Maryland Transportation Authority

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Not to be confused with Maryland Transit Administration.
Maryland Transportation Authority
MdTA.PNG
MdTA seal
Agency overview
Formed 1971[1]
Jurisdiction Maryland
Headquarters 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, Maryland 21224
Employees 1,700[2]
Agency executives James T Smith Jr., Chairman
Bruce Gartner, Executive Director
Parent agency Maryland Department of Transportation
Website http://www.mdta.state.md.us/

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) is an independent state agency responsible for financing, constructing, operating, and maintaining eight transportation facilities, currently consisting of two toll roads, two tunnels, and four bridges in Maryland.[1][3] It also provides the Maryland Department of Transportation with "conduit" financing for other revenue producing transportation projects.[2]

Agency structure[edit]

The MdTA was established in 1971 to take over functions previously performed by the former State Roads Commission.[1] Financially independent from Maryland's general fund and transportation trust fund, the Authority operates as a purely enterprise agency, providing services on a user charge basis similar to the operation of a commercial enterprise. Its capital projects and operations are funded by tolls, concessions, investment income, and revenue bonds.[3][4]

Ft. McHenry Tunnel

In addition to its own transportation facilities, the Authority finances construction of other revenue-producing transportation facilities for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). These projects have included improvements at the Port of Baltimore and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. To provide construction funding, the Authority issues revenue bonds, which will be paid off over a period of years by tolls and other user fees generated by the facilities.[2]

The MdTA can issue either taxable or exempt bonds to finance large scale projects. As of June 30, 2010, the Authority had outstanding revenue bonds totaling $2.7 billion. Most of this debt was in the form of transportation facility revenue bonds valued at $1.6 billion, for MdTA transportation facilities. Grant and Revenue Anticipation (GARVEE) bonds, secured by federal grants and revenue pledged from individual projects, comprised $651 million of the debt. Conduit revenue bonds, for the construction of transportation parking and airport passenger facilities, also secured by federal grants and the future revenue of specific facilities, comprised the rest of the debt. Unlike the transportation facility bonds, the conduit and GARVEE bonds are pledged to revenue sources managed by other agencies, external to the MdTA.[5]

Governing board[edit]

The Maryland Secretary of Transportation serves as chairperson of the Authority's governing board. Eight other board members are appointed to four year terms by the Governor, with confirmation by the Maryland Senate. Term expirations are staggered. Board members can be reappointed to additional terms, but a limit of three consecutive terms was established in 2007.[1][2][6]

Daily operations of the Authority are overseen by an executive secretary who serves as the chief executive officer for the agency and is hired by the MDTA Board.[2][7]

Members of the board are:

  • James T Smith, Maryland Transportation Secretary, chair (does not count toward a quorum)
  • Bruce Gartner, Executive Director
  • Peter J. Basso
  • Rev. Dr. William C. Calhoun, Sr.
  • Mary Beyer Halsey
  • Michael J. Whitson
  • A. Bradley Mims
  • Arthur Hock
  • William K. Hellmann
  • (vacant)

The chairman is always the Maryland Secretary of Transportation. The chair has an absolute veto on all decisions, that is, no policy can be adopted or action carried out without the "concurrence" of the chair. However, it seems this is rarely needed; meeting minutes show the board usually votes unanimously.

The Capital Committee members include Whitson, Calhoun and Mims. The Finance Committee members are Basso, Halsey and Hock. There are other standing committees which do not hold public meetings: Human Resources and Audit. Their status as "public bodies" under state law is uncertain.

Members as of April 2012 are:

Human Resources Committee
Calhoun – Chair; Basso; Halsey
Audit Committee
Basso – Chair; Halsey; Hock

The MDTA Board and its two active standing committees (Capital Committee and Finance Committee) have been found in violation of the Maryland Open Meetings Act a number of times between 2009 and 2012. In response to one of the complaints, the MDTA began notifying the public of Finance and Capital committee meetings; allowing the public to attend them; and began putting meeting schedules and minutes of the two committees and the Board online. The MDTA maintains tape recordings of meetings at its offices on Broening Highway, Baltimore. Meeting audio or video is not available through their website.

The specific Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board Opinions are found here in PDF format:

7 OMCB 30

7 OMCB 64

7 OMCB 118

7 OMCB 140

7 OMCB 176

7 OMCB 195

7 OMCB 282

8 OMCB 8

8 OMCB 27

8 OMCB 46

8 OMCB 56

MdTA Police[edit]

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police were established in 1971 as part of the MdTA. Their mission is protection of the Authority's facilities as well as several other transportation facilities including the Port of Baltimore and BWI/TM Airport.[1][8]

Facilities[edit]

Currently operating transportation facilities[edit]

The MdTA operates the following transportation facilities:[1]

Although the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway is referred to as a toll road, tolls are only collected at a single point, a toll plaza located a mile north of the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River, on the northbound side. Vehicles which do not traverse this section, and all southbound vehicles, do not pay a toll.[9]

Intercounty Connector[edit]

Main article: Maryland Route 200

Maryland Route 200, the Intercounty Connector (ICC), will link existing and proposed development areas of Montgomery County and Prince George's County between Interstate 370 at Shady Grove and Interstate 95 in Laurel with an 18 mi (29.0 km) east–west limited-access highway.[10] The $2.4 billion project is being financed by MdTA, with the Maryland State Highway Administration serving as the project manager for engineering and construction.

When the first segment of the ICC opened on February 23, 2011, it became the first transportation facility in Maryland with fully automated toll collection. Connecting Interstate 370 with Maryland Route 97, the first segment is 5.65 miles (9.09 km) long.[10]

Express Toll lanes[edit]

The MdTA began construction of the Express Toll lanes on a congested portion of Interstate 95, north of Downtown Baltimore, in May 2005. When completed, the new toll system will extend for 8 mi (12.9 km), from the east side of Baltimore City, at the I-895 split, into Baltimore County, north of Maryland Route 43 in White Marsh. This segment of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (Interstate 95) will have two Express Toll and four general purpose lanes in each direction. Tolls for using the Express Toll lanes will vary, depending on traffic conditions, to reduce congestion. The general purpose lanes will continue to operate toll-free.[11]

Other facilities[edit]

The MdTA has owned the Canton Railroad, which operates as a for-profit enterprise, since 1987.[12]

Toll increases[edit]

A two-part toll increase became effective at all Maryland toll facilities on October 1, 2011 and July 1, 2013. The toll increase was proposed by the Authority's board on June 2, 2011. The changes were expected to raise an additional $77 million during the first fiscal year after their implementation. Additional revenue was considered necessary by the board to expand highway capacity and rehabilitate aging infrastructure.[13]

The previous toll increase was in 2009, but only affected vehicles with three or more axles. The previous increase for passenger vehicles was in 2003.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Maryland Transportation Authority". Maryland Manual Online. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "2010 Strategic Plan". Maryland Transportation Authority. p. 2. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "About the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)". Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ 2010 Strategic Plan, p. 5
  5. ^ Annual Report 2010, pp 6-7.
  6. ^ "Our Governing Body". Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Acting Executive Secretary Randy Brown". Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Maryland Transportation Authority Police". Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ "John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95)". Annual Report 2010. Maryland Transportation Authority. p. 5. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Intercounty Connector". Maryland Manual Online. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Project Overview". I-95 Express Toll Lanes. Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Other Transportation Ventures". Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ MdTA press release (June 2, 2011). "Increases formally proposed for maryland toll facilities". Maryland Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 

External links[edit]