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Category: Transportation Page 1 of 15

UMD Plans to Buy 35 Electric Battery Transit Buses

UMD has proposed to the Federal Transit Administration to purchase 35 electric battery transit buses and charging infrastructure. The proposed purchase will reduce direct carbon emissions, serve the Justice40 Initiative, and reinforce the City’s regional commitment to smart growth, sustainable transportation, and a sustainable healthy community.
At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will consider sending a letter of support for the purchase.


Purple Line Community Meeting – This Thursday

The upcoming virtual College Park Community Advisory Team (CAT) meeting will be Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 6:00 PM via Microsoft Teams. You’ll find the meeting link on their website here.

Should you have immediate concerns about the CAT meetings, please get in touch with the team at 443-451-3706 or via email at

All participants will be reminded to mute microphones until the meeting is opened for questions. The meeting will be recorded and posted to the CAT website with meeting materials, which can be found here.

Commercial Flights May Start Flying Between College Park and New York this Month

A Tailwind Air flight from New York City lands at the College Park Airport on Aug. 6, 2022, in College Park, MD. (Credit: ABC News)

Tailwind Air and the College Park Airport are proposing a pilot program for nonstop flights from College Park to New York, Monday through Friday, with no more than four flights per day to allow passengers to fly to and from Manhattan and to College Park and return on the same day. These planes will not likely create more noise than the airport already has.

The College Park airport is now the world’s oldest continually operated airport and is the site of many significant aviation firsts. More here.

The pilot operation is scheduled to begin on September 13, 2022 and run through December 21, 2022. Tailwind Air intends to use the Cessna 208 EX Caravan, which will accommodate eight (8) passengers per flight. The single-engine plane uses JET-A fuel (not leaded fuel). If you’re flying through your private jet, you should be buying private aircraft insurance.

Assuming the program is successful and Tailwind Air wants to continue with these services, the College Park Airport Authority will review the M-NCPPC Operating Rules and Regulations of the College Park Airport in early 2023. Certain regulations would have to be changed for the program to operate permanently. The rule says: “Charter operators may enplane and deplane passengers and/or cargo at the College Park Airport. No passenger or cargo operations may be conducted to or from the airport on a regular or scheduled basis.”

You can read more about the proposed operation here on the ABC News, and here on the WTop News.

The Council will discuss the proposal at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting. It will consider supporting the Pilot Program for the College Park Airport and Tailwind Air to provide commercial flights from College Park to Manhattan, New York. Members of the M-NCPPC and the College Park Airport Authority are expected to be at the meeting.

With Jettly‘s private plane hire, you can choose to depart from a smaller, less active airport, keeping you distanced from other travelers and airport personnel.

City Council Reiterates its Opposition of I-495 Beltway Expansion

At last week’s Council meeting, the College Park City Council approved a letter reiterating its concerns about the widening of the I-495 beltway. The letter reads:

The Mayor and Council of the City of College Park wish to take this opportunity to restate our strong opposition to the proposed widening and addition of toll lanes for I-495 and I-270. We are concerned that the project will not protect the best interests of Maryland’s taxpayers and will negatively impact the environment and our residents. We remain concerned about the project’s negative environmental impacts and damage to the quality of life in neighborhoods adjacent to the roads.

While road widening may provide short-term congestion relief, studies have shown that in the long-term similar projects lead to more driving, more trips, and more sprawl. The City of College Park supports smart-growth development and transit alternatives instead of a roadway
expansion. The City Council supports The Purple Line and dedicated funding for our region’s transit system. A regional approach to smart growth is necessary, along with enhanced transit beyond the Purple Line (such as a regional Bus Rapid Transit strategy) and improved, connected ways for people to walk and bike to transit or to their jobs.

