3 project is scheduled to be done in several phases, with the first phase stretching from the American Legion Bridge between Montgomery County and Virginia to Interstate 370 near Gaithersburg. The section between I-370 and Interstate 70 in Frederick would come at a later date.
The state would develop an MOU with Frederick County for transit improvements once the section from I-370 to I-70 is opened, the Maryland Department of Transportation said Friday.
Ron Burns, transportation safety manager for Frederick County’s Division of Planning and Permitting, said the county has also been assured by Slater that it would get the transit money, but it’s still too early to know many details, such as what type of transit would be funded.
But the good news is that Frederick is not being excluded, Burns said.