We respectfully request that you reject the I-495 and I-270 widening project and pursue long-term solutions that create sustainable, healthy, and vibrant communities and economies

Beltway Expansion Plan East of I-270 is Off the Table – for Now

Thanks to the continued advocacy of our residents, the beltway expansion plan in College Park and east of I-270 is off the table – at least for now! MDOT first tried to expand the beltway in our area in phases 2 and 3 before, but, thankfully they are now nixing any lane expansion in the eastern portion of I-495 and I-270. Let’s continue to advocate for a smart, multi-modal, 21st-century transportation system for our region.
See more on the Bethesda magazine, and in

MAGLEV High Speed Train Project’s Comment Period Has Been Extended to May 24

The comment period for the Draft Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) High-Speed Rail Project has been extended to Monday, May 24, 2021.
Earlier this month, FRA and MDOT MTA announced the schedule for the public hearings for the SCMAGLEV DEIS. The hearings will be held virtually in consideration of COVID-19 protocols, as follows:
•           Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•           Thursday, April 8, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•           Saturday, April 10, 2021 – 10 a.m. to Noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
More information on the virtual public hearings can be found here. A press release from MDOT detailing the comment period extension has been posted to the project website, here.

City Council to Weigh In on Two State Bills Opposing Maglev Project

At next week’s Council meeting, the College Park City Council will consider two State bills about the SCMaglev project.

The Baltimore-Washington Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) Project is a proposed Maglev train system between Baltimore City and the District of Columbia, with an intermediate stop at the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. In 2016, MDOT was awarded $27.8 million in federal funding to conduct the required Environmental Impact Statement. The EIS was published last month and January 2022. The environmental impact of the proposed maglev route is of concern to many people, as is the likely cost of the project. Additional information about the project can be found here on the Baltimore-Washington SCMAGLEV Project website:

The State bill SB 188 / HB 63 would prohibit the State (and instrumentalities of the State) from using any appropriation, with some exceptions, for a magnetic levitation (maglev) transportation system in the State. Maryland has been interested in evaluating a maglev system since 2001. The General Assembly has restricted funding at various times during this period.

The Council will also consider supporting Letter of Support HB 704 Emergency Bill- Maryland Stop the Maglev Act of 2021.

The City Council plans to discuss the project at a future work session and will consider taking its position on the project.

College Park Woods Connector Trail is Now Open

The College Park Woods Connector Trail is finally open to the public.

The trail will serve as an important connection between West College Park with North College Park, as it connects the trail that goes up to Home Depot, and branches off to the North College Park Post Office. The trail continues on at least to Powder Mill Road, in Beltsville.

Please see the map below.

According to the project’s website, this important trail is a half-mile connector across the University of Maryland land between the neighborhood of College Park Woods and the Paint Branch Trail. This trail project will link a residential community in the City of College Park with the University of Maryland campus and the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System. It will increase bicycle safety by providing a car-free bicycling and walking alternative to busy Metzerott Road and an at-grade crossing of University Boulevard.

The project scope includes easements across public institutions and private property, a boardwalk across wetlands, wayfinding signs, and advanced-practice shared roadway markings.

Thanks to the County Council member Danielle Glaros, former Council member Eric Olson (District 3), the M-NCPPC, the City of College Park, and the UMD for making this trail a reality.

City will Ask Not to Delay Purple Line Construction

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will consider sending a letter to Governor Hogan expressing the City’s concerns that additional delays in completing the Purple Line will negatively impact the City. The State and the Purple Line concessionaire have been in a major cost dispute for many years.

The concessionaire gave notice that it will quit the project if an agreement is not reached. A court recently ruled that the concessionaire can, in fact, terminate the contract if it chooses. The State has indicated if an agreement cannot be reached with the concessionaire, the State will complete the project.

However, the project would likely be delayed another one to two years. It is not clear if the parties are still engaged in negotiations to reach an agreement that would have the concessionaire complete the project.

City Staff Comments on I-495 Beltway Expansion Project

At this week’s meeting, the City COuncil will discuss the review of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study, in particular its impact on College Park. On July 10, 2020, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) released the Notice of Availability of the DEIS and announced a 90-day review period including several public hearings. This comment period has been extended 30 days to November 9, 2020. A range of 15 preliminary alternatives were initially identified and screened, and ultimately 8 alternatives were retained and analyzed in the DEIS including a no build alternative. No standalone transit alternatives are included but allowing free bus usage in managed lanes and accommodating connections to existing transit stations are proposed in each Build Alternative. The managed lanes proposed are designed to control the number of vehicles using the lane to keep them flowing at an acceptable level of service (LOS) and include, but are not limited to, HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes, HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes, ETL’s (express toll lanes), and bus-only lanes.

Please see the full staff report below:

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